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)
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: