Thursday, October 05, 2006

Take the Bait - Link to Me, Digg Me, Hold Me Tight

What kind of an SEO blogger would I be if I didn't finally make a post on link bait? Without it, Borat would be casting me off as some Uzbekistani boy just spreading propoganda. Besides posting the freshest Borat video on your site, what else is it that will bring the links pouring in? I'm here to tell you.

To briefly recap - "link bait" is simply the idea of acquiring incoming links for your site by writing something interesting, newsworthy, controversial, really strange, funny, etc. It all revolves around having "good" content and letting it be seen so it may spread through the masses all viral-like. Used effectively, link bait can save an average webmaster or SEO a lot of time and money on their journey towards the top of the SERPs. But what will catch people's eye? What will they find ultimately worthy of a link?

Look no further than places like the front page of Digg, slashdot, or the popular page. "Top 5" lists, how-to's, stuff about Digg, Apple, George Bush, humorous / amazing videos hosted on YouTube, global warming - these things tend to be diggable for the average cat and seem to be what is catching people's attention these days. With that in tow, it's also important to note that most successful link bait is accompanied by a strong editorial headline / title. Just like standard journalism, it's important to bring the reader in right away and to give them a reason to keep reading in the first few sentences. Really, it's all about being clever enough and also being a good enough writer to get people to want to read your article.

Granted, that isn't much in the way of advice on what to actually write about, and while every company / site / service is unique, there is always an opportunity for link bait. Check out SEOBook's post for more help on coming up with ideas for your site. I think that link bait is a big trend in SEO that could revolutionize the way some of us go about our business. If you can master it, both the writing side and the distribution side (get your articles seen and spread), then all those days of searching for link partners, back-and-forth emailing, and paying large sums for links will be long behind you. Most links acquired through a link bait campaign will be placed inside a blog post or an article posting on another person's website, right in the middle of a bunch of content. There's also a good chance that they will be archived on the site for as long as it's functioning.

That solves just about every problem I've had to manage and deal with in every SEO campaign over the last 4 or 5 years . . . I gotta go work on some article ideas. If only Borat's latest escapade didn't keep calling me back to YouTube and Wikiquote. Man, that mofo is funny.


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