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Are You A Link Whore?

by Eric Ward
Updated November, 2010 (Originally written May 2006)

Today (November 17, 2010) I received the below email.  I have not made any changes to it other than the x's to spare its author from public embarrassment

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Affordable Link Building Service Provider
Date: 17 Nov 2010 09:33:13 -0000
From: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Here I am saying our one way link building service I've maintain a team , people have minimum 3 year's experience In seo services. Specially link building our expertise area . We Can provide theme related good quality high pagerank sites . So I'm saying to Pm me any information you need. I am working in very cheap Rate so if you anybody interested to give me some project please PM me in this mail id xxxxxxxxxxx. 

Hxxxxx Rxxxxxxxxxx

In years past, I've received RFPs from companies that ought to know better that wanted to know how much I'd charge to get their site 500 one-way Pagerank 2 or better links.  Another wanted to know how long it would take me to seed 1,000 blogs with a link to their site in the blog comment field. And another wanted to know how many links I could buy for their site on a budget of $25,000. 

What am I, a link whore?  For the right price you think I'll engage in sleazy link building tactic?  Nope.  And it's not because I think I occupy some sort of high moral ground.  It's because these tactics make everyone's web experience worse and also don't last.  And the sooner everyone stops being link whores, the better, in my opinion.  Quit trying to fool Google already. 

There are many ways you can be a link whore.  You might not even know you are one. Here are a few example of link whore behavior

  • You have multiple social bookmark accounts you never use except when you are posting client's URLs.
  • You comment and link drop on blogs not based on subject interest but based on the blog's Pagerank
  • You buy links from sites that have nothing to do with your site but do have a high pagerank.  Example? Look at the links on bottom of this school newspaper site.  Total link whoredom.
  • You have a links page with a link to an Alaskan halibut fishing charter business even though you are an insurance salesman from Poukepsie.
  • You have asked sites already linking to you if they would change the way they link to you so that the link will include text.* (Yes, in certain instances this is only marginally slutty).
  • You send out press releases every week even though you have no news, and those press releases have anchor text links.
There are other far more nefarious tactics that make some link whores look like Girl Scouts. Link hijacking. Form injection

I'll admit I'm tempted.  Even I, the self-proclaimed whitest of the white hat link builders will sometimes ponder doing something that is just a little slutty, like maybe digging my own or a client's site, or submitting to a bunch of directories that few have ever heard of and even fewer use.  I'm not ruining your web experience that way, so no harm no foul, right?

Yes and no.  I can say with 100% confidence that you can be successful and rank well without having to do anything even close to slutty.  I know this is the case because I have first hand experience at it.  Want to see an example?  Have a look at this search result. The site at position #1 was at position 5 or worse for a decade before I created and executed a linking strategy for them. 

My comments and columns sometimes spark negative responses from people selling bullshit linking services.  I can live with that.  I can also live with the results of this poll rating the top link building experts

Lastly, over the years I have never once used any linking tactic that was not based on content merit. NEVER.  So how then can I possibly rank so well for the phrase link building expert at Google, Bing, or even delicious

I think the answer is pretty simple. Over time, the algorithms reward good linking behavior.  They don't like link whores.


Schedule A Linking Audit, Strategic Link Analysis and Private Live Consultation with Link Building Expert Eric Ward

Link wisely,


About the Author
Eric Ward founded the Web's first services for announcing, linking, and building buzz for Web sites, back in 1994. Ward is best known as the person behind the linking campaigns for Books,, The Link Exchange,, the AMA, and His services won the 1995 Award for Internet Marketing Excellence, and he was selected as one of the Web's 100 most influential people by Websight magazine. In 2009 Eric was one of 25 people profiled in the book Online Marketing Heroes

In 2010 Eric teamed with AdGooroo to create Link Insight, a link quality control and linking intelligence tool. Eric has spoken at over 100 industry conferences and now publishes LinkMoses Private, a subscription based link opportunity and strategy service. Eric has written linking strategy and advice columns for SearchEngineLand, MarketingProfs, ClickZ, Search Marketing Standard, SearchEngineGuide, Web Marketing Today, and Ad Age magazine. Learn more about Eric and his content publicity and link building services at

