Requesting One-Way Links

Reciprocals have lost their SEO value. In fact, too many reciprocals can hurt rankings; I’ve heard many SEOs state that rankings can actually go up after the removal of a reciprocals page. Instead of reciprocals, you can try getting one-way links. Here we describe how you can do that.

Finding Sites to Get Links From

Go on Google and do a couple of searches with your core terms. Find leaders. Take their URLs and plug them into Yahoo Site Explorer to get back link data. Yahoo will show you the links it is aware of.

There’s a lot of controversy around using Yahoo link data for Google optimization, but unfortunately Google obfuscates its data on purpose, so using the “” command on it is pointless. You can try SEO Moz’s Linkscape or Majestic SEO if you want more detailed link data. Linkscape gets data from all over, while Majestic SEO does its own crawling.

Once you know your competitors’ links, try going after the same links. There may be directories, which are much easier to get into, but there will also be editorial links.

Go to DMOZ and Yahoo Directory to see if you can get sites in your category to link to you. Keep in mind that Yahoo directory is a commercial place, and sites pay $300 to get in there, so you might spot a lot of competition, creating unneeded awareness.

{mospagebreak title=Making Link Requests Easier}

You’ve heard the mantra “content is king.” Well… why the hell would I link to you if your content isn’t king? With exceptional, brilliant, and extraordinary content, it’s much easier to get one-way links. If your content is really good, some webmasters and bloggers will want to share your site with their readers, providing them value, which indirectly raises their value as well. It’s a value exchange.

Learn what people are talking about the most. Do in-depth research on it and post research for everyone to see, or write an in-depth article about it.

Find bloggers and sites who write similar content. Get to know them.

The Bait and Switch

Here’s a really nasty tactic for you. Build a reciprocal page and exchange many links with webmasters. Let some time pass and then delete that page. This way you turn all the reciprocals into one-way links which are much more powerful. If webmasters catch on, they might remove your link as well, but some won’t catch on. If they email you, say that you removed that page because you read that reciprocals can hurt rankings.

The down side of this, of course, is that it IS a shady practice. 

Meeting People Face To Face

Going to conferences, parties, gatherings and other places where people passionate about your topic hang out, is a great way of getting one-way links. This strategy is rather long term and requires a certain investment on your part. A pleasant personality can help a lot.

{mospagebreak title=Provide Website Comments}

Many bloggers and webmasters put their souls into their websites. For them, it’s their baby, the child they care about. If you provide constructive feedback (mixed with a lot of kudos), you can affect their ego and soften them up, while giving them a suggestion to drop a link to your site in your signature. If the interaction goes well and you throw several emails back and forth, then move in for the “closer.”

Writing an Email

Use a domain email address instead of generic HotMail. It looks more respectable, as if you’re the owner of the site.

Email Example:

Hello. I found you website among other car muffler sites and think it’s amazing! The article titled “How to fix mufflers for BMW 3s” really helped me figure out my problem. I did not know that by switching the bolts….. etc etc etc I’ve been able to …… etc etc etc.

Check out my article about Toyota Camry mufflers. One of my buddies had a problem with his Toyota Camry muffler and here’s how we solved it …. etc….

Your site visitors will be interested in this because we’re muffler nuts as well….etc

Please check out my site and see if you like it. If you find it interesting, please link to it. You can use this link if you want to <ahref="">anchor text</a>

Did you ever fix Ford mufflers? I seem to have a problem with those. Anyway, come over for a chat at (MSN, YAHOO, AOL – make friends with them) to talk more about fixing mufflers.


Your sig

The email is a short version but it gives you a general idea of how to approach this. The goal is approach the request in a friendly way and show them EXACTLY how they can benefit. People are selfish bastards, yet they melt if you recognize and nurture their ego. I’m not implying that you should kiss their backside, but if you don’t bother to read their material, they will know. It’s perfectly natural; everyone can sense BS when they encounter it.

Buy it

You may consider buying that link. Many webmasters will agree for a reasonable price. Make sure that the link passes Page Rank if you do buy it. You can also buy blog posts with reviews. But please keep in mind that Google is getting better and better at detecting links that have been purchased, and has been coming down hard on this practice, so do it at your own risk.

{mospagebreak title=The Best Links}

If you want to get best one-way links, there are two currencies with which you can pay:

  • Money (Dollars, Yen, etc)

  • Time and effort

The first one is the easiest, but unfortunately not everyone has money for links, especially expensive links that reach $1000. The second currency is a harder path, but it gets you to the same goal. The second currency also supplies you inevitably with the knowledge, experience and character to finish what you’ve started.


You are more likely to get a link if you provide a URL to the relevant section of your website. You are also more likely to get a link if you suggest a relevant page from which to get the link. This creates relevancy, which implies you’ve reviewed their site, read their content and believe that you can truly benefit their readers. Of course, a brainy webmaster knows exactly what you’re after, but it shows commitment and differentiates you from others.

If what you’re proposing is truly relevant, then your chances of success increase dramatically. The trade off for this is you actually have to read websites and figure out the best places from which to get links.

Email Headline

The headline is one of the most important pieces in copy writing. Which of these would you open?

Profit Online With Internet Marketing Techniques


Why Most Marketers Overlook the Single Most Important Factor in Making Money Online …Plus, The ONE SIMPLE THING You Can Do to Grow and Profit Faster than Everyone Else

(I stole the second one from “The Great Copywriting Conspiracy” by Clayton Makepeace)

An email’s headline is just as important. People make decisions as to whether a particular email is spam  by reading the headline, so something like “Link Request” is likely to get deleted, while “A suggestion for your website," "article name," etc is more likely to be opened, because it’s a suggestion and it cuts to the chase, stating the actual article (page) name (or URL).

Offering Unique Value

This one is a complement to the above paragraph on creating a site with high quality content. You can also create applications that people need, interviews and other linkbait. Then email different webmasters mentioning your cool additions and suggesting how they can benefit their users.

This is a lot easier once you already know some people through forums, blogs and chats, which brings us to the next topic.

Online Community Involvement

It’s easier to get links if you already know some people in a community. They may mention you on their pages/posts, and are more likely to link once you offer linkbait. They can also help you spread the word by offering feedback and reviews.

Imagine a new person on a forum posting a link to their new linkbait. Now imagine a person who’s been around on that forum and knows some people. The latter is likely to get more feedback and links, because there’s a degree of social psychology in forum interactions, as with anywhere else in life. The new guy is not yet “accepted,” while the old one is a familiar "face."

Treating Link Requests as an Email Campaign

The biggest Internet advantage is the ability to test at no cost. Test your email requests and optimize them as PPC landing pages or email marketing messages. Send a batch, and then track results. Send the next batch with a few changes, and then track results. Send a third batch with more changes, track results and then compare the two. Stick to what works, and drop what doesn’t.


Reciprocals do not work as they used to, but one-way links work. The conversion rate depends on your approach, headline, and most importantly your site content. Focus a good portion of the budget/time/ effort on site development before you engage in link building, and the process will be much easier once you get to it.

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