- Link Bait: Overview
- Link Bait: Facts and Information
- Link Bait: Tutorial and Course
- Link Bait: References
Link Bait: Overview
Link Bait: Facts and Information
In general, a website that earns links over time will be seen as valuable by search engines. Link bait is not a new concept, it is an extremely effective form of white hat search engine optimization technique creating interesting content with the intent of creating maximum Internet buzz to get as many people to link to your site as possible. Having great content is your most basic link-baiting technique. You can also think of link bait as content "hooks".
Link Bait: Tutorial and Course
Link bait is any content or feature within a web site that is designed to bait viewers to place links to it from other web sites. Link bait is something interesting enough to catch people's attention. Typically, users on social networking sites, social bookmarking sites, or blogs will place a link to a web site in some copy that further entices a fellow member or visitor to click. It is an extremely powerful form of marketing because it is viral in nature, and links like these are exactly what search engine algorithm wants to see.
Soliciting links via link exchanging is less effective than it once was to the end of improving rankings. Link bait creation is one of the newer popularized concepts in link building. It is frequently, with a lot of luck and some skill, an economical and ethical way to get links to a website; it is considered to be a white hat search engine optimization technique universally.
Link bait is a hit-or-miss link building technique. Do not expect success with every attempt. However, one clever idea, when implemented, may yield thousands of links.
Link bait will be generated as a matter of course on any web site with quality content. However, learning to recognize content as such is useful in itself. Social bookmarking sites such as Digg can help to promote content. Including hooks to such services may provide an easy "call to action" for users to promote you. This is a popular technique especially used to promote news, blogs, products, and articles.
There are many ways to hook a link, in general, the following types of content hooks will work well:
- News Content Hooks
- Information Content Hooks
- Gifts, Contests, Awards, Sales, and Discounts Content Hooks
- Humor and Controversy Content Hooks
- Software and Widgets Content Hooks
- Games Content Hooks
- Evil Content Hooks
Link Bait: News Story Hooks
Providing timely news information on any topic can be the main catalyst for retaining and gaining visitor traffic. Being the first web site to report a pertinent news story will typically get your web site cited as a source via links as the news spreads. Posting an op-ed with a different and refreshing opinion on news may also get some attention. Debate always encourages dialogue, and it is viral in nature.
Link Bait: Information Content Hooks
These are resources that people will tend to link to by virtue of the fact that they provide useful information. You can provide information in many different formats, including whitepapers, case studies, research, and various statistics. For example, posting a "how-to" article for how to set up a web server is an informational hook. A user will read the article one day, it will help him, and then the user will post a link to it somewhere indicating that it was helpful. As time progresses, this may happen several times, and many links will accumulate.
Link Bait: Gifts, Contests, Awards, Sales, and Discounts Content Hooks
Enticing people with gifts, contests, awards, sales, and discounts are traditional ways to attract attention.
Link Bait: Humor and Controversy Content Hooks
You can promote your site by using jokes, funny pictures (videos or sounds), and even controversial information. People love to laugh, and humorous content is very viral in nature. A good joke is always going to spread. Traffic increases like that are almost always accompanied by links as a lasting effect. Fun games also work, because people send those around as well.
Link Bait: Software and Widgets Content Hooks
Providing free software and widgets is another way to promote your online assets.
Website widgets are simple, self-contained, value-added units of functionality. They are typically confined to small blocks of screen real estate on one or all the pages of your website. Any information that you can package in a way that provides unique value to other websites can be made into a widget.
Everything starts with an idea. Creating custom widgets can be as simple or as complex as required. You can create some website widgets by simply creating custom HTML pages. Others you can create by utilizing Atom/RSS feeds, Java applets, and Flash.
Let's suppose you own a website that sells many different brands of alarm clocks. To promote your website, you want to create your own link bait. Specifically, you want to create a simple digital alarm clock widget (called Wake Up Service) that any website can link to or use. When the widget is used on other websites, you specify the condition that your link must be present to use the widget.
On your website, you also want to ensure that your link bait is highly visible (typically placed at a strategic location for easy recognition). You can decide to use a pop-up window widget or one that renders in the same browser window.
Link Bait: Games Content Hooks
Online games and multiplayer games can be addicting and can bring visitors back to your site time and again.
Link Bait: Evil Content Hooks
Saying something unpopular or mean will likely get links and attention, but it may be the wrong type of attention. Be careful with this technique.
Link Bait: Summary
All forms of link bait have one thing in common: they promote your name, site, and brand. Great link bait fosters accelerated link building and site recognition. When done right, link bait can become extremely viral.
Link bait is not a new concept, it is just a concise term that describes an effective search engine optimization technique. Although some SEO companies shun the term as just another word for viral marketing, in fact, the term and concept is quite useful. Deliberately creating link bait can provide a large return on investment, and even learning to recognize link bait when it is created as a matter of course is useful, because it can prompt a search engine marketer to provide hooks to services such as social bookmarking services to aid in the propagation of the bait.