Contact Eric

Other Link Building, Content Linking, and Link Marketing Columns from Eric Ward

- LinkMoses home
- Link Building for Personalized Search
- The Curly Theory of Link Building
- A Peek At Google's Future
- Who Controls Link Building Success
- Why Reciprocal Links Will Always Be Viable
- When Cheaters Win
- Everything You Know About Link Building Is Wrong
- Riding The Twitter Link Waves
- Helping Clients See The Bigger Linking Picture
- Why Reciprocal Links Will Always Be Viable
- Up Close Look at Eric Ward's Link Building Desktop
- Best Practices for Feeling Sorry for Yourself
- Revenge of the Librarians
- How Twitter Can Impact Link Building
- Announcing Link Insight
- Paid Links from .edu's - Good, Bad or Ugly?
- Best Practices for Flickr Link Building
- Backlink Research Best Practices
- Rules Of Linking Engagement
- Joe The Plumber and Link Building Best Practices
- Outlinking Best Practices - Rule 1
- The Great Link Race Has Begun, But To Where?
- Why Link Building Must Go In-House
- Link Building Podcast/Transcript with Eric Ward
- Helping Clients See The Bigger Linking Picture
- After The Basics - Now What?
- Social Media Links - Spam 2.0?
- Where Trust Lives - An Example
- Why Reciprocal Links Will Always Be Viable
- Yahoo Directory Paid Link Best Practices
- Best practices for submitting to directories?
- Anchor Text Best Practices - Update 8-24-09
- What is the meaning of life, and link building?
- LBBP - The Weekly Delete
- LBBP - The Weekly Delete - Avis Edition
- How do I determine good link targets?
- Social Network Linking Addiction
- Thirty Link Building Rants and Commandments
- Picking The Right Shovel
- Interview with my Alma Mater
- Bye Bye Blogger, Hello Wordpress
- LinkMoses Linking Commandments
- A Linking Campaign Primer
- Five Things You Don’t Know About Eric Ward
- Yahoo Daily Wire Says Goodbye
- LinkMoses On The New Google Link Analysis Tools
- What My 4 Year Old Has to do With Link Building
- Social Media Optimization - 3 Rules
- Artificial Linking and Search Rankings
- Social Link Spam and Cigarette Butts
- Google's Custom Search Engine Service and Links
- The DMOZ Ship Has Sailed
- .edu Link Fallacies Explained
- Link Penalty Anxiety?
- Where Is The Mother of All Links?
- Link Bait Kool-Aid?
- Is White Hat Link Building a Myth?
- Are You A Link Whore?
- For the love of God please stop
- How does Google collect and rank results?
- The Case for Topically Irrelevant Backlinks
- Linking's Holy Grail: Passively-Obtained Backlink
- Looking for Links In All The Wrong Places
- The Yahoo Link That Can Make You A Star
- Link Popularity: the Myth of the Guestbook Link
- What Makes a Web Site Link-Worthy?
- Build A Free Link Clipping Service (Parts I & 2)
- Linking Legalities. What You Need to Know
-A Technique For Selecting Sites For Link Requests
- Potpourri of Linking Facts and Fiction
- Linkability - Some Sites Have It, Others Don't
- Under the Radar: Tracking Online Media Coverage
- Using Google to Identify High Quality Link Targets
- Automated Link Generators - Not Worth It
- Linking Mistakes To Avoid, Part 1
- Linking Mistakes To Avoid, Part 2
- Make The Most Out Of Emailed Press Releases
- Taking The Plunge in the Pay-Per-Click Link Pool
- Now Is The Time For A Portal Link Audit
- A Linking Campaign Primer - by Eric Ward
- Spotting Unnatural Linking Patterns
- Five Things I Hate About Linking
- Aggressively Seeking Links, How Much Is Too Much?
- Link Building's Cult Of Reciprocity
- LinkAnalysis Beyond Search Rank - by Eric Ward
- Portrait Of The Perfect Link Builder
- Social Link Manipulation
- Link Building Tip - Links by Association
- Teeny Weenie Bikini Linkbait
- Ten Things to Ask Before Hiring A Link Builder

The problem: Your site has great content but the right people don't link to it
The solution:
The first step: Site Evaluation and Linking Potentials Call with Eric Ward
“Eric follows the right  link building approach...” —Matt Cutts, Google


~ ~ ~ . Knoxville Tennessee . Seagrove Beach Florida . USA .  Phone by appointment only