PageRank Panhandlers Beg Links on Street Corners – Get a Job!

    November 28, 2005

I get a steady stream of link requests for three of my own sites and a half dozen others that I manage for clients. For about the last year, I’ve had a standard template reply that I send to all link panhandlers.

Basically, I require that the link requester submit articles on the topic they are targeting in order to be given a link from the site they are targeting.

If the topic exists on the site they are link-begging for, I will consider an article for inclusion on my own – or for client managed sites. The article must be good and it must stand on it’s own merits. This creates a new page on our site and means it must gain it’s OWN PageRank over time. Since it usually goes in a subdirectory of that particular topic which already ranks well, it usually doesn’t take long to rank well itself.

Needless to say, 99% of the link panhandlers don’t reply or submit articles. Those that do usually get published and linked. Most of them rank pretty well in a short time, therefore giving the submitter pretty good PR links, and increasing the content and relevancy at my site (or client’s) and increasing the value of the links to article submitters.

This is my strategy to get links for myself and for clients as well. Submit my articles (and sometimes ghost written ones for clients) to those sites we want links from. Many do publish them and if they won’t include the article, they very often DO include the link from their links directory anyway. Win/Win. I’ve been a long-time advocate for article marketing and use it extensively to rank well for myself and others. Offer something of value in exchange for links instead of panhandling for them – it works wonders.

The thing I don’t understand is sites that are full of articles and WON’T accept one from a particular client or from me because we are perceived as competitors. That is shortsighted and paranoid. The clear reason is that an article serves as a perfect sales letter of sorts.

They are horrified that anyone who reads it on THEIR site will actually click through to my site from the resource box and hire me over them. What often happens instead is that people read the article and look up at the existing site navigation, then click through to the sales page and hire THEM. I’ve actually just done a sales job for the competitor by having my article on their site.

Well I’m so busy right now, I say more power to them.

Article marketing works to increase visibility and PageRank for BOTH of us, so many are willing to host the articles and link to me (or clients) from those articles. They are the smart ones. You will never be found in a link directory. Humans don’t look at them and search engines are devaluing them anyway.

Link panhandlers may be down on their luck and in need, but I need something in exchange for the valuable link that they are begging for.

Mike Banks Valentine operates SEOptimism, Offering SEO training of
in-house content managers
as well as the Small Business Ecommerce Tutorial at and blogs about SEO at
where this article appears with live links to SMO stories, buttons, blog posts and examples.