Of all the emerging concepts related to search engine optimization and marketing online, there are several memes that I’m particularly interested in that seem to be building steam lately. In particular is the notion of link bait.
The practice of link baiting is as old as the hills, it just hasn’t been called that until recently. As the effectiveness of former link building tactics decreases, tactics like link baiting have become more popular.
Aaron mentioned the idea of link bait in a post last October. NickW has been successful at creating link bait blog posts. Rand posted about the success of using link bait to drive, ah links, and traffic and also posited whether to offer link baiting as an SEO service. Matt Cutts drops in with some of his comments about link bait as well. Interestingly, the same day Bill Hartzer had a good article on link bait published at Search Engine Guide.
What is link bait? I would consider it nothing more than viral marketing. Something clever or fun can work very well to attract links. Think subservient chicken. Controversy works in moderation and useful tools are what I like best.
What’s the best kind of link bait? That’s a great question and it’s people like Andy Hagans that are finding out. He’s running a link baiting contest. The winner gets $500 plus if it works well enough to get onto the del.icio.us/popular list, the winner gets another $500. That’s a pretty good deal for a great idea don’t you think?