The Dark Truth Of Link Baiting Exposed…

To catch a link, use the right kind of bait.

If you’ve been mixing in some SEO circles for some time or even if you’re relatively new to the whole game, chances are you might have heard the term “link baiting”. It is a vital cog in the crucial stage of link building. In its simplest form, it is the art of creating specific kinds of content that people are inclined to link to.

That’s the basics exposed right off the bat. However, the term “link baiting” is not always thought of in glowing terms. Let’s face it, “badger baiting” or most other kinds of baiting have negative connotations associated with them. Baiting  has somewhat of a stigma attached to it. With that in mind, many people view “link baiting” as a a calculated, meticulous, devious and dark strategy for getting links that might do more harm than good.  to be blunt, it’s getting links with an agenda.

It doesn’t have to be seen this way – there’s good and bad “link baiting”.

Let me explain.

There’s many different ways of building content that people will link to. A bad kind of link baiting might be causing controversy in your field. If you ruffle a few feathers you might get a lot of attention and links but in the long run the gains can me minimal and in some cases even detrimental. After all, you’ve got your long term brand to consider.

At the other end of the spectrum there are the numerous good ways of “link baiting”. If you’re doing anything on the list you might be achieving your goals…

creative content, informative content, free reports, competitions, campaigns, viral videos, humour, stories, current trends, newsworthy things, current trends, useful resources, unique information,

Ask Yourself These Questions When You Produce Link Bait

–          Is your link bait content provocative?

–          Does your reader feel invested in your content?

–          Do they want to share your content?

–          Does your content add value to the discussion or debate? (sites will naturally link to you if it does)

–          Is this much needed information that isn’t readily available?

Two Examples Of Link Baiting

1. Viral Videos

Please watch the following video and tell me if you think it ticks the boxes above. It’s made me want to share it with you for a start. 1.2 million hits on YouTube says a great deal as well.

2. Award Ceremonies/Competitions

The second example I want to share with you is on a much smaller scale but is remarkably effective. Towards the end my cricket website launched the Cricket Website Awards 2009 which invited a whole host of cricket sites in different categories to battle it out for the title of being voted by cricket fans as the best cricket website in the world.  In a matter of a week the site received an avalanche of traffic and comments from the nominated sites who blogged about and linked to the awards.  By making other website owners feel invested in what was going on and at the same time creating a valuable source of information for anybody wanting to know the state of cricket’s new media, a buzz was created resulting in traffic, links and my brand awareness through the roof.

See “link baiting”can transform your web business if done right.

A New Way To Think About Link Baiting

Maybe the diction of “link baiting” is not the best, which is partly responsible for it getting a bad rap. But at the same time its principles are sound. The old adage of creating great content rings true here. If you create valuable content that people simply have to link to then the results you can achieve are staggering.

You should maybe think of “link baiting” as an exercise in public relations.  You can grow your brand, attract more customers and stay at the top of the search engines for a long time. That’s what’s at stake with “link baiting”.

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