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How NOT to Request a Link

Posted By Carrie On October 1, 2009 @ 2:11 pm In Link Building | 2 Comments

Like many websites, our blogs receive quite a few emails each day regarding reader questions, comments, link requests, tools and topic suggestions. Just the other day I received an email titled, “Broken Link Found In Your Site.” Now, I always appreciate when a reader notifies me of something wrong with the site. After all, nobody likes a broken link! But it was to my great amusement when I opened the message to find the worst link request email I ever received. I have shared the email below, my favorite sections are highlighted!


Broken Link Found in your site


Hello XXXXX, [fill in name here if it is easily available]

I was on your website today and found a link that is no longer working and I
wanted to bring it to your attention:


error code: 404 (not found), linked from page(s):


While you are updating your site to fix this broken link, I was wondering if
you could add a link to my site as well? I’d love you forever if you did :)

Here is some information about it:
www.[site-edited].org – Coupons, coupon codes and promotional codes – 15,000+ coupons updated daily.

Continued success with your site. I look forward to hearing back from you

John Doe (Coupon clipper extraordinaire!)

Let’s start with what is wrong in this link request email:

  1. “Hello XXXXX, [fill in name here if it is easily available]” tells me two things. Either this email is coming from a spammer, or the sender does not have enough time and attention to detail to fill in the contact. Here at SEO Boy we do not encourage using a template for link request email, but I am certain that any template email will not succeed if the sender forgets to fill in the blanks.
  2. Regarding the ‘broken link’. It is not usual to receive broken link notifications from readers. When we receive these emails, we fix the link as quickly as possible. However, the link referred to in this email is not even broken, so the sender’s credibility has been decreased even more.
  3. The link request: “While you are updating your site to fix this broken link, I was wondering if you could add a link to my site as well?” Simple answer, no! This email has not given me any indication that this site can be trusted. The sender also gave me no background about their site and why it is relevant to my reads.
  4. The icing on the cake: “I’d love you forever if you did :)” Need I say more about the professionalism in this statement. To be taken seriously and be trusted, always, always, always, maintain a professional tone when reaching out with a link request.

Enough with the bashing.

When you do send out a link request, don’t fall victim to mistakes that this coupon clipper extraordinaire did. Make sure to follow these simple do’s and don’ts to write a good link request email [1].


  • Include a relevant subject that is relevant to the email’s purpose.
  • Make it personal by including the recipient’s name, company and website.
  • Introduce yourself, your company and your industry.
  • Explain why you are requesting a link from their site.
  • Explain the benefits of linking to your website.
  • Include your link and keyword rich anchor text.
  • Give your thanks.


  • Request a link trade.
  • Send out a template mass email.
  • Approach a link request with spammy state of mind.
  • Carry an unprofessional tone.
  • Request a link from a site that is not relevant to your target audience.

Next time you send out a link request, take your time to craft a well-thought and relevant email. I guarantee your link building efforts will end up much more successful! For more detailed help, read this post from Joe on how create a link request email [2].

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Article printed from The Adventures of SEO Boy®: http://www.seoboy.com

URL to article: http://www.seoboy.com/how-not-to-request-a-link/

URLs in this post:

[1] good link request email: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/what-a-good-link-request-email-looks-like

[2] how create a link request email: http://www.seoboy.com/craft-a-great-link-request-letter-in-8-steps/

[3] Apply now!: http://www.hanapinmarketing.com/careers_open_positions_sms.aspx

[4] My Personal SEO Conundrum: Seeking the Key to Link Bait Success: http://www.seoboy.com/personal-seo-conundrum-seeking-key-link-bait-success/

[5] Top 3 Most Popular Paid Directories for Link Building: http://www.seoboy.com/top-3-most-popular-paid-directories-for-link-building/

[6] Don’t Get Sucked Into the SEO Link Farm Technique: http://www.seoboy.com/dont-get-sucked-into-the-seo-link-farm-technique/

[7] The Basics of SEO Copywriting for Link Building: http://www.seoboy.com/the-basics-of-seo-copywriting-for-link-building/

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