What is Link Bait? 8 Examples to Show You How It’s Done
Link writing is creating and publishing content to reach your audience and encourage them to link to your site. The word comes from the English link and bait. Roughly speaking, when link baiting, the marketer uses content as bait, expecting users to “bite” into it and actively link back to the site.
What is link baiting? According to top search engine spam fighter Matt Cutts, Google doesn’t consider link bait a completely illegal scheme. When a site offers users fascinating and valuable content, they will naturally link to it, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
It would be best to distinguish between good (white) and bad (black) link baiting. Black link writing involves creating and publishing content that generates natural links but provides no added value or actual value to the audience. One of the distinguishing characteristics of generator black link bait is the use of other people’s content or ideas for the sake of getting links to your site. Incidentally, so-called rewriting falls under this definition.
Thus, the line between good and bad link baiting is fragile and controversial. It can be defined as follows. White link baiters create content, services, and other assets of practical use, informational value, and the ability to engage the audience emotionally in interaction with the brand. And external links become a positive side effect of these efforts. Black link baiters think about links first and then about the practical value of the content.
Link Baiting in Search Engine Optimization
The number and quality of external links are just two of the many parameters that search engine ranking algorithms use to rank websites.
It is biased to utilize a link baiting strategy on creating interesting material to increase the number of high-quality, relevant links. However, the success of link baiting also depends on how carefully a marketing team designs the campaign around publishing an article or other content so that bloggers and social media users learn about it and contribute to the promotion.
Social media traffic can generate a significant number of links, even per web page. Therefore, the viability of link baiting depends on quality content.
Link Baiting — Examples
The first thing to do is to study the needs of your target audience (TA), to find out what they are missing, and only after that think about what form it will be most effective to give it – in the form of a step-by-step text tutorial, images, tools, etc.
In addition, draw link baiting examples by digging in the archives of popular thematic social networks and forums. For instance, in the libraries of 2 years ago, you can find some tool or article with already outdated information. Then, you can take it as an idea and significantly update it.
You can also draw ideas from other resources on the subject. For example, going to the auto-site, you saw a helpful widget. Then, after processing, use it with great success on your resource.
As you can see, everything is straightforward. Everything is in front of our eyes. We need to open them and see!
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Although such lists are top-rated among CA, sites are not very fond of them. Your top list should contain only previously unseen, functional, practical information for your complete list to be in demand. At best, you get a brief influx of traffic. At worst — the news will sink.
Well-written articles and step-by-step guides are a great way to make yourself known if you’re not famous and gather many links from other resources. However, collecting links, especially many of them is only possible if your content has no counterparts anywhere else and is genuinely high-quality and practical.
But the most common type of link baiting is the niche news race. It is a race because speed is essential: whoever announces the news first will be the winner. Moreover, it’s a great way to get links from reputable resources regularly.
In addition, you will accumulate a base of RSS subscribers who will eagerly await your latest niche news. Finally, you will get caught up! Create a reputation as a leader in your niche, and you will be looked up to.
It would help if you tried to be ahead of everyone in announcing only essential and exciting news, turning a blind eye to another informational hullabaloo. You have to know what your TA will like and what you will not like. What information will other web admins actively link to: mediocre or meaningful?
How do you stay ahead of the competition? First, contact companies in your niche and make arrangements to notify you whenever they have something significant happening or will happen through press releases or some other way. It’s good for them as well as for you! Therefore, you are unlikely to get a rejection!
This option is suitable for those who have a good imagination and good programming skills. A helpful tool, which nobody has implemented before, can take your site to the top of link popularity, which is especially useful for commercial sites. Especially, consider creating a tool that your competitors would actively use and link to!
The most general ideas include helping people find information about products and services, analyzing their sites, improving their skill at something, generating images or content for blogs, etc.
And, of course, before announcing your tool, don’t forget to develop a competent and evocative presentation. It will help ensure that you cannot utilize the instrument or utility as widely as possible.
Elements of Link Baiting
- Headline — The headline must be strong, able to grab the reader’s attention.
- The information should be of high quality and unusual.
- Visuals — The web page’s design should attract the reader, whether through images, content layout, or infographics.
Why do People Click on Links
- People perceived the content as something exciting and clicked on it.
- There is a professional or personal connection between the reader and the content author.
- The visitor benefits from clicking on the link.
How do You do That?
That’s a great question. It should make any author stop for a moment and think about what they would like to read. Instead, however, it’s about wildfires and tipping points — the link bait is essentially a creative piece that makes readers forget they’re on the Internet and steals five minutes out of their lives.
First and foremost, the link bait is excellent content. You also get valuable backlinks when you effectively write link bait that will continue to draw traffic to your site for months after the content has left the first page of your blog.
