The Age Of Link Bait Cometh

I was reading an article from Colin McDougall at Revenews:

Takeaways from Discussion with Matt Cutts – The Google Update is Coming

The Stanford report introduces a measure of link manipulation called Spam Mass (how much PageRank has accumulated from spam pages). When duplicate content filters are combined with spam mass level, article spam effectiveness will be diminished.

Looks like article marketing is about to get a kick in the pants from Google.

I’m not sure what the difference is between article spam and one of your articles being picked up enmasse. I thought the idea was to write something well and interesting so that it would be picked up and widely circulated? :insert-googley-eyes-here:

With Google shutting down the value of various methods of free web promotion (link exchanges, directory listings, article marketing, etc.), what’s an average webmaster to do to get their site humming?

Although always done on some level, there’s been a big clue zipping around the past few months:

Link Bait

What is link bait? Aaron Wall wrote about it last summer: Link Bait and so did Bill Hartzer last month Use Link Bait to Catch Better Rankings.

Basically link bait is something unique to your site that is ‘buzz worthy’. Create buzz – the links storm in.

A Few Link Bait Techniques

Websites & Blogs Offering Free Tools

  • Lots of links and buzz pointing to your site for the freebie. This can be free scripts, free browser tools (Firefox is a biggy), free keyword tools – something that would be very useful to your target audience. Create it yourself or hire someone to do it.

Contests

  • Can be SEO contests like we’ve been seeing, or simpler things like monthly prize draws. If giving away money or prizes, do your homework and find out what the laws and legal expectations are. You can also hijack a buzzed about contest and grab links for yourself that way.

Scandal & Flame Wars

  • Carefully done, it can bring and hook a following. Drive with caution :lol:.

Friends can help kickstart the buzz by posting about it on their blogs or circulating the news on forums for you. Again – friends and connections online can make a difference.

Regularly take a peek at what’s getting attention:

Del.icio.us
Technorati
Reddit
Digg

Yes there’s some manipulation in there too. But it’s still worthwhile to watch and see what’s popular. Use that information to create your own ‘Digg-Worthy’ link bait.

Getting a lot of inbounds from link bait can help in the SERPS, but more importantly – you gain attention and traffic independently from search engines. That’s the part I like ;).

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