Link exchange emails

Eric Enge got a funny link exchange email. Check it out to find out the new trend in linking. Recently I got one that started:

Dear,

I have visited your site and I think that the Culture content could be of interest to our web site visitors.

Best regards,
Ivan

He didn’t even bother to fill in any name at all. C’mon Ivan, at least put a little work into those emails. :)

58 Responses to Link exchange emails (Leave a comment)

  1. Matt, good to see you get them to! They arrive all the time in my inbox and from people who do not even bother to read what my site is about.

    The thing is, they must be useful for something or they would not be sent in such large numbers. What exactly or whom they benefit I am not at all sure.

  2. He did put Dear Webmaster though, at least he got the job description right. I’ve gotten quite a few of these too, they’re fun.

  3. :) it never ceases to amaze me. Looks like it was auto generated though. I get at least 10 of these a week. I would never do a link exchange with someone who sent me an unsolicited mail.

  4. I got this one today:

    $SENDER_NAME@$_my_domain to me
    Hi
    Buy viagra or die!
    Have a nice day.

    At least he/she was friendly :)

  5. Humorous to say the least. Reminds me of a time a few months ago a much more well known blogger friend advertised on his blog for an assistant. Even though the only place the job was advertised was on his blog he received more than 300 ‘application’ emails yet only 4, count them, 4 of the applicants addressed the guy by name. (and yes the successful applicant was one of those 4). Another blogging acquaintance ( a commercial pilot) announced on his blog that his company was looking to hire another pilot. Less than one percent of the applications that came in were addressed to the chief pilot by name. 99% were thus trashed, the thought being that anyone who didn’t have the interest of the skills to make a simple phone call to find out who the hiring official was did not have the initiative needed to be trusted with a multi-million dollar jet and a load of passengers.

    The business of the ‘Net is no different than any other business. Most businesses relationship grow from some kind of personal relationships. If you aren’t getting the business you desire it might be well to work on your personal skills rather than reading one more technical book.

  6. I agree with Dave, i think they’re auto-generated too. But even so the intention could be genuine, especially with SEO contests which require optimization for certain keywords (i got one too when i took part in such a contest, i replied, and, surprisingly, i also got my link :). But this isn’t a good way indeed..

  7. If I looked at every link request I would never do anything else :)

    This old post of mine may resonate with some folks and make you smile http://www.seo-blog.com/link-exchange-request.php

    - Michael

  8. skore

    Maybe he was just being affectionate Matt ;)

  9. I recently saw a Google sponsored ad for site http://www.rankstorm.com

    They promise to give you backlinks when they themselves have none :)

  10. But still, this guy does convey the thing. I would think that it is scalable way . What is in a name anyway ? :)

  11. yeah I always reply to these emails and ask them what they’ll do to help me, and why they have no links, no pagerank, and I can’t find them in Google.

    Never gotten a reply yet.

  12. karim

    :)

    The best email I’ve got was yesterday when a spammer send me
    an email to my gmail address : directeur (at) gmail (dot) com
    asking me to pay him 144£ and he well, listen well, will rank “my” website gmail.com in google and make it number one! :)

    For “just” 144£ !! come on! isn’t it fair enough?! :)

  13. It amazes me that people are still trying build links in that fashion.

  14. As funny as this is, since when do you splog, Matt?

    http://www.stonetemple.com/blog/?p=56#comment-63

    Note to others: I don’t think that little piece of spam Matt’s doing. If there are two things that should be painfully obvious to even a casual reader of this blog, it’s that Matt is more than capable of thinking and speaking for himself without repeating his own comments, and that when Matt addresses comments from another, he gives some indicator that he is dealing with that person’s specific concerns. My guess is someone’s doing some unofficial promotion on Matt’s behalf.

  15. Whoops…misused a word. Meant blogspam. Was looking at a splog.

  16. karim

    Adam: Maybe It’s just a trackback that matt did
    and that this blog owner merges comments and trackbacks…

  17. Rob Said

    There used to be a time when Webmasters would send these kind of emails to each other (manually of course). It was a great way to direct someone else to a site that might be of interest. We used to exchange links back then because it was useful for our visitors.

    Then Google came along and made links a valuable commodity, and with that value comes spam. Spam, spam, spam and more spam :(

    Nobody will place a link unless they get something in return. And don’t even think about adding a guestbook or it’s cousin the comments section, not without fortifying it with horrible spam traps and CAPTCHAs at least, throw in an authentication mechanism for good measure! Make it as hard as possible for someone to contribute, then maybe they’lll simply not bother.

