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The ‘Best’ Example of Linkbait (This Week)

Leo has created a great example of linkbait in his post NxE’s Fifty Most Influential Bloggers.

While the validity of the list itself will create debate (and already has in comments) these sorts of lists tend to work well for a number of reasons.

  1. They appeal to the egos of those included – I’ve already seen a number of those in the list linking up
  2. They create controversy – even if this were a 100 person list there would be some who would be left out – at least in the minds of many. The result is an increase in comments and linkups
  3. Lists have Link Appeal – the list is a powerful way to generate traffic – particularly through social media sites (which is where I saw this list (Digg and Delicious).

Creating your own top 50 influential bloggers list is not likely to get the traction that Leo’s gained from his (at least not for a few months until people forget this one) but there’s nothing to stop bloggers creating their own that relate to their own niches.

The 20 Most Influential Pet Blogs – The Definitive list of Top Financial Bloggers…. etc

A word of warning - creating any sort of definitive list that claims to present the ‘most’, ‘best’ or ‘greatest’ of anything will cause debate and often some sort of backlash. This controversy is part of what makes these lists go viral – however it can take a toll on your as a blogger also.

Get 20 More Linkbaiting Techniques

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. Rich Minx says:

    The things I noticed first about the list were:

    1. There were only six females. Does that mean there are more ‘ultimate’ male bloggers?
    2. No Perez Hilton. Surely Perez is pretty influential these days?

  2. Ryan says:

    Absolutely amazing post. Lists have become a hot commodity these days and are guaranteed to get even bigger. This list is very good. I never knew about a few of these bloggers. I agree that Perez needs to be on the list!!

  3. An easy way to avoid controversy would be to say ‘these are the 50 (or what ever number) blogs that have influenced me the most” or anything to that tune.

    But I think it’s a great idea!
    I just might do that…

  4. Steven Snell says:

    Another one that’s getting a lot of links is Top 100 Make Money Blogs.

  5. shaz says:

    Great list, A list has to be related to a common already well discussed topic in order to get viraled. These top bloggers already have a great focus and thus get the list blogger more attention.

  6. Griffin says:

    One thing that I’ve noticed is that the larger the list, the more links I see it getting. On the flip side, the longer the list, the greater the chance that it will be boring and unenjoyable for visitors. I’ve seen several lists that just have not captured my attention and overall were way too long to be enjoyable. I’m not going to name names, but anything that looks like the following really gets the thumbs down from me:

    “Top 5’000 WordPress Themes”
    “99 Designs: Thirty of which you’re guaranteed to dislike!”
    “50 Keys to a Successful Web 2.0 Site!”

    For me, the keys to a nice list are Brevity, Usefulness, and of course Good Writing.

    The best list post that I’ve read recently had 5 pages that your website needed, along with why you needed them and some good examples (links). It was short, very useful and written very well. :D

  7. Griffin says:

    The Article I read was on on gotChance:
    http://gotchance.com/2007/09/09/5-must-have-pages-on-a-blog/

  8. “however it can take a toll on your as a blogger also. ” – think you got a typo Darren ;p

    thanks for the observation, it’s quite a bit of work putting the list together, but the results are aparrent.

    will get right to it!

  9. WarriorBlog says:

    Excellent list. I am alway looking for more popular and valuable blog to add to my reading list.

    Doing something like this does create a lot of argument and it work to getting more traffic :-)

    Doing what John Chow does also create lots of traffic. His “evil” blogging is what cause so many to link to him.

    -Sean

  10. How about the constant upkeep of bloggers who feel they have gained rank. Unless he automates that system he will continually be bombarded.

  11. Marko Novak says:

    I think he made very nice list including all the right persons.

  12. Andrew says:

    The big guys keep getting more and more traffic. It is a very good post though.

  13. Dave says:

    Lists like these show just how far out of the loop a man can feel at times. Is it bad that I’ve only heard of about 25% of the sites listed? Does it matter?

  14. I’m going to make my list today!! :)
    Thank you for the tip…

  15. CatherineL says:

    Great tips and great list. It must have taken ages to compile. And I never knew there was a blogger on the Sunday Times Rich List.

    The only thing that I find odd is that there was a link on the number one entry to Gawker Media – the company he owns. But, when I clicked on it, it just looked like a spammy link site. Have they accidentally linked the wrong site, or does the guy who put the list together own the spam site? (not a bad idea if he does I suppose!)

  16. Chris Lodge says:

    Am I the only person completely bored to death with the top 50 this or that best 100 that?

    I understand why people create them, but I for one don’t read them.

    Perhaps I’m getting grumpy in my old age….

  17. Sarah says:

    We tend to go for the top 100 girl geeks in our sphere of influence, i.e. those girl geeks who we come across at our events and through what we write about.

    Ideally we would do “the best” but that is so subjective that it would never fit world wide.

