Asking for a Reciprocal Link is Standard Practice On the Internet.
Asking another webmaster for a reciprocal link is standard practice on the Internet. Webmasters have been asking other webmasters for reciprocal links since the beginnings of the Internet. The very nature of the web is linking websites to one another. It is of even higher importance, now that AltaVista and others have changed their ranking algorithms.
If a webmaster considers your email spam then he can report you. If your emails are unique, without commercials, and are personalized with unique personal information about the webmaster's website that you are emailing, then it would be hard to call your email spam.
All webmasters must be responsible in their asking of reciprocal links. This includes following simple rules and guidelines in choosing websites to include in your link directory.
Organizing a tightly-Themed Vertical Link Directory
Reciprocal links do increase your search engine positioning if used properly. Tightly-Themed, Link Directories get high ratings from search engine robots but only if they are true resources of organized knowledge. Search engines are getting very smart in their query result rankings. They include all kinds of advanced calculations pertaining to how the links point to you and away from you. They can include keywords in their algorithms and now they know how tightly linked your Themes or subjects are. Don't try to fool them into better positioning, by including into your Link Directory, a lot of websites that are outside your website's real Themes.
Your Link Directory's Theme's must match the Themes of your Website
You must not let your zeal to email and perhaps get a reciprocal link, overpower your need to create a true web resource. You don't want to create a directory that includes all the knowledge of mankind and also sounds like a soft drink. You should be happy with organizing a tightly Themed Vertical Link Directory. Be the best in your area, linking only sites that relate to you. A smaller, tightly-themed Link Directory will grow much faster than a diluted, loosely-themed, large bulky one. Your website's traffic will quickly increase, not only with visitors from your Reciprocal Link partners but will also increase from Search Engine visitors, once their robots quickly find your Link Directory pages through your Link Partners!
Email General Guidelines
If you are including websites in your Link Directory just because you want to send an send an email and possibly get a link, then you are spamming in mind and spirit. The webmaster who receives this kind of email is not a happy camper. He or she are proud of their achievements in creating traffic to his site over the last few years, millions of hits every month, only to receive an email asking them to link to a website, that in no way can remotely match their website or be useful for their visitors. This is spam. Remember the phrase reciprocal links? Please change it to Reciprocal Themed Links. This is important !
DO not commercialize your email in anyway. It shouldn't look like spam or people will think it is.
Do not include ANY links in your email signature area except links to your website.
Keep it short and to the point. Ask for a reciprocal link and that's it.
This message should only be a few lines and not a long narrative with rules and guidelines. Save that for your information on your link directory. Use a unique email reciprocal link message. It is possible for webmasters to receive the same basic message from another webmaster. Each reciprocal link request MUST look different by being fresh and original.
Do not use Let's Trade Links as your subject. Let's trade links is probably the most used email Subject line on the internet today as there are thousands of webmasters using this phrase on the internet. If you keep this Subject line then you are sending the same one as everyone else. It will not be accepted or worse, it will look like spam.
Personalize every email message Include a personal comment in the email message to each of your selected email addresses. You could include something like: "I really like the animations you had on your home page.", ".. and loved your background image" or "I loved the content on ...... page". This personal comment should prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that you personally visited their website.
Use logic when selecting those to receive an email. Before you can send a reciprocal link request, you need to explore their web site to decide if you want to include them in your link directory. You need to also use some thought in who you send a message to. A super large website will probably not trade links with you in the beginning, perhaps you should save those for later. If you cannot find a links page, they are not going to trade links either. Think before sending email.
Content has been reprinted with permission of the author. First appeared in
1999-2000 David Notestine, all rights remain with author.
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