How to Use White Link Baiting and Why Black Link Baiting Should Die
Western Internet marketers have long understood the futility of promoting projects through link buying. However, specialists are also beginning to change their approach to promotion, and the phasing out of link ranking will help them act faster.
Search engines owe natural links. Google still considers them when ranking resources, despite the de facto abandonment of PR calculation and the fight against link exchange schemes. Even if “search engines” nullify the role of links in ranking entirely, natural links from authoritative resources will remain an essential source of traffic.
In itself, link earning or link baiting is not a negative phenomenon. Indeed, what negativity are we talking about when a company creates quality content and users naturally link to it? However, getting natural links has become an end in itself for some marketers. They make and publish content whose primary purpose for existence is to get natural links. Therefore, marketers began campaigns to attract natural links, barely giving up buying them on exchanges. It is what’s known as lousy link baiting.
Essentially, lousy link baiting is a form of link building. And search engine manipulation remains a futile investment in the long run. So why should this method become a thing of the past, and what should replace it? Read below. Link baiting is a veiled method of search engine spoofing.
Black Link Baiting in Action
An example of lousy link baiting is the publication of attention-grabbing and viral content that has little practical value and only indirectly relates to the site’s topic or the business. Imagine a company that provides home plumbing repair services. This company publishes an infographic titled “The 10 Worst Deaths in Water.” Events unfold like this:
- An SEO specialist convinces the firm’s head that the keyword “water” is relevant to the plumbing company’s business area, and links to “horrible deaths in water” will allow the business to move up in the rankings. But the manager does not think that his potential customers are not interested in death in the water, but only in repairing pipes and eliminating water leaks.
- Infographics about horrible deaths get many external links as long as the SEO specialist stimulates various sheering in social networks. As soon as the wave of swerving comes to naught, the external links stop appearing.
- Naturally, the plumbing company’s site does not publish other content about death in the water. Therefore, users, for whatever reason, interested in this topic, do not find anything interesting on the resource and leave it immediately after viewing the infographic. Indeed, why do they need guides like “How to fix the faucet before the plumber comes” when they are interested in people-eating leviathans.
- All links to the site have the same anchor because of the widget that readers use to embed infographics on their blog pages. Google Penguin notices this, mistakes it for clickjacking, and downgrades the plumbing company’s site for searches that include the word “water.
- An old-school SEO remembers that “toilet bowl” is relevant to the plumbing company’s business. He suggests creating a viral infographic called “The 15 Most Dangerous Toilets.”
- This hypothetical example shows that not all external links are good for promotion, even 100% natural.
Why Bad Link Baiting Reduces the Effectiveness of Search Engine Marketing
Black link baiting reduces the effectiveness of marketing and threatens the resource with real sanctions from search engines. The reasons for this are as follows:
- Link baiting provides a one-time increase in the number of external links. However, this burst of activity ends quickly. Search engines treat such situations negatively./li>
- Content published as bait usually does not correspond to the subject of the resource./li>
- Visitors who connect to a link baiter site or come through links return to the help./li>
- The content that link baiters use is of low value. Most often, it is reprinted and rewritten “top 10” lists that serve as bait./li>
- Publishing bait content gets a lot of links with the same anchor, which is a sign of search engine spoofing./li>
- How to Use Link Baiting Correctly
Can link baiting be an effective tool to promote a project? Yes, if the marketer is willing to create bait content and invest effort in creating beneficial content assets, one of the positive side effects is external links.
Content assets provide repeat user visits and new natural links all the time. Significantly, new connections are published with different natural anchors or no anchors at all. Because of this, search engines do not consider links cheated. An example of a content asset that generates traffic and connections is the world map of etiquette.
To distinguish content asset creation from black link baiting, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does this content bring something new to users?
- Will this publication help users or teach them something?
- Will people use this service or guide over and over again?
- What is the practical value of this publication?
- Does this content provide an emotional response?
- Ideas of White Link Baiting
As mentioned above, the basic idea behind white link baiting is to create and publish content assets that provide real value to readers and generate traffic and external links. Such investments can be:
- Expert text content, including product reviews, user guides, helpful expert advice, etc.
- Valid online tests.
- Useful infographics, such as a graphical story about Google algorithm changes.
- Convenient free services.
- The results of practical research, framed as a suitable downloadable white paper.
- Other downloadable assets, such as e-books, free software distributions, etc.
- Creating Valuable Content Assets is the Best Way to Link Baiting
Turn your unique knowledge, views, products into online assets that Internet users are interested in. To do this, write handy expert-level texts, expose users to services, and publish infographics. Think about the benefits your audience gets, not cheap content baits. In this case, you’re sure to get traffic and links, but that’s not the main thing. White link baiting is a tool to engage your audience, build loyalty and drive sales. And that’s more important than abstract backlinks.
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