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Disappointed with traffic? Get creative with link bait. | The Man Who Sold the Web Blog

Disappointed with traffic? Get creative with link bait.

21 Mar

Okay, so now that you finally have your site up and running, tweaked it to your heart’s content (at least, for now), it’s finally time to play the difficult SEO game.  (If you haven’t even been indexed yet, get the Google indexing guide). In a nutshell, SEO involves getting your site ranked for targeted keywords.

For competitive keywords, this can be tough.  In fact, even for low competition keywords, if you aren’t well versed with SEO, it can be a difficult and frustrating process.

One technique that can be highly effective is the use of “link bait.”  As Matt Cutts defined it, link bait is anything “interesting enough to catch people’s attention.”  To be more specific, link bait is the creation and distribution of a very sensational web page (located on your site) in hopes that it will go viral and generate countless links back to your site. Here is more info on link baiting from Wikipedia.

Let’s examine at one of my favourite examples of link bait in action–the case of the 13 year old and 2 hookers.  Piqued your interest? 😀

An online finance magazine wanted to get ranked for the keyword “credit card.”  As you may surmise, “credit card” is a very competitive term and difficult to rank.  To engineer their way to the top of Google’s charts, they fabricated and published a news article that had the word “credit card” in its title–i.e. a link bait.

In this article, Ralph, a 13 year old boy, steals his dad’s credit card to purchase hookers.  It’s really a well written article perfect as link bait–great shock value, highly entertaining, and funny.  My favourite part is the closing sentence: “Ralph’s ambition is to one day become a politician.”

This article was instantly picked up by Digg, jumping to its front page, and other media outlets– even Fox News!  (Those guys…) It was social bookmarked like crazy, blogged about, sent via email, IM, direct word of mouth, etc.  What resulted was a ton of links back to the magazine–and most of these links had the keyword “credit card” in its anchor.

Within no time, the finance magazine climbed up Google’s search results for its targeted keyword, “credit card.”

And now, I know, you’re curious to see the actual article.  Here it is: credit card.

At this point, you may be asking yourself, is this ethical?


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