Link Baiting Goes Mainstream

From today’s Wall Street Journal:

Here’s a new catchphrase in search-engine optimization these days: Link baiting.

The term may sound shady, but link baiting is an aboveboard tactic that calls for generating new or particularly interesting content on a Web site in hopes that a popular Web site links to it. Having well-ranked Web sites link to yours boosts your site’s search-engine results, because most major search engines — including Google and Yahoo — consider the number and “quality” of links when generating their rankings. And, having your site linked to a popular site likely will prompt other sites to link to your site as well.

Suppose, for instance, you’d love to have a blogger who’s well-known in your industry link to your Web site. You notice this blogger frequently highlights interesting strategies for funding a start-up business. So in hopes of piquing that blogger’s interest, you add well-written, interesting content to your site about new trends in start-up financing. Then you conveniently shoot an email to that blogger with a link to the post.

Good for the WSJ for actually getting it right. More than just great content, it’s strategic content that is also of very high quality.

And these days, it has very little to do with trolling and flame wars. Authority sites won’t squander reader equity to link to that garbage.

Via Marketing Pilgrim.

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  1. Yeah, it’s great to see the mainstream pick up on this. It’s also great to see them dispelling concerns instead of creating them.

  2. Wow ! I gotta try some of this link bait thang.

    What’s the best way to determine the top 5 authority sites for a niche/topic ?

  3. What I’m amazed by is that the WSJ seems to get it better than many in our own community. :/

  4. Sounds like the term “Linkbait” has reached the outside world.


  5. As describe here, linkbaiting is nothing more or less than good old fashioned public relations in the 21st century. If your story is not credible, then it probably won’t work.

  6. who is author?

  7. Kelly Spors per Marketing Pilgrim.

  8. But of course, Marketing Pilgrim probably ‘shot’ you one email to talk about what you just talked about.

    I wonder what I can write about that will ‘make’ you link to me? hmmm… :)

    A good read, your blog almost always is! :) Good luck & God bless

  9. What? No, I read the Marketing Pilgrim blog… and they were the first to notice the WSJ reference.

    Standard blogging procedure to attribute your source. I hope you practice it yourself.

  10. Interesting…
    I am quite sure that my intentions were to be typically cheesy, but your reply seemed to suggest that I have crossed over to being slightly offensive perhaps, and this makes this interesting for a couple of reasons.
    I wonder, dear copyblogger, if this whole ‘link baiting’ gives us (the bloggers) a somewhat uneasy feeling. I mean, even if Marketing Pilgrim did send you an email, there is nothing wrong with that. Traditional media calls that a press release, right? Right.
    And of course, this is not about attribution to source, it is about feeling comfortable with ‘standards of journalism’ as opposed to ‘standards of blogging’. I feel that herein lies that subtle difference. And of all the people out here, you stand amongst the few who probably will define that difference. Good luck and God bless.

  11. No uneasy feelings… it’s just that Andy Beal wouldn’t take the time to promote a post like that, right? It’s a simple news post… the only party who could be deemed to doing any linkbaiting is the Wall Street Journal, and they didn’t email me either. 😉

  12. Or you find bloggers that likely would be interested in your site and comment on their articles, [not so] cleverly referencing your website each time you comment.

    Your website which people can look at by clicking on your name.

    My name is AHFB.

    Wait what? Link-baiting?

  13. edit: ha, looks like first comment beat me to the obvious punchline

  14. Ya thats what i am hearing nowdays everywhere!
    A sure way to shoot up your ranking..
    I have even build this habit now :-)