I am laughing at myself a little bit. This winter got a little grim around the edges, and I wound up with one of those badly out-of-control email boxes with a thousand messages in there that all need minor attention. While storming through it today with a weed eater and a flamethrower, I noticed a very grumpy almost-flame I sent somebody who was using one of those templated automated link-exchange-request-spamming tools. It was a fairly sophisticated template, but clearly an automated request generated by someone running one of those “hire me and I can get you a thousand link exchanges” scams. My editorial snide remarks are in {curly} brackets and I’m munged out identifying information of the hapless client-victim:

Hi Bacchus,

My name is Sabrina {Hi, Sabrina, you’re real purdy for a robot} and I represent [Client-Victim] of Xxxx Xxxxxxx Blog. I have reviewed your website at https://erosblog.com/ and noticed that both sites have related content. I’d be thrilled if you would add our link to your site. {I just bet you would be!}

About our site:

Xxxxxxxxxxblog.com gives free dating and sex advice for men. It is NOT a porn site, {Oh, darn, now I’m losing interest} but rather a site for articles on sexual and social improvement. {And what is ErosBlog, chopped liver?} We currently receive approximately 45,000 unique visitors per month. {In your dreams, you do.} Exchanging links will help both of our search engine rankings, {Yours considerably more than mine} and help more people find our blogs. {Especially yours.}

If you would like to exchange links, please put a link leading to http://xxxxxxxxxxxxxblog.com on your links page. {Ooops, the “review” your link harvester did apparently missed the fact that ErosBlog doesn’t have a links page.} The anchor text (title) of this link should be:

The Xxxx Rxxxxxxx Blog: Xxxxx Xxxx Xxxxxx Xxxx Xxxx. {Sabrina robot darling, I know you scanned a bazillion links before you found mine, but how many of them had a nine word anchor text?}

If you are webmaster to any other related web sites, it would be great to exchange links there, as well. Please respond to this email with the URL of the page(s) containing our link so that I may then add your url, https://erosblog.com/ {Oooh, I’m glad you said that, I didn’t know my URL until you told me} (and any others that you may wish to include), to our links page.

Thanks for your cooperation,

Sabrina {the robot}

Now, I get several of these a day, but for some odd reason I decided to reply to this one. Read the reply for yourself, and judge: I think perhaps I was having a bad day and needed to snark at someone. Also, there was an email provided for the client-victim of the spamming scammer, so perhaps I thought I was doing him a favor. I really don’t remember; like I said, it was a hard winter, and some of the minor details are murky.

LOL, if you are going to mass mail for blog link exchanges for your marketing “blog”, you ought to pay more attention to the customs of the blogging community. Some tips:

1) When communicating with a blog that celebrates porn, emphasizing that your site is not one of those stinky porn cites is, shall we say, off-message.

2) When asking for reciprocal links with blogs that put all their links on their front pages in the sidebar, it’s unwise to bury your own return links on an interior page. It’s not fair to your link partners, and they won’t bother with you. It also makes your site look less like a blog.

3) When specifying desired anchor text, be reasonable. A nine word keyphrase is not reasonable, especially when you are asking for sidebar links where more than three words rarely fits.

4) When your blog is predominantly a marketing blog, you’re facing an uphill fight to get free reciprocal links. When facing an uphill fight, you’re way better off linking first and then asking for the reciprocal. Too many bloggers have been burned by reciprocal link requests that are never honored.

5) Lastly, mass mailing is bad, m’kay? If your request makes it clear you haven’t bothered to look at my site (see #1 above), you’re just another damned spammer, so why should I pay attention to you? And if you can’t be bothered to read the prominantly-displayed linking guidelines of the sites you want link trades with, why should they be bothered to trade with you?

Good luck with your marketing project, you’re going to need it.