Digging for Links

Sep 24th

When you are doing SEO you want titles that are rather directly informative...you need to be descriptive. But that is not how you promote a linkbait.

Too much sensationalism causes you to lose credibility, but if you are starting with none then you might not have much to lose by testing different things. Take this post, for example. Let's analyze it.

  • The person who wrote the story about Google submitted it to the Apple category.

  • The post is half-assed research, passes opinion as fact, and is completely wrong in it's conclusions, but
  • The post is titled Google's dirty little secret

Thus despite multiple layers of ineptness it is passed off as good information based on the title alone. It made the Digg homepage. A good linkbait starts with a good title.

Need help with your headlines? Go get some magnetic headline love.

Another tip is that for the amount of effort you need to put into making a piece of information, you are typically going to get much more out of it by making it biased than by aiming for vanilla. Your bias is what people subscribe to, want to believe in, or want to discredit.

For example: I think Iraq for Sale is a film every American should see, largely because those who allegedly support a free market system think that the uncontested multi-billion dollar government contracts full of fraud sent to scumbag corporations are an acceptible business practice. And they only get away with it because people argue on the rhetorical or idealistic levels instead of talking about what is actually happening, and the media is generally not honest enough to report some of the news themselves...they are too tied to profit to allow themselves to.

I bet someone comments about that last paragraph ;) Also notice how I lined out I think. If you want to be controvercial an added way to do it is to present opinion as fact, but be forewarned that if you go to far with that it makes you an easier lawsuit target. But if you plan it out correctly lawsuits can go right into the marketing budget. With some stuff it almost seems like that is how Google does it :)

Linkbaiting is all about emotional reaction or being memorable...that is what leads to comments and citations.

So how else do you make your story comment worthy or citation worthy? You build up a following over time. Those who read your site may Digg, Netscape, or Del.icio.us your posts.

How else do you do it? Have an instant messenger list a mile long, and email. Beg your friends. Time your post, bookmark your site, and then light up contacts via email and instant messenger.

There is not a lot to the linkbait formula

  • time your post for a launch when your friends will be around, use a catch title, Digg your own post

  • be really biases, or format your information so that it LOOKS fairly comprehensive
  • beg friends
  • make it easy to bookmark your page by placing the following type of code on your site

{ Post to del.icio.us | Post to Reddit }

Note: if I was trying to get this page to Digg's homepage I probably would have used something like Digg is Too Easy to Game: Here's How as my page title.

Published: September 24, 2006

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Comments

October 3, 2006 - 5:12pm

And they only get away with it because people argue on the rhetorical or idealistic levels instead of talking about what is actually happening, and the media is generally not honest enough to report some of the news themselves...they are too tied to profit to allow themselves to.

No one commented on it, so I have to. I agree wholeheartedly!

October 3, 2006 - 5:24pm

And they only get away with it because people argue on the rhetorical or idealistic levels instead of talking about what is actually happening, and the media is generally not honest enough to report some of the news themselves...they are too tied to profit to allow themselves to.

No one commented on it, so I have to. I agree wholeheartedly!

October 5, 2006 - 1:31am

A good article and I completely agree with you. Link baiting might help drive some traffic towards our site but I am still not sure if am ready to alienate my industry with a controversial article.

September 25, 2006 - 2:20pm

I don't know if you've noticed this, but your little digg box at the bottom is pointing to the 'SEO for Firefox Launches' digg, rather than a digg entry for this post...

Or maybe that is intentional?

September 25, 2006 - 8:16pm

Yeah...I was too lazy to Digg this post.

September 26, 2006 - 6:53pm
October 16, 2006 - 3:28am

Another excellent post. I use these tactics daily on both my company's blog and my real estate community blog (ActiveRain). Controversy works wonders. A big dog competitor actually came after us in a nasty atatck due to some of our comments, driving tons and tons of traffic to our little site. Please, more link bait articles!

October 18, 2006 - 5:10pm

Ok Aaron, I read your post and submitted it to digg. We'll see what happens.

Thanks for the advice.

Julie

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