Link baiting

Link baiting – what is it?

Link baiting simply put is creating something either highly useful or interesting to heighten the chances of people linking to the web page in question. When you read Google support pages for webmasters, it is explained that building links will develop your search engine visbility – but that you need to create memorable content within your website to gain real ‘votes’ in the form of inbound links. When achieved, this is pure SEO – a polar opposite to lazy paid link investment which could mean you come a cropper either in the short, medium or long term.

Is link baiting relevant and realistic to my business?

Yes, absolutely. Someone once said to me ‘your product or service is only as dull as your marketing’. Link baiting is real online marketing – meaning being creative. Recently, during the World Cup 2010 many businesses interweaved the World Cup message into their press ads and online display messages. Altjhough the match previews, tournament wall charts and the like would be crazy competitive something dead simple could work. For example, ‘Putting the World Cup ahead of your boss’ – this could have jokey ideas and links to some of the best quirky World Cup guides/gimics. At the end of this article, you could conclude with some basic company information and a link back to your homepage that is anchor texted to your brand and main relevant keyword term for both users and search engines to see the core of your business operation. If done cleanly with no hiding of links, then this should pass on benefit to your direct business goal – ranking for your number 1 ‘hollywood’ keyword term.

What to reel them in with

Like with any quality link building you have to use your brain to generate the good results. To ease that process with link baiting, you can narrow down what type of ‘hook’ you provide to the user to create arousal and action. An SEO company called Elliance in the US categorise link bait into 7 types:

Attack Hook
Humour Hook
Contrary Hook
Incentive Hook
News Hook
Ego Hook
Resource Hook

‘Resource Hook’ is a common link baiting method. One example primary market research that is specific and useful in a particular industry type. By giving either companies or media researched information, you are actively building an online PR presence and hopefully getting in some superb natural inbound links.

Measurement of Link baiting

How do you measure whether you caught anything with your bait?! The biggest answer here is links. Using Yahoo Site Explorer or other back link checker to see how many links you have gained to ‘’. You can then view some of these links and assess the diversity and quality. Also put the site name into your analytics package, checking for referring site/traffic source visitors.

Does it work?

Undoubtedly. You may need to persist with techniques and syndicating the links to social media and traditional media will maximise the opportunity that you have with link baiting.

Happy fishing!