launched a contest in January 2006, which perhaps is link bait itself, that offers $1,000.00 for what they
assess as the best link baiting idea (
). Good ideas are seemingly made of gold.
Link bait will be generated as a matter of course on any web site with quality content. However, learning
to recognize content as such is useful in itself. Social bookmarking sites such as the famed
can help to promote content. Including hooks to such serv-
ices may provide an easy “call to action” for users to promote you. This is a popular technique especially
used to promote blogs. This topic was discussed at length in Chapter 7.
There are myriad ways to “hook” a link. There are many examples, but there are a few basic categories
of hooks that they tend to fall into. They are:
News story hooks
These are resources that people will tend to link to by virtue of the fact that they provide useful informa-
tion. For example, posting a “how-to” article for how to set up a web server is an informational hook.
A user will read the article one day, it will help him, and then the user will post a link to it somewhere
indicating that it was helpful. As time progresses, this may happen several times, and many links will
News Story Hooks
The early bird catches the worm — and perhaps the links, too. Being the first web site to report a perti-
nent news story will typically get your web site cited as a source via links as the news spreads. Posting
an op-ed with a different and refreshing opinion on news may also get some attention. Debate always
encourages dialogue, and it is viral in nature.
People love to laugh, and humorous content is very viral in nature. A good joke is always going to spread.
Alexa often highlights this when a blog with a funny post appears in the “Movers and Shakers” section
with an increase in traffic of quadruple-digit percents. Traffic increases like that are almost always accom-
panied by links as a lasting effect. Fun games also work, because people send those around as well.
Saying something unpopular or mean will likely get links and attention, but it may be the wrong type of
attention. Be careful with this technique.
Chapter 10: Link Bait
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