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March 12, 2008

Linkbaiting – What, Why and How

Webmasters are always in the lookout for newer link building opportunities. And thus when Social Bookmarking came into existence, they wasted no time to understand and utilize its possibilities for search engine optimization and marketing.

They even started creating different groups to bookmark different pages on give and take basis. Things were getting worst and service providers like Digg became serious about this sort of unethical manipulation. But as usual, webmasters are always looking out for some other manipulation method.

Among all these techniques, linkbaiting became the most popular choice to get a great number of incoming links very fast (may be within an hour of publishing the content).

Here we would like to define the term ‘linkbait’. To put it simply, a linkbait is a piece of content (content may include text, image, video, tool or anything) that people would love to visit again or store for repetitive use in future or may love to share with his or her friends. The focus of a linkbait is to create a talkable product so that people would love to link to it or bookmark it for future reference. More reference to this piece may bring you more number of links.

Now, you may ask ‘what is the primary connection between social bookmarking websites and a linkbait’. The social bookmarking websites allowed general people to participate and express their likings. When someone bookmarks a website (not in his or her PC alone but online), it sends signal to smart search engines like Google that Real People are liking this website.

By some chance, if you can make it to the front page of a social bookmarking site like Digg, you will get thousands of visitors and links to the target page. And to add, this really helps to improve search engine rank.

And what else, webmasters are now using different techniques to get the most out of successful link baits. For example, when the page has got enough links and primary heydays are over, the webmasters redirect the page to home page or some other page so that they can get some PR to the Home page or for business purpose.

Whatever the purpose let be, link bait can be a great option to popularize your website and get some great quality one way link to your website.

So, here are some tips on writing successful link bait:

  1. Write or craft the linkbait for the readers – this is the primary requirement for good link bait.
  2. To write a successful, you must research well to find out what people likes in your niche. Selecting the right topic is second most important aspect of writing a link worthy linkbait.
  3. If you present a contradictory view or write on a controversial topic, it is bound to click if you can properly establish your point. However, controversies may backfire too.
  4. Do not be too commercial while selecting the subject or topic of the linkbait. People may not like to link to a commercial pieces.
  5. Make the content attractive using related and interesting images and videos. Do not hesitate to use graphs to establish the point. But you must keep things simple.
  6. Do not submit the home page of your site to social bookmarking sites. Some sites will not allow the same link to be submitted twice on the ground of duplicate URL. Deep linking is always the best in such situations.
  7. Make the URL and title of the linkbait keyword rich. Normally, the title will become the anchor text of the incoming link from social bookmarking sites. Thus to get the maximum value, you must optimize the title.
  8. Link to different blogs (relevant) from the content page and trackback those posts. The blogger will be happy to get a free link and may write about your content. Otherwise, the trackback URLs will be available for visitors under the post.
  9. Do not write top 10 or top 100, this tactics has already become cliché and they are no more worthy enough for a title of link bait.
  10. If possible, use a comment field under the article. This will help to communicate with the visitors and can help to create buzz. Apart from it, the comments will increase content on the page.
  11. Ask the bloggers in your niche to present their views on the linkbait in their blog. You can also offer some gifts or a competition.
  12. Do not put too much and unnecessary links to your internal pages. If the linkbait gets popular and gains PR, you can put links at any point of time.
  13. Comment on other blogs to tell about the story.
  14. Take every possible step to promote it. Always remember that you have almost no time to think about promotional plans once the article is published.

Whenever you come up with a link baiting idea, evaluate it and find out what others are saying on the same topic. If you find a lot of people are talking on the same, evaluate what result they have accomplished or why they have failed to get the desired result.

And to end, write for your readers.

About the Author: Anna Eliot has years of experience in SEO content writing and search engine marketing. For more tips she recommends you to visit