Where Should You Ask People to Link?

The first step in linkbuilding is to place links in places like Google Places, Brownbook, Thomasnet, Spoke, Blogcatalog, Yelp, and other places where people look for information. Typically, your task there is just to do a great job of describing your website so that visitors will want to click through when they’re interested in your goods and services.

Once you’ve made sure you have excellent links in all of those DIY listings, you must build relationships and ask for links — not from your friends and neighbors, but from websites whose visitors would benefit from knowing about you.

If you share health information at your website, then websites that list sources of information on those topics should include you in their lists. If you make wholesome snacks, bloggers who write about such foods should write about you. If you create software, then sites that review software should review your stuff.

Assuming you choose well — that is, that your goods and services really are a good fit for the readers of the sites you contact — then you shouldn’t have trouble getting those links.

Now we have been asked the next logical question: where should you ask to have those links go? Do you want people to link to your homepage or to a specific post or page?

Links to inner pages of your website are great — they can bring people to more parts of your website and they create the variety that shows your website is a valuable site. They’re slightly less common for most websites than links to the homepage. Because of this, it makes sense to ask for links to many parts of your website.

However, you need to think about the sites where you’re requesting those links, and what part of your content their readers will find most useful or entertaining.

There are several possibilities:

  • The first choice is to direct the webmaster to your website, pointing out some useful things they might like, and leave it up to them. This is the first choice because it gives you the most natural results. Your request might be something like this:

Your website is a wonderful resource for parents, and I can tell you put a lot of work into it. I think our website would be useful to your readers. Not only do we have pages specifically for parents, such as ParentPage, but we also have games for kids, as you can see on KidPage1 and KidPage2. I hope you’ll visit our website and, if you agree that we could be a valuable resource for your readers, add our site to your list on SitePage. Thank you for your time.

  • The second choice is to suggest a specific interior page that the webmaster might like. This is especially good if you have a clearly commercial website, since the webmaster is not likely to link to your entire site, but will link to an interior page if it has the kind of information his or her readers value. Your request might include something like this:

I notice that has a list of financial calculators on, and that you haven’t included a mortgage calculator. We think the mortgage calculator on would be a great addition to your website.

  • The third choice would be to call your website to the attention of the webmaster generally. This is especially good when your whole site is relevant to their goals, when you really think they might not know about your website, or when they have listed other sites similar to yours. Your request might include something like this:

I wanted to make sure that you were aware of another resource on science literacy, It seems to me that our websites are working toward similar goals and that your visitors might benefit from knowing about OurSite.

In any of these cases, a positive response from the webmaster could lead to guest blogging or other opportunities for mutual support.

As is so often the case, your best strategy is based on what you have in the way of resources, your goals, and the goals of the people you’re approaching.







4 responses to “Where Should You Ask People to Link?”

  1. Jonathan Avatar

    When scouting potential linkbuilding opportunities it is important to recognize the quality and authority of the linking pages, is that not so? Will Google penalize your page rank for having an un-trustworthy link?

    1. Rebecca Haden Avatar

      Google knows that we can’t control who links to us, but can also spot shady linkbuilding practices — no one naturally gets 62 bad directory links in half an hour, after all. So the negative results with Google are hardly ever from one link. As for the importance of choosing well when you request links — absolutely! Even if it doesn’t do you harm, a link from an untrustworthy page won’t do you any good. Think of the time involved in finding suitable pages, reading the site to help craft a suitable link request, writing that email… There’s no point in doing that for a link that won’t reflect well on your site and/or bring you traffic.

  2. W Brian Duncan (AKA IPBrian) Avatar

    Thanks Rebecca for answering this question. I recently added a creative commons photo use button on my website to make it easier for visitors to use my images for non-commercial purposes on their own blogs. It also happens to automatically generate the code that links back to me. Based on the above, I have it set to link to the specific post.

    Subsequently if you need some images for your blog posts, please feel free to use some of mine (with a attribution link of course). 😉

    1. Rebecca Haden Avatar

      Hey, thanks! That’s a nice offer, and I hope other visitors take you up on it, too. Sharing with attribution is good for the internet.

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