SEO

Linkbaiting for Fun & Profit

Linkbaiting for Fun & Profit

Linkbaiting is one of the most universally effective tactics for promoting a site, both for search engine rankings and short-term traffic boosts. There’s no special list of guidelines that sets linkbaiting apart from normal content building or promotion except the knowledge that you’re creating something that’s specifically designed to appeal to link-savvy bloggers and web content creators.

Understanding what content, features, and subjects are “in” with the technorati (the web-literate individuals, not the blog aggregation site) is a subjective, but important piece of the linkbait creation puzzle. Right now, for example, one could search through del.icio.us/popular and digg.com to find examples of sites and pages that are getting lots of press. Blogs like Lifehacker, Threadwatch, Gizmodo, and others can also serve as inspiration when you’re searching for the latest crazes. My current experience shows that there are two big fields getting attention – web 2.0 applications (which include mashups, community-based sites, tags, feeds, content aggregation, map interfaces, etc.) and trend-announcing posts (or articles) that present new data or talk about how existing trends are affecting industries. Both of these get hundreds of links from bloggers who can’t seem to resist pointing to something their cohorts will later reference them for.

A lot of folks have also pointed out that SEOmoz’s very own Search Engine Ranking Factors served as very tasty linkbait recently, garnering a few thousand links in less than 3 weeks. Other examples of this same type of linkbaiting exist across the web, ineveryindustry. If you can gather up a group of well known and well-respected industry professionals to write a best practices guide or offer their opinions on factors/trends/issues affecting the industry, you’ve got a golden opportunity for on-topic links.

The second step in creating linkbait is the initial promotion. With SEOmoz, it was easy to write about the ranking factors article in the SEOmoz blog and watch the links fly in. With lesser trafficked sites, it can be valuable to actually email some bigger bloggers or writers in the field and ask them if they’d offer constructive criticism. Don’t ask for a link – bloggers hate that (even I hate it). Ask for their advice, tell them you respect their opinion and like their blog (if you don’t, find someone whose opinions you do respect) and are hoping their feedback can help you improve. 99.99% of the time, if you implement some small changes they ask for and email them back saying you’ve made them, they’ll write about it in public.

Once a great site, great application or trendy post is written about somewhere, it gets picked up and dragged across the web. Social tagging and popularity ranking sites (like the aforementioned Digg & del.icio.us) help to give the document massive visibility to hundreds of sheep-like content creators, who’ll happily link to you (without any input). Linkbait is a beautiful thing and to those who become experts in applying it to industry niches where natural links are hard to come by (think e-commerce or pharma), a great reward awaits.

Special Guest Blogger on the Search Engine Journal, Rand Fishkin is an SEO consultant based in Seattle. Rand runs SEOmoz.org, a community web resource dedicated to improving understanding of search optimisation and related subjects. His background spans web design and development, usability and search marketing.

 Linkbaiting for Fun & Profit

Randfish

Rand Fishkin is an SEO consultant based in Seattle. Rand runs SEOmoz.org, a community web resource dedicated to improving understanding of search optimisation and related subjects. His background spans web design and development, usability and search marketing.
 Linkbaiting for Fun & Profit

Latest posts by Randfish (see all)

Comments are closed.

25 thoughts on “Linkbaiting for Fun & Profit

  1. of those topics mentioned that should attract bloggers such as mashups, community-based sites, tags, feeds, content aggregation, map interfaces none of them seem very profitable. So I guess the strategy is to get some link boosting and then sell related products or services.

  2. The system actually functions well oevr the long term, because more and more people over time find a link to the site. The blogs that do link to will maintain those links in their archive for a very, very long time.

  3. Even if the link does point to an outdated article, the user and the spider will still follow the navigation links on that page and look at the other stuff on your site.

  4. Josh, No.

    Link baiting is a holistic way of attracting natural links from sites that link to you because they enjoy, debate and/or endorse your content, ideas, or mission.

    Link exchange programs or link farms are a way of deceiving search engines to believe that sites are naturally linking to you, and deception is not good.

    Exchanging of links between sites with relevant information is useful and well received, but you’re going to want to venture outside of the barrell from time to time.

  5. Well…I haven’t made any money from “linkbaiting” yet, but I will definitely start doing it. Free traffic seems like a good way to go for someone with not a lot of funds to get their business off the ground.

  6. I find that making tools that you on your website free for other people is a good form of link building… it involves trust but people really wanted them they could nick them anyway

  7. I am contacting you through this contact form as there was no email address available.If you are in interested in getting a animated banner/ logo/ header/ footer/ icons/ templates/ mascot Designs for an exchange of a text link from your site.We can write articles for your site in exchage of text links.Also I will Do Article and Directory Submission for your site in exchange of text links.Please get back to me using the email address I have entered if
    you would be interested in discussing this further.

    WITH REGARDS
    ANGELINE