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Indeed. Which brings me to this 'thing of ours'. What we call SEO, or search engine optimisation. The glory days of the link exchange may now be a distant memory, but that hasn't stopped one plucky fellow spamming my email box with what must surely be the next logical step for any 'automated link request email' spammer.
The link demand.
Yes indeed, sir. If flattery, politeness, good grammar or promises of hard loving fail to get a response then why not attain your link through menaces?
I won't mention names for fear of reprisals, but I will reproduce forthwith (grammar intact) the demand that came through on our contact form.
"Dear Webmaster, I recently came across your site and found it useful resource for my site visitors." ...
Start off nice and friendly. After all, I need to be lulled into a false sense of security.
... "So I need link on your site." ...
There we go. Anybody who's ever seen the Godfather films knows that intent is always conveyed through tone. No begging, no polite suggestion that we should maybe swap numbers and go out for a drink sometime. Straight in with the boot. The link demand.
I need a link on your site??? Well squire, I need a PS3 and a new iPod, but I'm not holding my breath for either just yet.
... "Please add my website information and let me know the place where you have added my website link." ...
We're beyond 'pleases' now, methinks. The intention is clear, I shall be expecting a horse's head to land on my doormat post-haste.
... "Provide me your website information to add." ...
Ah, there it is, my end, tucked away in a sentence so brief and devoid of charm I actually missed it on the first two readings. The website in question has a page entitled links directory, where I'm sure my link – if I were to agree to this demand – would reside. Aren't I the lucky one?
Then follows the title for their link, the URL, and the required Description; followed by a brief 'Have a nice day!'.
And good day to you, sir. Never darken my door again.
Any comments on automated link demands or link request emails from all you good people out there would be heartily appreciated, so get scribbling.