There are rumors that the incredibly popular magazine and website, Consumer Reports is sending out link exchange requests to webmasters and SEOs.
A WebmasterWorld thread has a Senior Member, MichaelBluejay, saying that he has received, what he considers, deceptive emails from Consumer Reports asking for a link exchange. Let me quote you what he said:
Consumer Reports wrote to me, saying they're "constantly seeking sites that complement our own," how their ultimate goal is to help consumers get expert information, and how my site is an excellent resource for various specific reasons (which was on the mark, they did actually visit it). They then requested a link from a specific page of mine to a specific page of theirs, ending with "Hopefully together we can help users find reliable information on [widgets]."
But a careful reading of their message shows that they didn't actually link to my site, or even say they'd do so if I linked to them -- even though they're supposedly so incredibly impressed by my site and its usefulness to consumers.
So I wrote back and asked, "I'm sorry, where exactly is your link to my site?" They never replied.
The obvious question is why would a large publication like Consumer Reports need to conduct link exchanges? Are they just automatically sending out emails to publishers asking them to link to their site? Why make it sound like they want to give a link back to the publisher, when it doesn't seem like they will end up doing so?
There are a few possibilities that come to mind:
(1) Consumer Reports hired a SEO company and maybe the SEO company feels these emails are important to their SEO campaign? (2) Another site had a typo in their link exchange email requests and put down Consumer Reports? (3) This was a joke or made up?
I am not sure but this is indeed interesting. I guess, it can't hurt to remind people that Consumer Reports does have solid information. It is just weird to see link exchange emails from large publications and companies.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.