    Even after all that, you have to make sure you add rel=”nofollow” to every link. Anyone who posts must be assumed to be a link criminal until they’re proved innocent and trstworthy!

    Not only that, but now everyone’s so damn fearful of “bad neighbourhoods”, everyone thinks twice about linking to anyone else, and if you ask like you did in the good old days then you’ll likely get binned along with all the spams!

    Rant over :)

  18. This is my favorite recent quote from a link exhange email:

    Due to rigorous web hosting anti-Spam
    policies I’m not able to give the exact domain in this initial e-mail to
    you, and if you similarly do link exchange e-mails, I would advise you to
    not give your URL in your initial e-mail.

    At least it’s new and intriguing ;->

    “I can’t tell you from where you’ll get a link back, but if you show a little interest you’re my kind of webmaster”.

    I’m sure it’s relatively effective – like the ending of Matrix 2 you’re left wanting more (Matrix 3 for that matter, but we won’t go there).

  19. We get funny emails to, titled ‘can not find your web site in Google’ the funny thing is we have a few hundred pages indexed (and that’s probably the way they found us in the first place and rank between 2 and 7 for our main keyword :-)

  20. Does anyone still pay attention to these ?

    I don’t know why, but recently I don’t get them as much. I guess my spamfilter takes care of that.

  21. DB

    A relevant trackback is not blog spam.

  22. I get a ton of these too… everyone once in awhile when I actually look inside my spam folder I see them…

  23. Actually, there were several emails over the past Year, that began with something to the effect of….

    We have been following your SEO posts on Matt Cutts Blog ….We thought you might be interested in a link exchange with …etc,etc

  24. Paul

    I always laugh when I get them….I also remember the old days (a year or so ago) when I would do them by hand. Then the automators came and ruined everything. It has seemed to slow down a bit. Where did they all go?

  25. Keniki, take a vacation man.

    Didn’t your mama teach you not to pick your nose in public ?

  26. [begin rant] Once my home and garden blog gained a bit more PR the “I think we can help each other out with a three way link exchange” emails started streaming in BUT people also are actually calling me!!!

    If I am in the mood I play with these people a bit and ask them to send me an email with a list of their current sites. Almost every time they are people trying to rank splogs with stolen content. They understand a link from my site is a trusted vote but I guard my network like a hawk and 99% of the links submitted to my directory are spam because sadly only spammers can find it.

    Cristian Mezei – Where is that interview? Did my questions scare you away, damn my blog is becoming a ghost ship. ;)

    Aaaarg![/end rant]

  27. Multi-Worded Adam, that’s just default behavior between blogs. My wordpress automatically pinged his blog when I did the post, and his blog set-up automatically shows a trackback. It’s pretty common. I don’t show trackbacks on my blog, but lots of people do (Scoble, TechCrunch)..

  28. Dave (Original)

    RE: “C’mon Ivan, at least put a little work into those emails”
    ========================================

    Perhaps he is one of the few smart link mongers. He knows most will not read his spam :)

    My message rule deletes any emails with the words (PR or PageRank or Page Rank and Link).

  29. Hate those emails. Lazy people. Without linking to me first, I just ignore the link request.

  30. Ahh. I was not aware of that. My bad. :(

    (Guess that’s what I get for taking a viewpoint a long time ago against preconfigured scripts.)

  31. Yes indeed. I receive so many emails like this. I even had one that said “Please lionk to me” and that was it! It’s these types of emails that make me wish you can physically send squirts of water aimed at their eyes! :)

  32. Unfortunately, these mails have become increasingly numerous and we are receiving between 20 – 30 a day at times, which puts them firmly IMO in the spam camp.
    Every now and again we get some genuinely good request that would be useful. The problem I find engaging with link request via email is that they probably have asked 10,000 other webmasters for a link and some of those may be the dodgy / shady ones and you end in a network with less desirable partners. Having said that I do try and investigate each link that appears to be interesting or relevant.

  33. michelle

    They did not link first, as then you get to know their url, and you could forward their spam email to their provider, getting them banned from the server.

    Or you could send it to google, who may penalise for link building.

    If you do really want to excahnge links, you can reply to the email.

    Simple.

    With google doing +30 penalties at the moment, these are going to increase, people are scared to ask for links, even on topic, as they are unsolicited

  34. My take on the whole process is that there are people who request links for perfectly sound reasons. After all, you want people to link to your site, and, as the old salesman’s maxim goes, “you gotta ask for the order” (or you will never get a sale).

    You can usually sniff out the ones who get it, just from the way they are put together. They don’t talk about Page Rank, or improving your search engine results. They are respectful of your time, and to the point.

    And they know that they are selling you on the value of their content to your users. If the relevance of their site to yours is not high enough for this value proposition to be potentially interesting, they shouldn’t be contacting you.

    Fortunately, some of the emails are funny enough that they provide a breack from an otherwise routine day …

    Sheesh! Just forgot to answer the math challenge question, even though I have the very same challenge on my blog!

  35. Cristian Mezei – Where is that interview? Did my questions scare you away, damn my blog is becoming a ghost ship. ;)

    Sorry Aaron. A guy can take SO many meetings and other things. Only if I had 40 hours per day.

    Promise to asnwer the questions and send them to ya’ Mon-Tue tops.

  36. If only we could get the math question answered by the persons who want to link to our sites!

  37. Ya this is the same problem with me too, I also keep getting links from dont know who asking to exchange links with DP.

    Akash

  38. I get a few emails like that.

    I also get people sending emails offering SEO services – urm dont they look at our works website :-)

    RE names on Job aplications. I would probaly use “Dear sirs” on a covering letter/email – I would have to be prity sure about the company culture before using “Hi Matt” or what eaver.

    Any how i’me sure I have never seen anything about Ian M Banks on here.

    Rgds M

    ps if you are into SF and havnt read any of the “culture” novels – you should

  39. Matt I am sorry but I think you are on the wrong track with recips. Sure if you have a website in G,Y,M index you will get these. I keep hearing about purchased links though and I am wondering when big G will get on this.
    I see for a number of searches on GOOG with sitewide links. Is this advertising or link spam.
    Yahoo just spanked everyone with these types of links, I wonder if G will do the same.
    I don’t know about your algo that much, but when a PR8 directory has 10 – 12 keyword laden hyperlinks at the botton of the page is that not a clear indication of paid for links, or does that not matter.
    Technorati, why are these “bookmarks” included in BLs. I could perhaps have hundreds of acounts and BM my site over and over. Same goes for all the other BM sites.
    Your new and improved and easily manipulated algo leaves alot to be desired.
    Perhaps a litte more onsite content should be a factor?
    Dan

  40. [blockquote]Sorry Aaron. A guy can take SO many meetings and other things. Only if I had 40 hours per day.[/blockquote]

    “He’s in a meeting” the secretary says.

    What does this say to someone who wants your attention for whatever reason?

    1. He can not manage his time well and is making an excuse.
    2. He is pretending to be busy to build false perception that he is a “busy guy”.
    3. (and rarely the case) He is actually busy.

    Matt Cutts played this game with my when I asked him for an interview BTW. ;)

    Also remember Chris, you came to me wanting to let others know about your new directory, me interviewing you does nothing for me, just trying to give you a hand in introducing your potential spam free directory. :)

  41. Jan

    C’mon Matt. Do you really think we (your visitors) have no interest for culture?

  42. LOL!

    Christian, I think Aaron just owned you. That was brilliant. :D

    He may have sideslapped Matt too, but I tend to believe Matt really is busy. Well done, Pratt. :)

  43. Aaron, are you on weed man? ;)

    I’m sooooo busy, as in a true meaning. Sorry if I let any other impression to arrise.

  44. Many sites now utilize link management software. Always use the form published for link request submission instead of sending an email like the one shown above in Matt’s example.

    If the website doesn’t use link management software, and the link request is relevant and would benefit the end user, its ok to send email but keep it short, friendly, very concise, and personalize it a bit.

    Linking is a great way to exchange traffic with relevant like-minded sites but keep your link request emails concise and personalized. Also keep in mind some webmasters are new at this and language barriers can come into play. We were all new at this at once so its good that blogs like this exist to help educate those who are new at link building.

  45. Chris – No I am not on designer drugs anymore, this is why I am all over your arse homie. How ya like me now? Boiy! ;-0

    (sorry matt, we forget this is not a forum)

  46. To any newcomers who may be reading Joel Lesser’s comments, there is an alternative.

    You can link to sites that are relevant to your end users where appropriate and not worry about whether the owners of the outbound links return the favour since others will because your site is built well enough to generate natural organic links.

