Hopefully this isn’t too harsh. I received a request today to alter an old blog post in a way that I can only assume is all about Search Engine Optimization. The communication was mostly generalized flattery with a pass at being respectful of the integrity of my writing, but not enough that I think they actually took time to read through that specific post or any of my other writing. I figured that the initial communication and my response might be interesting to those who’ve never had interaction with SEO folks. Names and info removed.
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 18:10:32 -0400
Subject: Contact Request: Link in Blog Post
You have contact request!
Link in Blog Post
I hope this message finds you well. I’m currently working on cleaning up [company name].com’s online presence and noticed you have a link to our site in your blog post. First off, thank you for finding us valuable enough to link to – we appreciate it! Part our clean-up process includes adjusting links to match the current title we’re using on our site outside of the [company name] brand name.
Your Post with Link: [link removed]
If you could please change the current link text from saying “[company name]” to “[company name] [important industry keywords]” it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for taking the time. Let me know if you have any questions on this change seeing as I fully want to respect your blog post as is as well. I look forward to hearing back!
I am not a big fan of altering links just to serve Search Engine Optimization. If your request below is really about cleaning up branding, I would gladly change the link but if I do so I would also add a nofollow tag. If [company name] prefers not to be linked to in this manner, or the original form from the blog post I wrote over 4 years ago, I’d gladly change the post to remove the link.
Just as a side note if you don’t know already, many bloggers are going to be defensive about this sort of thing. I’m not trying to be difficult, but taking time to edit a post just to serve your employer’s search rankings isn’t on my list of priorities.
I am a bit curious what sort of success rate you have with this type of request.