Traditional Examples of Link Bait
One typical baiting scheme is a prank — or something otherwise extremely funny and/or controver-
sial. Typically, if a certain amount of momentum is created, that is, a few users see it and post it, the
rest becomes automatic, as hundreds or thousands of users spread the link about the Internet. One fine
example is Zug’s “Viagra Prank.” Viagra, one of the most queried key phrases in the search engine land-
scape, is also extremely competitive.
In Zug’s “Viagra Prank,”
, the author writes about a man who
attempts to order Viagra from a Viagra spam site, and reflects on his experience. It’s actually rather funny.
So funny, in fact, that we’ve decided to place it in this book. After reading this book, you may choose to tell
your friend and place it on your blog. And the cycle continues. That particular page has been in Google’s
top 10 for “viagra” for many months (at the time of writing), because there are many hundreds of high-
quality links linking to it.
Another example of link bait is Burger King’s “Subservient Chicken,” a funny game where you can tell
a man dressed up as a chicken what to do; and a more narcissistic example is a blog entry on the SEO
). Other traditionally successful examples of link bait include
contests, funny pictures, and cartoons.
Unfortunately, some of these link bait examples are not well-suited to straight-edge sites. A particular
scheme may look funny and hook links on a personal web site, but may simply look too unprofessional
in the context of a commercial site. One form of link bait that can be adapted to any kind of site — even
the more conservative ones — is the interactive
. These tools provide free, useful functionality to
users, but usually require at least some programming on the part of the web developer.
Lastly, do not forget that extremely valuable or insightful content is the original link bait. High-quality
content is important for many other reasons. Matt Cutts affirms this when he states “if everything you
ever say is controversial, it can be entertaining, but it’s harder to maintain credibility over the long haul.”
We could not agree more. And for some sites, being controversial is simply not an option.
Interactive Link Bait: Put on Your
Interactive link bait is an interactive application that attracts links. It’s typically useful, or at least cute.
Common examples of electronic link bait are RustyBrick’s
Future Page Rank Predictor
), which purports to be a tool to foretell your page
rank on the next update (but also notes that it’s entirely fictitious), and Text-Link-Ads’ Link Calculator
The latter is an example of a useful tool. A tool to approximate the value of a link on a page should attract
many relevant links from the search engine marketing community. And, in our opinion, it does usually
manage to calculate reasonable ballpark estimations.
Chapter 10: Link Bait
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