Ridiculous Emails: Do Bloggers Really Buy This?

ridiculous emails bloggers receive

I received an email several months ago that left me just shaking my head.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  As a blogger, I get a lot of ridiculous emails from companies and individuals wanting me to promote their company for free or do an in depth review post about a sample size of peanuts or the like.

This one that I got, however, made me need to share it with some friends and then translate it for them into what I thought it really meant.

Here is the original email I got, with a few minor changes (just as to not promote the links they wanted me to):

I was compiling web resources for a project and found your site. Thank you for putting together this page – {link to one of my more popular pages here on Many Little Blessings}

I also would suggest you consider adding the websites below to your list. I always search for area codes and zip codes maps and location information and these two are my favorite references. Hope this helps!

{links to two websites about area codes and zip codes which have absolutely nothing to do with the page of mine that she referenced}

Thanks,
{Person Seeking Something for Nothing}

When I shared this with my friends, I also included what I felt was an accurate translation of the email.

My translation of what it really said:

I see you have a page with many links on it.  I, too, have links.  They have nothing to do with what your links are about, but what they have in common is that they are all links.  I think you should add my links then.

So, I guess this begs for the question: Who is this really working for?  Does anyone actually put in the links that they are hoping get added?

Inquiring minds want to know.  Or, at the very least, this inquiring mind wants to know.

Comments

  1. says

    I get these routinely as well.

    It makes those people who are legitimate have to jump through so many more hoops to genuinely connect with others online. When I first set up my “web presence” I did need those back-links, but they needed to be genuine.

    2 things have happened:
    1) my sites have ended up on random pages of lists anyway (despite my efforts to have these irrelevant links removed)
    2) I’ve developed some great genuine connections along the way – and these just naturally provide links with “trying”

  2. says

    Basically what these companies are trying to do is get “Google Juice.” Google ranks pages higher when links to those pages appear elsewhere on the Internet – particularly pages with higher traffic like your more popular pages. So, basically what they are asking you to do is link to their page so they appear higher in Google searches.

    In that instance, it looks like the only harm it would cause you might be annoyance and potentially a loss of credibility in the eyes of your readers for sharing something so random. But, there are some cases where this can be very dangerous for your site:

    Sometimes one of those emails will ask you to post an article to your site, and they will pay you, say, $50. Sounds like good, easy money, right? BUT, Google works like this: You cannot for any reason use a do-follow link in a post in exchange for money or other goods. If somehow Google finds out that you did not use a no-follow link in these cases, then you can be punished by basically disappearing from Google searches. So, if someone asks to publish a piece on your site for pay, and all they want in return is a link, make sure that you do two things if you decide to do it. 1. make sure it is a no-follow link and 2. disclose that you were paid for the ad at the beginning of the post.

    Wow. That was way more than I thought I was going to write. I hope it helped!

    Jenna Hines
    Viva the Blog!

    • says

      Thanks, Jenna. Yeah, I’ve been blogging for a little over seven years, so I know WHY a company would do it. I just find it hard to believe that any blogger would ever fall for it. I understand why some newer bloggers (especially who aren’t making money yet) fall for the idea of getting paid for links without realizing the harm it could do their site in the eyes of Google. I just can’t imagine any blogger thinking, “Sure – my page has nothing to do with what they’re emailing me about, but why not, since they asked so nicely.” I’m sure it has to work sometimes, or else why would they bother asking. But, gosh, I just can’t imagine thinking, “Yeah, this sounds like a great idea to add those.” LOL

  3. says

    I just started a new blog after blogging at one site for 6 years. I have been stunned at the volume of mail I get trolling a *brand new site*. Yikes. Seriously?!?!

  4. says

    I completely agree. Then they even add something like, ‘But you’ll be getting people to read your post from ours too.” Nobody I want, right? They all want free stuff too! Oh, and how about those companies who offer to have you promote their giveaways on your page with no promotion back to your page, only theirs, and they want it promoted daily… So much fun! Come visit my page sometime. Just getting started, but I plan to grow. Maybe you could post a large ad on your page for nothing? ;)