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While link bait strategies and link baiting services sound like bad things, they can be ethical search engine optimization tactics and white hat SEO techniques.
What is link bait? In “The History of Link Bait,” Brian Clark of Copyblogger says it’s “just a sexy term for high-quality content that benefits the reader. And what is link baiting? According to Clark, this is merely an inelegant phrase that means “copywriting and storytelling as a way to attract links and traffic.” Nevertheless, participating in “link schemes” can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results. It is important to follow Google’s guidelines, especially its “Quality Guidelines“.
Recently, Google added detailed tips for following its “quality guidelines.” One says: “Make sure that other sites link to yours.” That’s easy to say, but hard to do. Google observed, “If your pages contain useful information, their content will attract many visitors and entice webmasters to link to your site.”
Google also advised getting “natural links” to a site. These develop “when other sites find your content valuable and think it would be helpful for their visitors.” But, you don’t want “unnatural links.” These are “placed there specifically to make a site look more popular to search engines.”
Google provided the following tip that SEO-PR has incorporated into its strategies and services:
“The best way to get other sites to create relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can quickly gain popularity in the Internet community. The more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it. Creating good content pays off: Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and the buzzing blogger community can be an excellent place to generate interest.”
Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, has also provided some SEO advice on link bait and link baiting. In his Gadgets, Google and SEO blog, Cutts said he thinks of link bait “as something interesting enough to catch people’s attention.” Doing this by “putting in sweat-of-the-brow work to generate data or insights,” or by being creative isn’t “a bad thing,” he added.
“Especially if it’s interesting information or fun,” link baiting doesn’t have to have negative connotations, Cutts said. “I hereby claim that content can be both white-hat and yet still be wonderful ‘bait’ for links.”
Generating new link bait ideas is a part of the process, but writing a good hook is also an essential step. There are several good hooks, including:
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