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An Introduction to Linkbaiting

Linkbaiting (link baiting, linkbait, link bait etc) is a term that has increasingly being used around the blogosphere.

You can see in the following technorati graph the increase in its use (this one is for the term ‘link bait’) in the blogs that they track over the past 360 days (source)

Link-Bait

As the term is used more and more I’ve also noticed an interesting debate emerge among bloggers (and search engine optimization types) over the idea of ‘link baiting’ and whether it’s a good thing or not. Some SEO companies have started to offer link baiting services while others are against the idea and believe that the benefits of link baiting are the same benefits of good web practices.

As the term’s crept into blogging more and more over the past months I thought it might be a good topic for a series.

Over the next few days I’ll be writing a series of posts covering:

  • What is Link Baiting?
  • Is Link Bait bad?
  • What are the Benefits of Linkbaiting?
  • What types of Linkbait are there?
  • Techniques and strategies for Good link baiting

I’m sure I’ll cover more ground as we go along – but lets start with the first couple.

‘What is Link Baiting?’

A lot could (and has been) said about it. So I’ll make just a few basic points to keep things simple.

The term linkbaiting is a one that seems to have surfaced over the past 12 or so months and that is used by webmasters to describe a variety of practices – all of which seek to generate incoming links to a website or blog from other sites.

It is actually a difficult term to be definative about as it covers a lot of different practices ranging from running awards or competitions, through to writing attacking posts on high profile bloggers in the hope of them biting back and linking to you, through to providing other bloggers or site owners with tools (with embedded links back to your own site) that they can put on their blogs (we’ll run through more linkbaiting techniques in one of my next posts in this series).

In reality the term ‘linkbaiting’ is a new term for something that webmasters have been doing for many years. From my earliest days of blogging four years ago I know I saw people doing lots of things to get links (even though the term was never used).

Is Linkbaiting Good or Bad?

Linkbaiting is often written about in negative terms. I regularly see people writing off a post that others have written or a comment others have left as ‘just being linkbait’.

I personally don’t like the term ‘linkbaiting’ on some levels as it does seem to have negative connotations. ‘Baiting’ has a sense of trying to trick or trap an unsuspecting person or thing into doing something that they don’t really want to do. While this is accurate with some forms of linkbaiting it is not true with others.

There is a lot of debate around both the term ‘linkbaiting’ and some of the practices that people talk about it incorporating. Some argue strongly that it is just a by-product of quality content, others argue that many linkbaiting strategies border on spam, others seem to talk about linkbait as being the answer to all web promotional problems (increasingly SEO companies are offering linkbaiting services).

My own opinion on whether link bait is good or bad is that it depends upon the type of link baiting that you’re talking about. I think some techniques that people use are just good standard blogging techniques – while other things that people do in the pursuit of links are destructive to the blogging community and I’d argue against them.

Like almost anything online, people use linkbaiting strategies for good and healthy purposes but also for dubious and ‘evil’. I guess in part we each need to think about our priorities, values and even ethics as we go about our blogging and explore this topic.

Have Your Say

  • How would you define link baiting?
  • What has been your experience of it?
  • Would you consider it to be good, bad or some combination of each?

Read the rest of this series as it’s written at:

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Kazu Preces says:

    I think that building a Free WordPress theme is still one of the best ways to get links today.

  2. Linkbaiting is the way to garner links by way of offering something pretty interesting which people would link naturally. However, some black hat techniques have also sprung in this case, thereby raising doubts of whether linkbaiting is white hat or black hat.

  3. Jobin Martin says:

    I see the word link baiting here and there. But I never knew what linkbaiting is!. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  4. linkbaiting is only possible for recreative blogs. Corprate blogs don’t have any shock effect to attract links

  5. prant says:

    didn’t get that from reading this article other than the mere explanation of what link baiting is.

  6. tactics to tipping point marketing are similar to what bloggers refer to as creating linkbait. As an example of a company who’s had great success check out this post on Mint.com or

  7. Link baiting is a very important aspect in blogging. You need to make as many inbound links to your blog as you can.

  8. Linkbaitling is here to stay,its what google has done to us.Its like any other need for life just that of food or water.I miss the days of yahoo and meta tags.Ebay in the begining was the best now its a flea market…need I say more

  9. If you are a lonely fish in the sea, any attention is good attention. If you want to have a positive reputation in your area of expertise, make sure the linkbait is useful or funny.

  10. Bill says:

    good discussion. Linkbaiting is marketing and seems like depending on your site it is a good idea. I think Nike has been baiting us all for years.

  11. discussion. Linkbaiting is marketing and seems like depending on your site it is want to have a positive

Trackbacks

  1. [...] ProBlogger: An Introduction to Linkbaiting [...]

