If you read SEO blogs, it’s likely you know the term link baiting. If not, then let me explain in this detailed post.
Just about every quality SEO blog is regularly updating their similar posts about Google’s algorithm changes, every time that they occur. One that seems to stand the test of time, however, is the importance of back links. Still I find many questions on discussion forums like what is link baiting. Many webmasters are still unaware of this SEO term. In this post I am sharing my experience on link baiting and how to approach it.
Why link baiting?
The first query which will come to your mind is why one should go for link baiting? It is just a method to get links from good websites. This work can be easily done by buying links from high pagerank niche websites or related SEO activities. To answer this question I would take you back few years. Blogs are not a very old concept. Apart from few, I have not seen any blog which was made before 2005. The reason why I want to tell this is because we the blog owners spammed the World Wide Web. Link buying and selling became so popular that you can see blogs or webpages with even pagerank 1 placing other website links. In exchange they earned dollars.
This is the reason which forced Google to penalize websites or blogs supporting link buying and selling. People started making blogs only to earn money. Putting content, getting pagerank and then making money by placing links. This became the mantra for many blog owners. If you are not updated then you should know that Google now has a manual team which clearly checks for websites and blogs promoting link buying and selling. Not only this, if you find any website involved in such activity, you can tell Google about this by clicking here. Please make sure to login for opening the link.
You may think like this, when I am working so hard to write content for my blog, do not I deserve to make some money out of it? Why Google is so strict with it. For this there are two answers:
Answer 1: Google is not against placing links in a blog unless and until you make it a nofollow link. This is to prevent any page creditability transfer from your webpage to the advertiser’s page.
Answer 2: Google is also a company and they are here to make money. They have a monopoly in search market so they know that a webmaster will never do works which will make them penalize by Google. So if they get strict with paid links, the next option which advertisers may opt is Google Adwords and AdSense. So as Google is God in this part of time, you have to obey the rule!!
Now I will come back to my original question of why a webmaster should look for link baiting. Google gives importance to links placed on high authority websites. For example, if by any means you can get a link from www.usatoday.com your website will benefit in terms of SERP ranking. But is it possible to approach usatoday.com for having a link? The answer is NO. The only way you can place a link there is by publishing news item.
This is the basic definition of link baiting “produce useful and quality content such that websites and bloggers can place the content on their webpages giving you a backlink”. This is the most natural way of getting links from high authority websites. It also helps in branding as the number of visits on these webpages is very high giving great exposure to your news item and hence your link. Hence link baiting revolves around quality content.
Tips for link baiting
If you go and search in Google about tips for link baiting, you will find millions of results. But as the topic is not very old, it is very difficult to follow any one of these methods. I will give 10 tips for link baiting which you may use:
Present your idea in a unique way – It is not easy to produce unique and new content every time you publish article for your blog or website. But the existing topic can be tweaked in such a way that it becomes a topic of discussion. For example, a card making company wanted to run some promotional campaign for Valentine’s Day.
So they published an article on “14 Horrible Moments in Valentine’s Day History”. This article received great appreciation giving the company a viral promotion. Almost all the top news sites promoted the article helping a lot in branding for the card maker.
Reports and research data – If you are running a blog or a discussion forum, you can conduct polls and surveys related to your product or business. After an ample amount of data is collected by you, make a press release of the statistics. The numbers if used in a post or a press release gives more exposure. Never try to predict any assumptions. If you have conducted survey among 100 consumers, clearly mention it in the post. This will make sure that your post is viewed as an authentic one.
This is very important as high pagerank authority websites will never give you a linkback unless and until you prove the data being mentioned in the post.
Interviews – Whatever is your area of working, you can definitely find experts in your niche. Try to contact them and publish the script of an interview with them. Not only this, you can submit podcasts of these interviews. If the person whom you are interviewing is popular among your target audience sector, you will definitely see a uplift in your business. You can have these interviews or podcasts in a separate section on your website.
