Link Bait - Alive, Beguiling and Gratifying

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Link Bait - Alive, Beguiling and Gratifying Powered By Docstoc
					What is link bait?'Link bait' is the term invented by Nick Wilson in 2005
for techniques specifically designed to attract natural links to a
webpage for search engine optimisation (SEO). It includes a spectrum of
possibilities including a complete article on a webpage, a list within an
article, an image, a comment on a blog, a video, a quiz, a free program
or an EBook. If you surf the net, you will have doubtless noticed the
beguiling temptations that come your way clearly designed to encourage a
link from you. Good bait has the potential to go viral as your
masterpiece proliferates around the internet.It has been argued that
baiting strategies were in existence before it was given a name.
Certainly, optimisers were aware that good quality content could attract
links. In retrospect, the term was introduced at an opportune time. The
importance of links was well known but optimisers were beginning to
question the value of the once popular reciprocal linking and links that
were not natural.Link bait is unique and interesting content that other
sites will naturally want to link to. The great bonus is that you do not
have to ask or beg for the links but just set the bait and let it do its
work.Why is link bait important?Off-page optimisation (linking from other
websites) has a greater influence on positioning on search engine results
pages (SERPs) than the content of a webpage (on-page optimisation). The
search engines are judged by their ability to provide quality links for a
search. Websites accumulating links from other websites voluntarily will
be considered to have authority and their pages will move up the SERPs.
Link baiting is an ethical means to lure those incoming links.Why should
webmasters or bloggers place a link to your website?They do it for their
benefit and not yours. The link will send their visitors and their link
juice from their website to yours. The benefit for them is that if they
have good outgoing links that are regularly updated, it will act as link
bait for their website.How to create effective link bait.A great title
that is keyword rich is the starting point for link bait. Deliver what
you advertise in the title. There is a good chance that the title will be
included in the anchor text within the acquired link adding to its
benefit.The five classic link baiting hooks are:1. News - be the first to
publish interesting news.2. Controversy.3. Attacks - this needs extreme
care. There is a fine line between the acceptable and the unacceptable.4.
Resource -such as a video, complimentary EBook or quiz.5. Humour - we all
like a good laugh.Link bait is not easy to produce and it takes
considerable time and effort. You may spend more time producing a little
link bait than on an entire article but the rewards are potentially
greater. The bait must be recognised to be unique in your niche if it is
to be effective so that it is challenging and great fun to produce.
Content that informs, inspires, educates or entertains has the best
chance of attracting those coveted links. It must have value for the
targeted audience.Link bait needs to hook readers instantly, and that
means finding a format that grabs their attention. Formatting, such as
the inclusion of technical terms, will depend on the targeted audience.
Lists and guides are always good options because knowledge is highly
sought after, but other factors such as humour, controversy or
contradiction of widely held opinions will also help to give your content
a vital edge.Think about your niche and provide quality information in a
succinct way. If you have a good article, consider creating a numbered
list of bullet points at the top of the article. Numbered lists make
great link bait. The title of the list may be picked up by the search
engines, particularly if it can be included in the page title or Meta
Description tag. Searchers are looking for a list of solutions to a
problem. You can expand on the list in the subsequent text.If you have
expertise in your niche you may find a list of ways you assisted a client
that could interest others. Success is likely if you can ignite emotion,
whether it be astonishment or laughter. Get people fired up about
something and the ball will start rolling.A great deal of SEO is trial
and error. What works in one situation may not be effective in another.
It may have worked last year but not this year.There is a difference
between viral marketing and link bait. The objective of the former is
exposure and branding whereas for link baiting it is links!Link baiting
has officially been with us for six years and will become more popular.
The search engines are producing increasingly sophisticated means to
find, eliminate and on occasion penalise unnatural links. Google's Panda
update, introduced in 2011, is one example.Some have argued that link
bait is bad for the Web claiming that it lowers quality, increases web
volume and makes it more difficult to find useful information and that it
is getting near completion of its life-cycle. The author takes the view
that great effort is essential so that it enhances the web and will
continue to do so for the foreseeable future.Finally, creating great link
bait that brings in those precious links is incredibly gratifying.

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