Asking for Link Exchanges is Tacky

I hate hate hate when I get emailed out of the blue by somebody I’ve never met and they want me to add their link to my site OH GOODY they are going to add mine to theirs.

Link farms are so 1997. Jesus, people.


Only thing worse is: HEY ANDY I FOUND THIS GREAT NEW SERVICE  and then they link to it and it is a frigging affiliate link.

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About Andy Wibbels

Andy is an award-winning blogger and author of the book Blogwild! A Guide for Small Business Blogging. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Wired, Business Week, Forbes, and other national and international media. He was worked at several San Francisco startups including Typepad, Get Satisfaction, SInMobi, Keas, and Mindjet. Currently, Andy is Director of Marketing at Lucidworks. Tw · Fb · G+ · Li

6 thoughts on “Asking for Link Exchanges is Tacky

  1. Rusty Cawley

    OK, Andy. Got it. Asking is tacky. So it’s now 2007: If you were starting over as a blogger, knowing how important it is to get linked so you can raise your Technorati ranking and your Google hits … how would you go about increasing your links?

  2. Andy Wibbels

    I should have used the word presumptuous I think. It is tacky because you are asking someone that you don’t even know to do something for you before you’ve even really investigated who they are (and 98% of all link exchange requests I receive stink of form letter).
    To increase you interlinkage:
    Write useful, entertaining content
    Link to others freely and constantly
    Comment on other people’s blogs
    Use social bookmarking tactics like Digg, Reddit, etc if they apply.
    Cultivate relationships – don’t just email to say HEY MAN, LINK ME – but actually (gasp) care about the people you are writing and the topics you are covering.

  3. Pamela Slim

    I so agree with you Andy, I get really frustrated sometimes with unsolicited, out of the blue “link exchange requests” that have no context. My favorite is where people follow up in a slightly threatening manner and say “I put your link on my blog and I see you haven’t put mine on yours. When are you going to do it?”
    At the same time, I can feel the frustration of people who think “well, you tell me that I have to get friggen links for my blog to grow in popularity, so why is it so wrong to ask for em?”
    I think where people go awry is when they consider online communication to be different from in-person, “traditional” communication. Would you seriously walk up to someone you have never met at a networking event, stick out your hand and say “Hi Andy — I’m Pam, and I was wondering if you could include information about MY business in your next newsletter. Better yet, could you put MY picture on a big slide at your next big presentation?”
    Huh? Kind of like having someone you don’t know give you a big, wet kiss on the lips the first time they meet you. Invasive and creepy.
    Better, as you say, to realize that cultivating any relationship takes time, and if mutual adoration and public link sharing is to occur, it will be after lots of conversations where you really get to know and trust each other. And, like a really good kiss, it should come because the other person WANTS to do it spontaneously, not cause you ask for it.
    I always knew there was a link between good kissers and good bloggers, I just never realized it until now. 🙂


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