The Worst Way To Ask For A Link

Let’s take a quick trip back to Link Building 101. Have a look at the below email that hit my inbox over the weekend. It may look friendly, unassuming, even polite. I bet you have one just like it. I receive several of these every day, and while they are probably crafted by well meaning people with no ill intent, they represent the absolute worst possible way to go about starting the process of seeking links. Why? There are at least 10 deal breaking mistakes in this one brief email. First and foremost, it starts with a lie. This email was sent to me at

Not only do I not use that address, I have never used it, nor has it ever appeared anywhere on my sites in fourteen years. Where did they get it? Beats me.

They probably have thousands of others just like it. The only reason I received it is because my mail server is set on catch-all. In other words, they tried to reach me at an address that does not exist, which means they started their linking building relationship with me by double spamming me at a non-existent address.

I count at least ten deal-breaking, delete key seeking mistakes in this email. Have a look and see how many you can count. I’ll dissect the mistakes in the comments on Sphinn over the next couple days.

-------- Original Message -------- Subject: Link Exchange request Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2007 20:40:45 -0500 (COT) From: Gab+++++ <> To:


My name is Ga+++++ +++++++++, and I'm in charge of getting links of web site. I have visited your site and I believe a link exchange could benefit us both.

I'm offering you the following: If you place a link to my site in just one single page in your website, I'll place a link to your website in 3 different sites. I'll provide you the details. These are my sites info:

Title: Web marketing Group Description: Online marketing solutions delivering measurable results. Services include search engine optimisation, website design and digital magazines.

And these are the sites where I would place a link to your site: : PR6 : PR6 : PR5

As you can see, all of these sites have a decent PR, so if you are interested, please add the link to your site, reply to this mail and I would gladly add your link in my sites after I verify them.

Thanks a lot for your attention, hope to hear back from you. Gab++++++ ++++ Best regards

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Link Building: General | Link Week Column


About The Author: has been creating linking strategies for clients since 1994. Eric publishes the strategic linking advice newsletter LinkMoses Private, and provides linking services, training and consulting via

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