Asking for Links
This will not make me popular but I find the reaction to the advice from a Portuguese Google Webmaster blog post to be hysterical - in both senses of that word.
The line in question is that you shouldn't 'ask for links'. The sadly predictable response is a complete freak out and 'look at this shit Google's saying now' type of meme, which is seriously close to the 'thanks Obama' meme.
It's a shame people are more interested in page views and drama instead of reading comprehension and critical analysis. Read the post and you'll see that the context is for those that have engaged in unnatural link building techniques and that should color your entire reading of the advice.
Because in the same post they single out widgets as well. And, in fact, I know a lot of folks who are terrified of widgets because of a certain +Matt Cutts
video. But there are good widgets and bad widgets. The advice was, in fact, to not engage in bad widget behavior. I don't go out of my way to talk about that because it's good for my clients when the competition is being stupid.
So too can this advice be placed into context. Asking for links can be done well or poorly. More often than not, lets be fucking honest for a second, it is done poorly. Very poorly. You get the requests. I get them. It's crap. And that's what I believe is being addressed in this post.
Hell, I'll go even farther. If you're still relying on 'asking for links' as a primary way to obtain links you're going up a very muddy stream with no wooden implement to assist you. And are you still emailing folks and asking for someone to change the anchor text on a link? Send me that request and the link will more than likely just disappear.
You want to get your moral jollies off or spend time pumping up out-of-context information, go for it. But is it really worth your time? #seo