Archive for November 21st, 2008

Linkbait

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Getting quality links to your website is paramount to its success in the search engines.  There are many ways of doing this including submission to directories, reciprocal linking, and paying for links. Some of these techniques are frowned upon by the search engines who feel that “artificial” linking creates a false impression of a site’s popularity and can hinder their goal of displaying the most relevant pages in the search results.

Many SEOs and Internet marketing specialists will tell you that the best way to get links to your site is to write interesting and entertaining content that people will naturally want to link to.  This has many benefits - it’s free, can result in a huge number of links and traffic and complies with the search engine guidelines.  However, this is more easily said than done.

Writing content for the purpose of getting links to your site is known as link baiting.  The general rule for link baiting is that in order for it to be successful, your content should include a hook.  This should be something that makes your page useful or entertaining and makes people want to reference your page with a link.

In an article entitled “the art of linkbaiting” Nick Wilson identified 5 distinct types of hook that can be used to generate interest to your blog or post.  These hooks are as follows:

News Hook - If you can get the scoop first, you can get a great deal of traffic and links to your post.  You need to know your industry and have up to date information on news events to make the most of this hook.

Contrary Hook - This is a very common approach.  Find a hot topic and disagree with popular opinion.  People love controversy, but be aware that playing devil’s advocate is risky business.

Attack Hook - As above but more aggressive (and therefore more risky).

Resource Hook - This could be a guide or list of services.  Any information that serves as a good resource is likely to have value and therefore be link worthy.

Humour Hook - If done well, these can be very popular.  Just write something humorous about your subject or post funny images.  Keep it short and sweet and the links will come flooding in.

All of the above techniques are tried and tested methods that help improve the success of your linkbait.  However, your linkbait must have some initial audience for linkbait to work.  If no one sees your article, it will not be successful regardless of how good it is.  Developing an initial audience is essential and will be covered in tomorrow’s blog.