I have always admired people’s ingenuity and creativity. A new tool barely has time to get its foot in the door before hundreds of mashups, info-graphics, and follow-on tools pop up. Remember when Twitter started catching on? Tons of amazing projects suddenly appeared including Twitter translators, Twitter calendars, Twitter viral projects (like, for example, HistoricalTweets). There were so many of them that it kept amazing me how people managed to continually create newer and more innovative solutions.
Witnessing that madness gives one a great deal of food for thought. To me the whole process is incredibly educational and inspirational. As online marketers, we need to learn to create successful link bait and viral content and the best way to accomplish that is to learn by example.
This post shares three simply genius (actually simple and genius) examples of link bait based on the Google Suggest feature:
Google Suggest Venn Diagram (tool)
A Venn diagram is a graphic visualizing the relationships between the sets of data with help of overlapping circles. Rory McCann created a Google Suggest Venn Diagram Generator that works like this:
- Brainstorm a question or a phrase (with X as the placeholder for your terms);
- Provide three terms to go in your phrase;
- Let the tool generate three sets of Google Suggest results (based on your settings above);
- If any results overlap, you’ll see it in a Venn diagram.
Don’t be fooled by the minimalist look: the tool is pretty much addictive!
Why are Russians, French people and Irish people so…
The tool was created based on this tweet challenge and got quite a lot of coverage:
- Google Suggest Venn Diagrams (at Google System)
- Visualize Google Searches Using Google Suggest Venn Diagram Generator (at Google Tutor)
- Hot at Ycombinator
- Hilarious Google Suggest Venn Diagrams (at Huffington Post)
- Much more!
Lesson learned: Take action the moment you feel inspired. Fresh ideas come first. If the concept is great, appearances will take a backseat!
Google Suggest USA Map (infographic)
This tool was even easier to create. All it took was for someone to sit down, type the names of the American states in the Google Search box, save the top suggestion for each, and place them on a map. Easy and fun! How in the world did just one person decide to follow these steps and then receive sensational coverage by doing so?!
This person actually did it and had almost instant success!
Note: Yes, you may have some issues with the infographic as the suggestions can be personalized (so you might see something different for some of the states, but who cares when the idea is fun?!)
- The United States of Autocomplete (at Flowing Data)
- Hot on Neatorama
- The United States of America According to Google Autocomplete (at Mashable)
Lesson learned: Use a new or popular tool with a universally familiar concept, create a visual. Often the recipe for a successful link bait is as simple as that!
3. Google Suggest Mind Maps (tool)
While the above two tools were rather fun than useful, the third actually has a lot of possible applications behind it.
“What Do You Suggest?” turns Google Suggest results in a mind map. It is very easy to use but provides plenty of room for brainstorming and getting inspired. I imagine it is quite easy to implement and makes a perfect example of simple but awesome link bait:
What I also love about the tool is its location-based feature that lets you compare Google Suggest results in different regions:
- light green will mark your selected primary region
- light pink will mark your selected secondary region
- gray will mark those phrases which were returned in both the selected regions:
- Exploring Google Suggest (at Google System)
- Exploring the Collective Lives of Google Users (at Information Aesthetics)
- Explore Google Search Suggestions Word-By-Word (at Gizmodo)
- Much more!
Lesson learned: Sometimes the best solution is to let people get behind your lens. Represent the data as you see it and let others discover your perspective. Great tools always have solid ideas behind them.