Lets say you write a blog about poker. It is pretty hard to get legitimate links to a poker blog, but lets say you talk about how you met Phil Ivey but the story is not that interesting sounding. You can add a bit of authenticity to the sound of the story by buying a Phil Ivey autographed poker chip for $23 and include it in your post.
In certain markets (like poker) just about any type of link is worth $23. There are also other types of junk or collectibles that may be selling for far less than their linkability factor - weather you post about them and get a few links or you hold a contest of some sort to give them away, and get many more links.
Collecting allows you to easily create original linkable content which leverages the value of a celebrity or brand without needing to fully invest into the cost of building that brand or getting a celebrity to endorse your site. Branded keywords or celebrity keywords are typically high traffic and / or high value terms.
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