Lee Odden

What’s The Best Kind of Link Bait?

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?

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Lee,

    Speaking of Link Baiting, I posted a Link Baiting Case Study today on SEJ.

  2. In all reality, the “link baiting contest” is the link bait.

  3. Thanks for the link Loren

  4. Ive been trying to find a way to get links for a while now and its proving difficult to say the least. I have found some softwear on the internet called seo elite but before i invest i was intersted to know if any of you have used this product and what do you think about it, i.e does it do what its supposed to do?
    thanks in advance for any help in this regard

  5. There’s no such thing as “automatic SEO”. I’ve not used SEO Elite, but it looks like a quick fix sort of program, not long term. You get links to your site by first, creating something worth linking to. Then submit to a few relevant directories, send out a press release, syndicate some articles, do some social bookmarking and find out who links to your competition and get them to link to you as well. And never stop getting links.

  6. Creating valuable content is the best link bait, bar none.

    Useful tools that are hard to find elsewhere, sharing little-studied knowledge, offering things for free (with no catch!), and educational materials are what people are most prone to link to. The key is that this content needs to be fresh and new content added often so that the site is seen as a resource and the search engine spiders visit often.

  7. One tip I’ve learned about linkable content besides your excellent suggestions is to be as comprehensive as possible. That way, the content is enough to be credible and useful, but too much information to consume in one sitting, which increases the likelihood of a bookmark.

  8. I’ve learned to write useful press releases and articles that are for everyone, but tie in my business somehow.

    I just learning how to linbait to make it useful for the person linking to me.

  9. thank you for the article.. i list the top 7 link baiting guides.


  1. NeoNetMarketing says:

    Link Baiting Talk

    I couldn’t believe all the talk about link baiting today. Almost every SEO blog is talking about it. There are many good ideas in the collection. Climb on to the band wagon, I’ve made a list.

    This $1,000 link building contest probably sta…

  2. […] Matt, Jim, Nick, Rand (again), 2, Rob, Aaron, Lee, and even Brett have some ideas on linkbait as well. document.write(“Add to Del.icio.us”) | Add to Y! MyWeb | Digg it | Add to Slashdot […]

  3. Ondas, cables, luces, cacharritos y cachivaches » Links por 1000$ says:

    […] Por supuesto, el tema del linkbait ya est?

  4. […] Matt, Jim, Nick, Rand (again), 2, Rob, Aaron, Lee, and even Brett have some ideas on linkbait as well. […]

  5. […] What’s The Best Kind of Link Bait? […]