Financial tools – People love free service. If you provide any free tool like the tax calculator, budget planner, BMI calculator etc, you will surely get popularity. The reason why I have mentioned this topic as financial tools is because I have very good experience with financial tools. I placed such tools on one of my travel sites and I received an overwhelming response. You can target any type of tool and preferably it should be related to your website.
One useful way to get backlinks using such tools is to allow other blog owners to use the tool for their website. You can give a HTML code (such that it gives a backlink) for the tool which can be used by other bloggers or webmasters. This will give you a backlink from these websites.
New Discussion – Always remember that if you start a topic which gets popular, you will be the one who will be benefited the most. With the increase in online presence of news portals, good innovative topic gets virally spread. As most of the news channels are very popular, these are source of authority links. Always make sure to have a discussion related to your niche and present yourself as an expert in the field.
A Germany based wind mill company once started a discussion on their forum with the topic of “innovative ways to make corporate green and eco friendly”. They received a healthy response and soon they had enough innovative ideas to publish them in a pdf. Hence, a general but meaningful discussion resulted in good amount of profit for the company.
Create controversy – By controversy I do not mean that you should start a campaign against your competitors. Here controversy means to start a topic which supports your niche in comparison with other form of similar products. For example, suppose you are an e-commerce company which sells stuffs online.
You can raise controversy related to offline showrooms selling the same product. This may also go negative for you, but will surely earn lot of high quality backlinks for you. Please ask a legal expert before publishing anything about anybody or any product.
Free giveaways – People love free stuffs. You can distribute tools, pdfs, multimedia content etc. Promote such campaigns on social media sites to get more exposure. There will be blogs and websites promoting your effort and hence in turn giving you a backlink. But make sure you do not make a squeeze page for such stuffs.
Google is not strict with squeeze pages and hence you can even be penalized for this. Many marketers give freeaways to collect user data like email id, name etc. So it is advisable to run such campaigns only for the sake of getting backlinks and not for increasing your database.
Running promotions – Running promotions on your website also increases attention of bloggers and website owners. Never try to make the situation complex by providing tough guidelines for the promotions. For example, if you a USA based financial website, you can start competition like “tell us about a situation where you faced money crisis and how you got out of it”. You have to promote this event using social media and press releases.
Running email campaigns to your customers is also not a bad idea. Similarly you can have Christmas related promotions like “how do you plan to make your this Christmas debt free?” If you promote these campaigns well, surely you will get lot of traffic and backlinks for your website.
Humour element – Though it is completely dependent upon the type of business you are running, but still if you can start a marketing campaign which is somewhat funny, can generate good amount of backlinks for you. For example, many a time people have funny experiences with their banks.
I myself faced a situation when the bank statement I received had my age printed as 83 instead of 23. I submitted two documents to prove that I am just 23 and not 83. Such incidents will make your readers feel happy and hence can give good amount of exposure to your website.
Use facts and figures – This tip has given ample amount of success to me in affiliate marketing. According to me, if you write a blog post with title “10 ways to save money online” then it is going to be more popular as compared to general topic like “Tips to save money online”. I do not know how much benefit Google gives this in its ranking algorithm. But my experience says people have great tendency to click on such articles or posts.
Similarly you can frame many such examples. If you search for “SEO Tips” in Google.com, the first three results shows webpages which has numbers in their title. Though I do not want to draw any conclusion in your mind, but still numbers can give you more popularity.
Whatever 10 link baiting tips I mentioned above will not only help you get good number of authority backlinks but also good exposure to your website. I mean to say that you can establish yourself as a brand. But make sure not to spam anything.
Too many social bookmarks, press releases for events which are not news worthy, offering incentives to gain customers etc can even lead to negative branding for you. Try to do things in such a way that the back links you get out of it looks natural.
|About the Author
James Smith grew up in New York, where he became addicted to pizza. He now spends his life eating pizza and guest blogging. The latter helping pay for the former.