What is the secret to successful link building?

The truth is that there isn’t any secret, as with all aspects of search engine marketing.

Whilst the easiest way to build links naturally will always be to create a website offering engaging content / functionality, there are many other ways to build links such as directory submissions, press releases, article / content syndication and pro-actively requesting links from other sites.

It is this last strategy that this ‘guide’ wishes to focus on.

Perhaps the title should be ‘Unsuccessful Link Building Guide’ as we wanted to share an example of how NOT to request links from other sites.

We get our fair share of link requests on a daily basis. One downside of an increasing Google PR (page rank) is a corresponding rise in volume of such emails. Most requests are instantly forgettable and clearly the product of automated software.

For this strategy to be successful, you need to consider why the recipient of your email may wish to link to your site.

By demonstrating that you have spent time getting to know their web site and can show how a link to your site may be of benefit to them, you will increase your chances of success.

This week, we received a link request that has to rank in the top slot for ‘worst link request of the year':

“Dear Web Master,

We are in process of link building of our site to increase its relevancy and traffic with the top SEO Company’s.
I am sending you the request for becoming link partner.This would bring more targeted traffic to our sites, plus increase our websites’ weight at the search engines.

please put our link to your site using the following details, and confirm with a reply email.”

Ignoring the grammatical errors, you have to question why anyone would want to “bring more targetted traffic” to a competitor website and “increase their weight at the search engines”. The email gives absolutely no incentive to link to their site other than to help their own promotion.

A spectacular example of ineffective and ill considered link building.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, we are not going to honour this request with a link to the website but we can share the sender’s christian name – Sudipto.

Why are we sharing this name? The crossword lovers amongst us can surely not have missed the anagram, which sums up our overall impression of this link request.

A very ‘stupido’ approach indeed.