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Getting Links as a Direct Result of PHP Errors

There is little that connects PHP errors on a different website than yours and your website receiving a useful backlink. But, believe it or not, you could play the good neighbor, point it out to a concerned webmaster and enjoy their endless gratitude. Of course, the process isn’t nearly as simple as that and has countless pitfalls for the unsuspecting along the way. Read on if you want to know more.

PHP is “an open-source server-side scripting language”1 so when a function fails to execute, the PHP server simply displays an error page2. And it could be a pretty disappointing thing to see on a well kept website, which is why webmasters do everything in their power to minimize PHP errors. Naturally, they are human and would love some help locating them. On the rare occasion that you stumble on such an error, you could report it to the designated e-mail and add that “buddies have to help each other”. However, how do you use this on a bigger scale?

Start by analyzing the wording of PHP error messages. Eugene Krall3 has noticed that all error notifications include “PHP on line” and one of the phrases Warning/Notice/Fatal Error/Deprecated/Strict Standards. Thanks to that it is possible to search and hone in on specific websites with PHP errors using a Search Engine. Divide your search into 5 sub-searches with each word. Then refine the search results by selecting your category – for example, let us take swimming lessons. If you are bent on going for a certain website, use the “site:” function to select the specific webpage. Take a look at the first few results and select a couple of websites that look respectable.

Having selected a few possible “partners”, you should check whether they are well-kept websites and enjoy a lot of traffic to see if they are worth the trouble. Unfortunately, only a few websites publish official data so you have to make do with estimates. Quantcast is a good source of information on this4. Calculate grabbing a portion of that traffic (a fraction of a percent) and see if that works. Additionally, use Google’s time search option to look for recent updates on the website. If there hasn’t been anything new added for the last year, the webmaster has probably abandoned it and it isn’t worth pursuing the PHP error.

If the website passes your criteria for a reliable source of traffic, then take a closer look at its type of PHP error. Undoubtedly, the owners of the website know better how to fix it but in order to get on the good side of the webmaster you must research about the specific problem and present possible solutions. There are many databases available online for you to consult5 and sound experienced in the field of PHP. Alternatively, use a narrowed Google search by copying the error message on the website page, and look into forums.

Now you have all the information to start your correspondence. Start off with all the pleasantries about their well-kept website with fantastic content and super functionality. Continue with your sudden and unexpected encounter of the PHP error and don’t forget to include the URL link. Stress that you are doing this purely out of good will and do not doubt their abilities as webmasters. Enclose the methods you found that can solve the problem and wish all the best. Hopefully, you will receive an e-mail full of gratitude. Then, reply that it is the interest of both your sides to look out for each other. Finish off by suggesting that each other’s users might benefit from the website of the other and mutual backlinks can be quite beneficial.

If they agree, free backlinks are the result.

References:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PHP
  2. http://daringfireball.net/misc/2003/12/php_error_75.png
  3. http://www.seomoz.org/blog/php-errors-as-a-means-of-getting-links
  4. http://www.quantcast.com

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