Link bait is any content or feature within a web site that is designed to bait viewers to place links to it
from other web sites. Matt Cutts defines link bait as “something interesting enough to catch people’s
attention.” Typically, users on bulletin boards, newsgroups, social bookmarking sites, or blogs will
place a link to a web site in some copy that further entices a fellow member or visitor to click. It is
an extremely powerful form of marketing because it is viral in nature, and links like these are exactly
what a search engine algorithm wants to see — that is, votes for a particular web site.
Soliciting links via link-exchanging is less effective than it once was to the end of improving rank-
ings, as discussed in Chapter 2. Link bait creation is one of the newer popularized concepts in link
building. In the article at
, Rand Fishkin of
SEOmoz states “… I’d guess that if Matt (from Google) or Tim (from Yahoo!) had their druthers,
this would be the type of tactic they’d prefer were used to achieve rankings.” It is frequently, with
a lot of luck and some skill, an economical and ethical way to get links to a web site; it is consid-
ered to be a white hat search engine optimization technique universally.
This chapter introduces the link bait concept, then shows an example of what we term “interactive
link bait,” which is an
that garners links naturally and virally.
As discussed in Chapter 2, building links is a crucial part of any search engine optimization
campaign. In general, a site that earns links over time will be seen as valuable by a search engine.
Link bait, in reality, is not a new concept. People have been linking to things that they like since
the inception of the World Wide Web. It is just a concise term that describes an extremely effec-
tive technique — “provide something useful or interesting in order to entice people to link to
your web site.”
Link bait is a hit-or-miss technique. Do not expect success with every attempt. However, one
clever idea, when implemented, may yield thousands of links. Andy Hagans of BizNicheMedia
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