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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.

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ProBlogger Group Writing Project – ‘How To…’

How-ToIt’s time for another ProBlogger Group Writing Project – and this time we’ve got prizes worth around $1800 USD (see below for details)!

Update: PLEASE READ ALL OF THE INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE SUBMITTING. Particularly pay attention to the instruction to submit NEW posts not previously written ones. Old posts (written before today) won’t be accepted and will not be eligable for a gift. Thanks for your understanding.

See the full list of submissions in this project as they’re added here.

The Topic

This week’s topic is ‘HOW TO….’.

Your task is to write a new ‘how to…. post’ (please don’t submit old posts you’ve written before today).

By ‘How To….’ I mean some sort of a post that gives advice, tips or a tutorial on how to do something. What it’s about is totally up to you. I’ve chosen this topic because it’s adaptable to most topics and should be something you could do on almost any blog. It need not be titled as a ‘how to…’ post but in content it should be this type of post. I’m looking forward to seeing the wide array of topics that you all choose to cover.

Once you’ve written your how to post simply follow the process for participating that I’ve outlined below (please note – to be eligible for the gifts from our sponsors you need to follow the guidelines below).

The Prizes

Apartamento Estepona

This week’s group writing project is proudly sponsored by the following companies and individuals. Five random participants (ie – this is not a competition) in this week’s project will receive one of the following gifts (listed here in no particular order – all values are in USD unless otherwise mentioned):

  • One week complimentary stay (for up to 4 people) at a beach front apartment in Estepona on the Costa del Sol Spain (pictured above). This prize must be taken in the next 12 months and the winner must cover all their own costs in getting to Spain (ie this is for the cost of the accommodation only). If the prize cannot be taken by the winner they can also take an iPod (video) instead (by negotiation with the sponsor). This prize (valued at 1000 euros if taken in the peak season) has been kindly donated by New Homes on Nubricks.com. Thanks to Adam and Chintan.
  • $100 Cash (in your paypal account) OR a month long text link in the Webmaster-Talk.com forums. This prize sponsored by Webmaster-Talk.com forums – thanks to Tim and his team.
  • A Personal license for ExpressionEngine including a personal license for the forums module (worth $149). This prize is sponsored by Marcus from Nanoblogs.de
  • A $149 yearly plan to Audible.com OR a $100 gift voucher to iTunes (your choice). This gift has been donated by Google Tutor. Thanks to Craig for this gift.
  • $200 gift voucher from Amazon to spend on anything you like. Its been kindly donated by OwnMySeat.com. Thanks to Jason for his kind donation.

Thanks also to those others who offered to sponsor this week. As I mentioned – there were 30 offers of prizes which was quite overwhelming. I’ll continue to run these projects in future and hopefully we can feature more of the offers next time.

How To Participate

Here’s how to participate and put yourself in the running for a gift (please note – one entry per person – not per blog and please only submit NEW posts).

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Engadget Redesign

Gadget Blog fans will be interested in Engadget’s new design and list of features. They’ve rolled it out in the last hour and it’s definately got a new look and feel. Here are their main change headings:

  • User moderated comments
  • Comment logins
  • Dynamic content width
  • Breaking news, features box, Engadget Mobile headlines
  • Tags and tag feeds, comment feeds, and category feeds
  • Multiple podcast feeds!

The breaking news and features boxes are a good move. I’m sure they get a lot of visitors to their individual archive pages and this will help build page views.

I’m also interested in the moderated comments which allow users to have control in how they display and rank them. Wouldn’t work on many blogs with few comments (or wouldn’t be the effort to add it) but on blogs with lots of comments like Engadget gets it’d have an impact.

Interesting to see one of the top blogs reinventing itself like this. What do you think of the redesign?

PS – in terms of advertising – the main thing I notice about the new design at a first glance is that it seems to have a lot less ads on the main page in the content area. From memory they had quite a few of them (mainly AdSense).

Qumana Review

Martin over at the Blog Columnist has posted a review of Review of Qumana (v3.0) which those looking for a blog desktop editing solution might be interested in.

WordPress Democracy Plugin Warning

Regular Problogger reader, Darren McLaughlin reports that the WP Poll plugin by the name of Democracy has some SEO problem with it as it creates multiple pages with the same content – something Google doesn’t like (it considers it to be duplicate content).

Read Darren’s post at WordPress Democracy Plugin: Warning! SEO Nightmare

103bees Adds New Search Term Analytics Features

Those of you using the 103bees search term analytics stats package (I reviewed it here) might have noticed a couple of updates in recent times.

The latest update is that they now track PPC (pay pre click) stats. So if you’re using a program like Google AdWords to promote your blog you can now track how many hits you’re getting and to which pages (etc).

The other update from the last week or so is that they’re now showing how highly you rank for different search terms (something I asked for in my review).

Lastly they’ve added a page titled ‘Rankings’ in which you get a nice summary of your top search term results with terms that you’re ranked at different levels for. This will help those wanting to identify which search terms they might want to do a little SEO for.

Lots of useful information provided in these updates.

PS: they now seem to be accepting new applications (they’d previously been closed for a few weeks).

Fair Fighting Rules

Fight-RulesAs a follow up to my post on 10 Steps to Conflict Resolution I thought I’d post this list of ‘Rules for Fighting’ that I dug out of one of my marriage counselling files.

Again – it applies to all kinds of relationships and I can’t see why it’s not relevant to bloggers (some points more than others). I hope some find it of some use.

  1. Know what you’re fighting about
  2. Stick to one subject only
  3. Be direct – say how you feel, say what you require
  4. Choose the time of your battles carefully
  5. Keep quarrels private
  6. Don’t read your partner’s mind
  7. Don’t expect your partner to read your mind
  8. Don’t Blame
  9. Own your own feelings – this means starting sentences with ‘I feel’, not ‘you make me feel’
  10. Don’t talk each other down
  11. Don’t hit below the belt
  12. Don’t wear the belt too high
  13. Don’t bring up past fights and use them as ammunition for the present one
  14. Actively listen
  15. No physical Violence

PS: In terms of a source for this – it was given to me by a friend with no note of the original source on it.

5 ways to building a better blog

Pronet Advertising has a nice piece on building a better blog and identifies 5 areas that a blog can stand out from the rest in:

  1. Content
  2. Usability
  3. Visibility
  4. Uniqueness
  5. Readers

Read the full detail on each at 5 ways to building a better blog

What would you add to the list?

Blog Translation Plugin for WordPress

Josh just sent me an email asking if I’d seen the Angsuman’s Translator Plugin Pro For WordPress. I hadn’t but now that I have I’m intrigued.

I’ve talked here numerous times about how I’d love to find ways of translating blogs into different languages so the idea of a plugin that does it into 8 languages (German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and Chinese) is very attractive.

Of course the problem with this, and every other automated translation service, is that translation is very difficult with such systems. This plugin uses either the Google or Babelfish translation services which are good for getting the gist of what something in a different language is about but which are by no means fluent (in my experience).

I guess the question for bloggers would be around how high a quality do they want to maintain in terms of what their readers of other languages are reading.

The plugin costs $30 to use (I think it’s reasonably priced) and it seems to be pretty well fitted out in terms of specifications (not that I’ve tried it). You end up with 9 versions of every post on your blog (the original english one and the 8 translations). This means you’re going to be picked up in search engines 9 times which will be very attractive to some.

One note to those using AdSense – read the comments of the post as there does seem to be some problem with getting AdSense ads serviced onto the different translated pages.

I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has tried it. Leave your impressions and experiences in comments below.