    By doing so, you can also avoid spending $50/$100/(insert one-time or monthly subscription fee here) on software promoted in a devious manner by those with a vested interest and that will do absolutely nothing to help you with your traffic whatsoever, as most link exchanges end up on pages that aren’t part of the core purpose of the sites which participate in them and therefore never generate any real traffic anyway.

    Take that money and go have a good time with it. Throw a party. Play some poker. Drink a few beers and watch some football. Whatever you wanna do, do that with the money you just saved.

  47. David

    Roger,

    They were looking to increase the site’s hub score ;)..

  48. nice spam protection tough math.

    I get these emails all the time from india and now from the uk, I have to give them credit they get better and better all the time.

    I can’t wait to see what kind of spam emails are to come in the future. I would be curious on what kind of stats and income they are making off other people to continue doing this.

  49. I’m suprised at how many people here can talk about linking, yet nobody mentions the word “visits” or “visitors”.

    Isn’t that the reason we used to trade links in the first place? I’ll send you some of my visitors if you send me some of yours.

    Afterall… Pagerank doesn’t buy stuff or fill out forms on websites. Neither does being #7 vs # 2 in Google.

    Most of the places I trade links are in places Googlebot doesn’t even see. One of my pages trades links on it’s search results page. If users don’t find it searching my site, I offer some other sites where they might find it.

    Heck, I even use text-link-ads … but only on a “thank you page” that you can’t see without filling out a form. about 12% of my users click it and people repeatedly pay me the monthly fee to be there.

    I figured this would be the board where people would “get it” …..

    Visitors >> pagerank.

  50. RYAN! Don’t tell them that. You’re gonna kill the PR Leprechaun.

    PR Leprechaun = the invisible and presumably non-existent little person that gives the luck of the Irish to those sites that participate in link exchanges, use that stupid link manager software, create closed networks of their own sites, and do just about everything else imaginable to make that toolbar image just a touch greener.

    Leprechauns are Irish, and the colour green is associated with both Ireland and the Toolbar PR. And so, on Matt’s blog a new creature is born. And what a daft thing ’tis, at that!

  51. David

    Sad.
    He must have a poor site if the culture of this site is of interest to his audience ;-)
    Maybe we can raise the intellectual level a bit by discussing Shakespear.
    This seo related blogging just attracts the flies.

  52. Its the result of Arelis :)
    They could do better

  53. Here’s one I received just this morning

    I was wondering if you’d be interested in doing a link exchange in order to increase traffic on both our respective sites.
    We could place your links in a prominent place on our resources page, which is highlighted on our index page.
    It could increase your Google ranking a great deal, depending on the number of sites you decide to exchange with us.

    Attention! We can write an article for you to place there.
    We’ll write this article specially for you to fit in the theme of your website,
    and in exchange we ask only for attribution in the form of a link from the article to our site or sites as the authors.
    If you’d like more information, just reply to this mail.

    He never sent his URL, in fact – the request seems more like an SEM company seeking out leads rather than a link request. The email he sent is from a domain name which returns a 404. He did however, send his photo which I thought was amusing right before I deleted it.

  54. BWDOW, it’s not hard.

    I’ve improved upon Arelis 100%.. too bad I did it for my company, the web based version I made works much better and could have made me a ton of money reselling it.

  55. kak

    Here’s one I received just this morning

    I was wondering if you’d be interested in doing a link exchange in order to increase traffic on both our respective sites.
    We could place your links in a prominent place on our resources page, which is highlighted on our index page.
    It could increase your Google ranking a great deal, depending on the number of sites you decide to exchange with us.

    Attention! We can write an article for you to place there.
    We’ll write this article specially for you to fit in the theme of your website,
    and in exchange we ask only for attribution in the form of a link from the article to our site or sites as the authors.
    If you’d like more information, just reply to this mail.

    He never sent his URL, in fact – the request seems more like an SEM company seeking out leads rather than a link request. The email he sent is from a domain name which returns a 404. He did however, send his photo which I thought was amusing right before I deleted it.

  56. I’d sometimes get aggressive link exchange attempts where they email several times ‘threatening’ to remove your link. I’ve set my junk mail setting to delete any mail with the word “link exchange”.

  57. is this enough… or we have to do some other things also.

  58. If I am in the mood I play with these people a bit and ask them to send me an email with a list of their current sites. Almost every time they are people trying to rank splogs with stolen content. They understand a link from my site is a trusted vote but I guard my network like a hawk and 99% of the links submitted to my directory are spam because sadly only spammers can find it.

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