12 Oct 2005

Will the real link request please stand up?

A common conversation:

Client:”What do I do with all these link requests I get in my emails”.
Jim:”Delete them – 99.9% of them are worthless”.
Client: “But Jim, some of them look good, don’t you even want to review them?”
Jim: “No, it’s not worth my time to find 1 real request out of 1000 emails”
Clients: “maybe I’ll go through them then myself….I might find some “good” ones”
Jim: “If you insist….but just don’t waiste your time getting on someones “Links” page….look at where they’re offering (or have already placed) your link, and decide if it will really help you.

  • Can you think of any reason your sites topic and their sites topic could be related in any way? If not, delete the email.
  • Do you think you’ll ever get any traffic for their page – even 1 click a year? if not, Delete the email.
  • If the word “Links” (or any variation there of) is in the URL – Delete the email
  • If the word “Links” is in the title tag of the page – Delete the email
  • Go the the homepage of the site, and try to find the page where your link will be. If you can’t find it, or have to go more than 4 clicks, Delete the email
  • If the links you had to click on in the above search had the word “Links” in any of the link text – Delete the email
  • Is your link burried in a big list of tons of sites (think co-citation (“co-citation” meaning that you are considered to be “related” to other links on a page which links to you))….are these other sites on that page in the neighborhood you want to be associated with? If not, Delete the email.
  • Check to see if the page has a google cache – if not, or is older than 2 month – Delete the email
  • Where are they proposing you link to them? Does it make sense? if not – Delete the email
  • Who you trade links with is your closest neighborhood. Who are they getting their links from, and is it in a neighborhood that’s in any way related to your neighborhood? If not delete the email. (for more info on neighborhoods, see this post.)

Upon following the above advice, you’ll be left with about 1 in 1000 link request emails that are “real”, and that will help you in any way…..they are out there….but they are rare beasts.


  1. randfish October 13, 2005 at 3:01 AM

    Hey Jim… Will you trade links with me? My excellent site on cat training is highly relevant to your page and will boost your PageRank – which is how Google determines where to rank sites. You cannot afford to say no!

    Also, I sent some inquiring callers your way – hopefully they’re real prospects. Oh, and I should mention that my new beard is looking an awful lot like yours 🙂

  2. Jim October 13, 2005 at 8:49 AM

    Hey Rand!
    Funny, I shaved my beard off almost a month ago! (post about that coming soon). So you’ll be unique!

    Thanks for stopping by and sending people our way! I do appreciate it highly.

  3. IrishWonder October 15, 2005 at 8:15 PM

    Excellent article. I was really amazed to see how ignorant so many people are when it comes to link exchange, sometimes even those calling themselves SEOs…

  4. Irishwonder.syndk8.co.uk October 15, 2005 at 8:15 PM

    Linking 101 for white hats

    Besides my black hat activities, I also run a few white hat sites. Like most white hat sites out there, they often get link exchange requests. The one I got recently made me go “duh…” and write this post to clarify some things for th…

  5. Irishwonder.syndk8.co.uk » Linking 101 for white hats October 15, 2005 at 8:30 PM

    […] be simply deleted. No responses to ‘Linking 101 for white hats’. RSS feed for comments and Trackback URI for ‘Linking 101 for whitehats’. […]

  6. Jim Boykin’s Internet Marketing Blog » Blog Archive » The first 2 months blogging - feedback? November 11, 2005 at 7:54 PM

    […] Will the Real Link Request Please Stand Up – Oct 12 […]

  7. The Dog Clothing Company September 24, 2007 at 12:47 PM

    But what’s the reason of those who sent out this junk mails? I just don’t get it.

  8. Manish Chauhan October 24, 2007 at 7:53 AM

    nice article….

  9. vancouver seo November 6, 2007 at 8:37 PM

    I totally agree with Jim, there’s a lot of scrap out there if you rely on “link exchange”. Few years ago it really worked, but right now it’s just not worth your time. One last time I sent “Link Exchange Requests” for one of my clients, out of around 200 sent e-mail I got 5-6 responses, and even those were not worth a lookout.

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