    Something else that seems to work is giving others recognition by awarding them a badge to say best new blogger based on x site! And constructing a list that way. A good example of this is http://troyworman.com/wordpress/onblogs/ who nominated our blog amongst others for this award. They gain a lot of links back from those sites that they give such rewards to and people on their site click through to see who these new sites are. (after all people are curious)

    The other thing that helps to spread the word about your site is large press based sites like wired news. We recently got a link in their online site through being quoted on a piece of recent research and provided them with our URL to include in the article. It tripled our stats overnight. The difficulty there though is retaining the hords of new readers and engaging them in the conversations. Which is a whole different discussion in itself.

  18. Debo Hobo says:

    Great thanks

  19. that was way too great list but yeah will generate some sort of comments from the critics…

    I am also working on a similar list and the good thing is that no has has created one of that sort yet. Hope that I would be the first one to do it!

    Just wanted to know how to create a good looking table for the list and good image as the header of the page.

    Could anyone help with that please?

  20. Not only is this a great idea to generate traffic, I think it can be very useful to readers as well. Thanks Darren.

  21. Klaudio says:

    let’s do it also!

  22. hehe, a great idea… Do a top 50 list that contains 50 of the people you’d most like backlinks from and watch the traffic pour in :D

  23. Adam Snider says:

    That is a damn good example of linkbait, for all the reasons that you’ve given (as well as coming with the possible “dangers” that you’ve listed).

    As a side note, I thought it was funny that Leo was included in a list that he wrote. On first scan, I didn’t read close enough to see that his name had been added in by the editor later, and thought, “Hmm, while Leo probably deserves to be on the list, that level of egotism seems very out of character!”

  24. Griffin says:

    Chris: Am I the only person completely bored to death with the top 50 this or that best 100 that?

    I’m pretty much there. It takes something really good to get my attention and be entertaining. I think brevity is definitely key.

    Danny: Do a top 50 list that contains 50 of the people you’d most like backlinks from and watch the traffic pour in :D

    Wait, I thought that was the point? ^_~

  25. (I hope this comment isn’t too long…)

    Perez Hilton gets tons of readers but is he “influential” (however one chooses to define that)? (I’m not saying he isn’t; that’s a genuine question.)

    Blogging The Movie: “How about the constant upkeep of bloggers who feel they have gained rank.”

    Given a list for the blogosphere as a whole rather than in a specific niche, I’m not sure that’s much of a problem. Does a blogger who has genuine influence care whether they appear on a subjective list created by a relatively new blog?

    To CatherineL: NxE is affiliated with eden.cc (which is “down under” as far as I can tell) not with Gawker Media. And, they did get that link wrong.

    To Griffin on a longer vs. shorter list: one approach is to subdivide. After I saw their post, I dug around and grouped the top 50 into categories:

    19 in Computers & Internet
    11 in Business & Finance
    8 in News & Politics
    6 in Society & Culture
    4 in Entertainment
    2 in Shopping (gadgets)

    More details including 2 dozen sub-categories in my post: 50 top bloggers by category.

    I hope that also helps answer Dave’s Q: Is it bad that I’ve only heard of about 25% of the sites listed?.

    If you’re not familiar with “influential” blogs in categories that you’re not interested in, you’re probably not missing anything!

  26. Griffin says:

    Scott Lawton: Yeah, it looks a bit better grouped like that. I’m surprised that Perez Hilton wasn’t on there. I think whether someone is influential depends on what sphere of influence you’re looking at. With Perez Hilton, he may not be that noticibly influential on other bloggers, but he’s insanely influential on traditional media. I can’t read or watch anything on celebrities without seeing something about him in it. So if you’re talking influence on the world as a whole, I think he should be #1. But this is obviously bloggers influencing other bloggers, so his absence makes sense.

    I like it grouped up because I don’t always keep track of blogger names, so I feel a bit awkward saying “Who is Peter Cashmore!?!?!!” The colour-coded list is much better on my brain.

    (Tangent: “Cashmore” is definitely what you’d strive for with a name like that. Anything less would just be ironic).

  27. Dave says:

    This is all very interesting and valuable, but as a hobbiest, I have no interest and no intention in becoming a full-time blogger. Therefore, I am most interested in the easiest, least time consuming ways of doing things. I would like to see a list of the least time consuming methods of gaining traffic or the easiest and fastest ways to make money on the Internet.

    They say that spending a lot of time on the Internet (or on any compute, period) harms posture and eyesight and causes hemorrhoids and digestive disorders.

  28. oyun says:

    Great list, A list has to be related to a common already well discussed topic in order to get viraled. These top bloggers already have a great focus and thus get the list blogger more attention.

  29. videolar says:

    Not only is this a great idea to generate traffic, I think it can be very useful to readers as well. Thanks Darren.

  30. Clement says:

    What I like about Leo’s list are the short descriptions of different people that appear in it. I have learnt a few things about the lives of the people that are making it big in the blogosphere.