Times are tough, so we don’t blame Dell (DELL) for trying to boost its search engine ranking (and sales) with some good, old-fashioned SEO.
But this seems a little much.
Dell’s SEO firm, SEO.com, emailed us earlier this week, requesting we link the words “PC” and “PCs” to Dell’s Mexico Web site from a complimentary post we wrote about Dell last July.
My name is [redacted] with SEO.com. I am working with Dell.com to improve their presence on the Internet. I’d like to ask you to link to http://www.dell.com.mx/domesticos/computadoras from this page: http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/7/dells-new-mini-pc-looks-good “pc” or “pcs” as the link title from this page:. This linking will be equally beneficial. I hope we can help each other.
Reached for comment, a Dell rep says the request is “completely legitimate.”
It’s certainly not illegal, and we’re not even sure if it’s unethical. But we can’t say it boosts our opinion of Dell. And we’re not really sure how it’s “equally beneficial.” How does it help us, exactly?
Meanwhile, via Dell, SEO.com CEO Dave Bascom admits this sort of link request is actually not “the type of thing we normally do,” and actually “outside the scope of what we are normally requesting.” That sounds about right to us.
Dave adds: “The requested change is not necessary, nor do we expect you to make that type of change, so you can disregard the request. I apologise for any inconvenience.”
We’re flattered by the request, but until Dell finds a way to make these requests equally beneficial, we’ll probably decline.