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Link bait your way to backlinks nirvana – Introduction to the linkbait concept.

Introduction to Link Bait

Introduction to the Link Bait concept

Introduction to the link bait concept

The art of link bait is a combination of creative ideas and great execution; the term linkbait itself refers to the act of creating content for the purpose of acquiring links to a website to increase its search engine rankings. The content itself is considered as ‘ the bait ‘ , which the SEO hopes to catch ‘ links ‘ from websites of value.

One of the most powerful and organic methods to generate contextual backlinks is by the way of link bait.Through this post I hope to share with you the basics of link bait techniques from idea to execution.

Firstly we need to understand the concept of link bait, so lets take a look at the how linkbaiting was spawned from viral marketing and how clever SEOs combined viral marketing with their link building efforts.

Link Bait Viral Marketing
Costs Low Medium to High
Campaign half-life Short (10 – 20 days) Long (6 – 10 months)
Distribution channel Online via social media networks, blogs and news websites TV, print, radio, word of mouth and online
Target audience Webmasters, bloggers, journalists and social network websites ( the linkerati ) Generally directly to the consumer + media outlets
Reach 500 – 2,000 50,000 – millions
Benefits / Outcome Hyperlinks from websites which increases a websites search engine rankings Increase sales and increase brand or product awareness

Viral marketing or Link bait? Its all in the family.

I believe the technique of link baiting was spawned from the original concept of viral marketing, an advertising technique used by marketers to build brand awareness through the spread of ‘something’ extra ordinary which evokes strong emotions from the audience and in turn prompt them to share this ‘something’ with their peers through their social network by any channel.

The essential ‘viral’ can be a TV, print ad, a physical installation in a public area or simply the product itself; viral marketing combines efforts in the real world and on the internet, the cost of viral marketing in general can be high, if you consider the efforts needed to target both online and offline audiences but the benefit of a good viral marketing campaign can last for a long time as the quality of the viral content is generally of higher quality and appeals to a wider audience.

Link bait on the other hand, is designed primarily for the online world, it is generally cheaper and faster to get off the ground and its intent is not to build brand awareness, but by simply creating  ‘ buzz / viral ‘ content which would attract attention from websites, blogs and gain popularity through social media networks. The ‘bait’ itself is generally a piece of creative digital content such as an article, photos, video or interactive multi-media which generally can be created with speed and little overhead costs.

A successful link-bait campaign will have a strong focus for the viral ‘ bait ‘ to be shared by a hyper ‘ link ‘ placed on a website or blog; for a clever SEO that understands link baiting, it will generate more keyword rich links in an organic way that is not frowned upon by search engines, which is in my opinion the nirvana for SEOs.

Lets consider two successful viral and link-bait campaigns,

The viral

This very successful viral by blender manufacturer Blentec is a great example, which consists of videos of various random objects been blended by their very tough blender. This youtube video alone has been viewed over 7 million times.

The link-bait

Starwars street art humar by interbent

Starwars street art humar by interbent

You most likely have not heard of interbent, a blog dedicated to the weird and wonderful from the net, and most likely you haven’t seen this particular post of various street art related to Starwars either. But it doesn’t mean this was not a successful link-bait, on the contrary; it has made it to the first page of Digg with 500+ votes and a simple Google query returns over 1,000 websites mentioning this post (not bad for a link-bait thats only 4 days old!).

So we will be using this page as the almost perfect example for us to dissect and discover what makes a good link-bait in the next chapter.

( There was no particular reason for me to choose this as an example, except I happen to stumble upon it on Digg today  and I happen to be a Starwars geek )

Up Next: Elements of  a successful link bait

By now, you should have a clearer concept of the differences and relationships between link bait and viral marketing, next we will take a look at the successful elements of a link-bait and how you can replicate this technique for your own SEO efforts.

This will include the all important development of the awesome ‘ idea ‘, the presentation of the link bait and finally look at the distribution methods.

An acknowledgment goes out to Dejan for the link bait / viral brain storming sessions which has helped me in preparing this guide.

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