For the last year or so I’ve noticed an amusing phenomenon with this website. Somehow I’ve shown up on the radars of lots of businesses that range from legitimate upstarts to snake oil salesman to pyramid schemes. They all want one thing: a link.
Most try to come through the back door with comments. Akismet usually catches the most blatant, but Some bot comments pair their spam link with a chuckle-worthy effort to sound legit. You know the routine:
“Thanks for this great posting. I read every day!”
Then there are the emailers. I post my email address in a couple places here, but it’s pretty spiderproof. So most of these are real people that have actually visited the website and typed my address into their email to me. I get at least one of these every week asking for some sort of link back. I’ve obliged twice in the past- both vetted companies that were relevant to my subject matter.
But most requests look like generic form letters that read almost the same as the next. If you’ve got a topical blog, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. Here’s a redacted example I received just this morning, my comments in red:
This is (insert first name here) from (insert upstart website here). We stumbled on your blog while searching for Exclusive Furniture related information.
Did you, now? Furniture? BonnevilleMariner.com? You’re talking folding camp chairs and cots, right?
We operate the largest Home Furniture & Office Furniture website
Largest where? Compared to what?
featuring more than 30,000 blogs. Our site averages 200,000 unique visitors per month.
Sure it does. And I just caught a 20 lb catfish in South Willow Creek.
As a kind note We have featured your blog on (insert webpage listing a bunch of random blogs here). We would be grateful if you could add a link and these details on your blog’s main page.
Ah, how kind of you! But no, thanks. I’ll pass on being visited tangentially by the 200,000 people buying ottomans from your website.
Don’t get me wrong, I dig entrepreneurship and I believe small business is the key to a successful economy. I don’t have a problem with affiliate marketing or link exchanges, but I refuse to feed leeches.
I will, however, poke gratuitous fun at them all day long.