Have you ever received an email like this?

From: linkmanager@somecompanyyouneverheardof.com
Subject: Link Exchange Request from Some Company You Never Heard Of
To: Webmaster

I visited your site http://www.yourbusinesswebsite.com and found some interesting information. We think our visitors will benefit from your site’s content and we are interested in exchanging links with you.

Please consider listing us here: http://www.yourbusinesswebsite.com/resources/online-resources/ using the following link info:

Anchor text: GED
Description: Find an alternative to the GED test at Company Virtual Schools.

Please send me the exact URL where I can find my link and send me your text link info so I can add your link to our site. We will post your link in the proper category of the resources page listed here:

We are looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Some Company You Never Heard Of

As a marketing consultant, I’m frequently asked by clients, “how do I respond to this link exchange request email?” My advice is click the “Report Spam” button on your email application. You have no obligation to respond and really don’t need to waste your time pondering these reciprocal link requests.

It’s a common tactic sent blindly to addresses like info@, admin@, webmaster@, etc. I get a dozen of these requests a week. They are often automated and sent to thousands at a time. It’s rarely a personal message from a real person.

I know it seems hard to resist a “free” link. But the reality is that your website is not going to benefit from irrelevant reciprocal link requests because they don’t significantly help with rankings in the search engines.

What About Paying For Links?

Yikes, absolutely don’t do it! Even if you do the due diligence to determine the quality of the link sources and audit to ensure they’re implemented correctly, the risk is high that you will eventually get caught and penalized by the major search engines. Here’s an article that nicely explains why.

Are Any Link Requests Legitimate?

Quality, relevant, inbound links are one of many factors that help raise your visibility in the search engines. Therefore, the only type of link requests worth considering for your website should follow this criteria:

  • If you actually know and trust them.
  • You already have a relevant, working relationship.
  • And most importantly … CfLT website visitors would benefit from the link.

I generally advise to create a blog post about a topic and within that article link to a specific related page on the other website. That way the content/context is relevant and more beneficial for the reader. The other party could do the same linking back to a page on your website.

Hope you find this helpful.