Friday, September 9, 2011

Develop Your Link Bait Repertoire

“Develop Your Link Bait Repertoire” plus 1 more

Link to ProBlogger Blog Tips

Posted: 25 Aug 2011 01:08 PM PDT
This guest post is by Jacob of
One of the most basic things that we can do to understand how Google functions is to understand how they determine which pages are considered strong and which are not. At the very core of its algorithm is the reliance on linksóthe connection from one website to the other.
In Google’s eyes, if website A is linking to website B, that must mean that website A trusts website B. That trusts passes what is known as authority. The more authority that a website and a page have, the more power that it is going to have in the SERPs. And, the stronger the link is from website A to website B, the more authority you’re going to get.
It’s because of this that those “Get 5,000 links in directory submission” offers that are seen on webmaster forums are pretty useless. Google looks at these links and determines that, in reality, very few of them have authority. However, getting a link from a blog that is updated often and has grown its authority will, without a doubt, help you greatly in developing your own authority.
The only problem with getting links is that it is dry. You could always email people for the links, but the success rate for that is low. I used to have to do that at a job. We’d email websites and nearly beg for links… It didn’t work.
All SEOs that are worth their salt will tell you that the best links are those that come naturally. This makes sense because Google is looking to see if you’re willingly passing that authority to someone else. So, if you get a link naturally, that must be great.
The best way to get a natural link is through what is known as link bait. In other words, you’re baiting people into giving you links. Most people will automatically go to ìList postsî as the best type of link bait, but I want to present you with a series of other methods of link bait that are equal to, if not better, than list posts.

Types of link bait

As I mentioned above, there are numerous different types of link bait that are really quite effective at giving your site the links it needs to rise in the search rankings. And as I said above, the common one is the list post, so, I felt it might be prudent to get that one out of the way so we could focus on the good stuff.

List articles

People love numbers. A list article is something like “Top 10 Ways in Which Lindsey Lohan Snorts…” and just leave it blank. People will link to that article like it’s the last thing they can do. Why? Because it’s funny. It’s got numbers. People want to see the top ten ways someone can do something like that.
Darren writes these often. 5 Ways I’m Using LinkedIn and 3 Reasons Why I Don’t Worry About the Competition are two examples of list posts that naturally get linked to. They provide value in list form rather than just long, bulky paragraphs. So, it’s easy to understand and therefore, easy to link to.
Okay. Now that weíre done with this one, let’s move on to some lesser known methods.


An infographic is a graphic that contains a slew of information. For example, released a Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors. This infographic is a period table of elements, except instead of having C, O and H, it has Cq, Ht, and V—content quality, title tags, and keyword stuffing, which is a violation.
What the infographic does is take all of this information that you might write and put it into a nice, simple graphic that looks really nice. And it’s because it looks so nice that people begin to write about it and mention it on their sites. Naturally, when someone mentions something, they usually link back to you.
Another great thing about infographics is people print them out. I’ve got the above-mentioned infographic on my wall. Every time I look at it, I see that it was “Written by” and that makes me want to go back and check the site out. It’s a great way to start getting people to come back even after you’ve gotten that link.


What’s better than hearing controversy such as “Kim Kardashian Might Have Butt Implants?” You hear something controversial like that and you just want to read it. Why not? It’s Kim K. She’s like so cool.
But, all of that aside, controversy gets linked to. The reason is because so many people disagree with it that they have to write a blog post about how wrong that person is and, naturally, they link back to it so their readers can see how wrong that person is.
My favorite example of all of these is the link bait that says “SEO is garbage.” The funniest part is that it’s link bait. That person is baiting you so much, trying to convince you to link to them by saying something outlandish. And it works. People write about how wrong that person is, and they link to them.
It’s so wrong, actually, that they are using SEO to back up their claim that SEO is garbage!

