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A new twist on link requests

I must say I found this one to be rather unusual. It appears to be a variation on the "paid post" or "paid review" theme - except the requester writes the content rather than paying the webmaster to write content linking to the requester's site.

[Name Snipped] sent a message using the contact form at

I ran across your site today as I was searching for some computer info. On Google. Your site is fabulous and certainly grabbed my attention!

I run a website also, and would like to see if there are ways we can work together to benefit both our businesses. As I am sure you have found, reciprocal links have very little value these days – getting ahead on the search engines relies on two factors…

1. Lots of well-crafted unique content on your site.
2. One way links to your site.

We are willing to supply you with “unique” content for your website in the form of keyword rich articles written on topics related to both our sites. All of your articles will be on interesting topics relating to the windows registry or related computer topics and of course, will be search engine friendly. These quality articles will help you in your search engine rankings, and will never be published on another website. We are offering you unique high-quality content for your website. In return for the free articles, we want the links within the article to remain intact. We will put links (3 to 5) into the article.

If you are interested in getting free content for your site, just let me know and we will go to work writing two fabulous articles exclusively for you. We feel your site meets our quality guidelines and would be a good fit.

Our website is and you can contact me by replying to this email, or calling either [Snip] or myself at (720) xxx-xxxx.

Thanks so much,

[Name Snipped]
Some Generic Web Promotion Company, Inc.
(720) xxx-xxxx.

Searching for a few of the key phrases in the letter, we see vartions of this template mentioned on several sites:

In this case, the requester's site was at least topically related to this one, but having a lower PR, Alexa, and Compete rank than mine. I was able to use Yahoo Site Explorer to check the inbound links to the requester's site, and it looks like more than a few folks have taken them up on the offer. The site had about 160 inbound links, and yes, some of the links I checked appeared to be buried within those "keyword rich" articles. I'm sure that Matt Cutts would consider this to be a prime example of 'undetectable spam'.

For the record, no, I won't engage in this sort of behavior - this is a questionable SEO practice, and it can only bite you in the ass eventually. Thanks for asking!