If you receive link requests in which someone asks you to add a link to their site to one of your existing posts, here’s why they’re asking.
If you’re like me, you receive link requests every week. They normally begin with some very complimentary words. The writer tells you that they stumbled upon your “very well-written article” on whatever subject. They spread it on pretty thick.
By the time they ask for their “favor,” you already know they want something.
They then point out that they wrote a wonderful article — surely a “great resource” for your audience. They ask if you’d kindly consider adding a link to their article in your blog. Sometimes, they even suggest exactly where they’d like to see the link. (It’s usually some keywords they’re trying to rank with on Google.)
It’s okay to say no.
Really. You can say no, or even ignore the email altogether.
The requests I receive always have one thing in common. They mention that they reached out to me via a contact form. My contact form makes it clear I don’t do that sort of thing, so when I see that line, I know they ignored my page.
I don’t feel that I owe them an explanation for ignoring their request, no matter how complimentary it is.
Here’s why they’re making those link requests.
You call those little links “inbound links.” At least, that’s what you call them if you’re the writer of the great resource.
If you write a post about another post or website you visited and you provide a link to it — which you should do — you’re giving that site an inbound link. Someone who clicks that link is taken in to their site.
SEO — short for search engine optimization — can recognize inbound links as a good thing. A site that seems to have good, useful content that also has other websites pointing to it may have an advantage with it comes to how high Google ranks it in search results.
That’s not always the case and not all links are necessarily good links. Sometimes, people might write a blog post with a negative response to the link. But even that kind of link could still provide traffic and so it could still help a site’s analytics.
Regardless, they’re hoping for every link they can get to up their own SEO. (They really don’t care so much about yours.)
That’s why they’re asking.
You can decide whether you think giving them an inbound link is worth your time.