Spin the news

When something is trending in the news, people tend to link to it more because itís very fashionable. Unfortunately, unless you’re in the political or entertainment niche, most news is specific to niches and it’s hard to get any sort of movement. There’s a way around that.
Let’s talk about American debt for a second. You’ve got a situation where the American government almost defaulted—whether that’s true or not can be saved for another article—and that would’ve meant borrowing money would have been more difficult.
How could a blogger like Darren or myself ever cover something like that and get some of the juicy “debt news” traffic?
Well, the best way to do it might be like this: because it will be more expensive to borrow money, short-term funds that would normally be allocated to advertising are now going to have to go to paying employees because companies can’t afford to get short term loans.
Because of a drop in advertising, bloggers are now finding that they are making less money on their websites, which demonstrates the spread of the economic woes to the Internet. In other words, we can’t default because if we default, bloggers will hurt too. There—you’ve put a spin on the news.

Expert post

This is probably the sleaziest way of getting links, but it still works. Create what is known as an “expert post.” This is a post where you suck up to every big blog in the niche.
If I was making this type of post, I’d probably link to Darren and Glen from Viper Chill and the nameless dude from Blog Tyrant, because they’re experts. The hope then would be for them to link back to me because I touched their egos.
The only problem with this is that you’re sucking up and almost begging. It’s not really all that creative. However, if you can find the right people, you might get mentioned for it.

Great content

The best link bait content really is just well-written content. If you are helping people with your content and providing a service, people are going to link to it.
I know this is sort of avoiding the overall purpose of this post, but it’s true. So many bloggers focus entirely on creating a ton of content rather than creating great content. All of that content won’t get linked to if it isn’t great, so it makes more sense to create great content.
Give people something they want to link to and they will.


Link bait is one of the best ways to get links. People naturally decide to link to you, which, in the eyes of Google, is great. And, more importantly, you’re not wasting time trying to build links in any way considered “black hat.” Google loves natural links and link bait is content that gets natural links.
Have you ever used link bait? What methods have you used to encourage people to link to you? I’d love to hear your opinions below.
Jacob is the owner of where he talks about topics such as building your social empire and WordPress SEO. Be sure to check him out on Twitter and Facebook.
Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Develop Your Link Bait Repertoire
Posted: 25 Aug 2011 07:01 AM PDT
Yesterday I shared a little exercise to help bloggers gain clarity around the branding of their blogs. The idea was to simply list what you want your readers to think and say about your blog.
Today I thought I’d share a followup exercise—one that I also do on my own blogs from time to time.
The idea of yesterday’s exercise was really to crystallize in your mind the type of brand you want to build. Doing this exercise can be powerful in framing how you move forward as a blogger, however the reality is that in most cases what you want your brand to be, and what it actually is, can be quite different.
So what is the reality, and how do you find out how people actually see your brand?
Focus group
Copyright Yuri Arcurs -
The simplest way to find out is to ask people—and that’s what we’re going to do today.
There are a variety of ways to do this. Let me suggest a few:
  • Start a survey: One simple way to do this if your blog has regular readers already is to set up a simple survey using a tool like SurveyMonkey, and invite readers to fill it out. Design the survey to test the brand that you’re trying to build. Surveys can be particularly good because they offer participants anonymity, which can increase the likelihood of real and raw responses (just be ready for some honest and sometimes confronting answers).
  • Email trusted readers: If your blog is smaller and you’re not confident of getting many survey responses, perhaps another method would be to email a few trusted readers—those that you do know read your blog. Even just a handful of responses from readers could give you valuable insights.
  • Run a focus group: One blogger that I know recently held a small focus group with a group of local readers. She had them all meet at a cafe here in Melbourne and shouted the group morning tea in return for their insights into how she could improve her blog. The face-to-face interactions were not only great for getting feedback, but also building relationships with a few readers.
  • Ask a friend: If your blog is really new, or you don’t know any of your readers to ask for feedback, why not ask a real-life friend to test your blog for you? Ask them to sit down at your blog, read over it for 15 minutes, and then give you feedback on what they think about it. Another thing you can do in this situation is actually watch your friend surf over your blog—don’t interrupt them, just watch how they use it. What navigation links do they click? What problems do they have leaving comments? This can be an illuminating experience.
However you do it, the key with this research is to try to get inside your readers heads, and learn about how they see your blog—particularly what lasting impressions they have of it.
Also keep in mind that brands have a lot to do with the feelings and emotions people have about your blog. So make sure you ask about those, too.
Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Find Out What Readers Think (and Feel) About Your Blog

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