I’ve been a Webmaster for many many years, from originally hosting my own site back in 2003 to eventually overseeing the whole list of client sites that fall under the Bring Digital family.

One benefit of being a multi-site Webmaster is the ability to keep my finger on the pulse of the in-trend SEO outreach tactics by simply checking my inbox every morning.

There was a time when there would be nothing but reciprocal link requests waiting for me each day, then it moved to people offering me their latest widget or badge. More recently I’m inundated with emails from kind folks telling me about their latest infographic, or offering to write me some ‘100% unique high quality contents’ (the pluralisation of ‘contents’ is a particular favourite of mine).

These approaches aren’t something I moan about. They help me keep up to date with industry trends, they let me see outreach from the point of view of a link target. Plus every now and then they even provide me with a great new outreach idea or put me in touch with an exciting new Link Builder.

Once in a while I receive an email that’s a little different, maybe offering something new or coming from a different angle. I usually sit up and take notice of these, the majority of them turn out to be one-off oddities, but occasionally they mark the signs of a turning point in the industry. Which brings me to an email I received this morning:

Hello Sir/madam,

I visited your web site earlier today and just wanted to congratulate you on a well presented, and informative web site. I request you to please Like my 2 sites from your google plus profile here:-


You need to click on +1 & then you have to log-in from your g-mail account.

In return we will also like your if you want

i am waiting for your reply,

Thanks & regards

This struck me as interesting. There has been plenty of talk in the marketing community about the benefits of a +1, but this is the first time I’ve seen a company actively looking to request them in a similar vein to a traditional low-quality link outreach campaign.

There are numerous posts out there discussing whether a like/tweet/+1 is the new link, but the general conclusion is that social signals are some way off replacing links as an authority metric in the search algorithms. A +1 is different than it’s Facebook or Twitter equivalent in that it can make a direct and noticeable impact in the personalised search results, but I’m still surprised it’s the target action of choice for any outreach campaign.

I’m not going to read too much into this email as the most noticeable thing about it is the low-quality outreach template, which is the type of work you can acquire for a couple of cents an email. It’s obvious that the websites in question* aren’t spending too much of their marketing budget on this campaign, but it could be a case of testing out the water before sending their experienced Link Builders onto the task.

I might look back at this post in a few years and laugh at how inconsequential the above email was. However, I might be looking back sat amongst a team of +1 Builders, preparing their +1bait to acquire some of that tasty +1 juice.

Keep your eyes open and let me know if you receive any emails similar to the one above. I’m going to keep a track of the +1 numbers for the websites in question and see how effective this campaign is for them. They might be on the verge of a pretty exciting new search marketing technique, although it’s more likely they’ve just developed another new way to blow 2 cents.

* I’ve removed the URL’s as I’m not in the business of finger pointing, plus they weren’t particularly exciting anyway.

Lee Wagstaff