  2. [...] Recently I was reading Darren Rowe’s self-proclaimed problogger blog and he initiated a discussion about how ‘link baiting‘ was a new trend and he then points to Technorati as a resource for his claim. Sometimes I wonder if he is more tabloid when he blogs like this, Darren are you running out of ideas? [...]

  3. [...] Earlier today the site ran an article about the insideous act of linkbaiting: The term linkbaiting is a one that seems to have surfaced over the past 12 or so months and that is used by webmasters to describe a variety of practices – all of which seek to generate incoming links to a website or blog from other sites. [...]

  4. Linkbaiting Roundup…

    Linkbaiting seems to become a hot topic once again. Having enjoyed reading quite a number of really interesting posts on the topic in the last few days, I thought you would benefit from looking through them.

    ……

  5. [...] So while Darren is doing a series on link baiting techniques, Todd Malicoat of Stuntdubl points to Andy Hagans as the “Master of Link Baiter”. Just look at his link baiting fees: I am now offering a link baiting service on a limited basis. [...]

  6. [...] Problogger Link Baiting Series (in progress) | Problogger [...]

  7. [...] Problogger Link Baiting Series (in progress) | Problogger [...]

  8. [...] 5.  Get involved with your blogging neighbors.  Most niches are like communities, bloggers are by nature a sociable bunch and are happy to share tips and chat over IM or email.  Read all the major blogs on similar topics and leave thoughtful comments on posts you like (or dislike).  Join in the conversations on hot topics.  Consider linkbaiting. [...]

  9. [...] Nick Wilson’s classic post, “The Art of Linkbaiting“ Darren Rowse, “Introduction to Linkbaiting“ Google’s Matt Cutts: “SEO Advice Linkbait and Linkbaiting” [...]

  10. [...] Nick Wilson’s classic post, “The Art of Linkbaiting“ Darren Rowse, “Introduction to Linkbaiting“ Google’s Matt Cutts: “SEO Advice Linkbait and Linkbaiting” [...]

  11. [...] Problogger Link Baiting Series | Problogger [...]

  12. [...] Introduction to Linkbaiting [...]

  13. [...] This post is in reference to ProBlogger’s article on an intro to linkBaiting, I am not going to try to explain the definition, as he has defined it very well on his site. I mainly wanted to share this link with you as a great source of information – and if you have not been to his blog as of yet, you should add it to your reader. This is a snippet of the article for those that want a quick definition- The term linkbaiting is a one that seems to have surfaced over the past 12 or so months and that is used by webmasters to describe a variety of practices – all of which seek to generate incoming links to a website or blog from other sites. [...]

  14. [...] Darron Rowse (of Problogger) states, “It is actually a difficult term to be definitive about as it covers a lot of different practices ranging from running awards or competitions, through to writing attacking posts on high profile bloggers in the hope of them biting back and linking to you, through to providing other bloggers or site owners with tools (with embedded links back to your own site) that they can put on their blogs… In reality the term ‘linkbaiting’ is a new term for something that webmasters have been doing for many years.” [...]

  15. [...] Yes, I am whoring out Shakespeare for effect, but I’m hardly the first. I really want to chime in on this “Is Linkbait bad – to be or not to be” discussion that’s been going as of late. The main facets being discussed are: A. Is linkbait badly named? B. Is linkbait bad? and C. Does linkbait drive bad traffic? [...]

  16. [...] An Introduction to Linkbaiting (Problogger) [...]

  17. [...] An introduction to linkbaiting [...]

  18. [...] An introduction to linkbaiting [...]

  19. [...] An Introduction to Linkbaiting [...]

  20. [...] Also read: An Introduction to LinkBaiting by ProBlogger’s Darren Rowse. [...]

  21. [...] linkbaiting doesn’t necessarily reflect this aspect of organic growth on the Web; in fact, as suggested by Darren Rowse, its negative connotations rather expose the idea of clever tricks, traps, deceptions or even [...]

  22. [...] linkbaiting doesn’t necessarily reflect this aspect of organic growth on the Web; in fact, as suggested by Darren Rowse, its negative connotations rather expose the idea of clever tricks, traps, deceptions or even [...]

  23. [...] What is Linkbait An introduction to linkbaiting Time wins linkbaiter of the year award 20 Linkbaiting Techniques How to Cut Through the Clutter of [...]

  24. [...] Rowse from Problogger wrote: The term linkbaiting is a one that seems to have surfaced over the past 12 or so months and [...]

  25. [...] tactics to tipping point marketing are similar to what bloggers refer to as creating linkbait. As an example of a company who’s had great success check out this post on Mint.com or [...]