The Art Of Link Baiting

By now everyone should know that getting linked from other sites and blogs is the key to getting indexed by Google and other search engines. People get links in many ways, from simple link exchanges to comment spamming. What I want to talk about is something call link baiting.

Link baiting looks at linking as a fishing expedition. In order to catch a fish, you need bait. In the case of site development, the fishes are other websites or blogs and the bait is your content. Well, let me restate that. The bait is not just any old content you have laying around – it’s content specially designed to get you linked up by the websites you’re fishing for. Let’s look at a few ways to bait some links.

Ask For A Review

This is a common technique used at webmaster forums. You ask the members in the forum to review your site and provide feedback on how to improve it. While there are many legit review requests, the vast majority of them are nothing more than link baits. Many times, the baiter will purposefully make their site look bad and wait for the recommendations to come in. Then he would do the recommendations; make another post asking, “What do you guys think now?” Double link score! Next time you read a review request at a webmaster forum, try to guest if it’s real or bait.

Write About The Site You Wish To Bait

One of the best ways to get a link from another site to write about them. Site owners like to have their ego’s stroked just like normal people. If you write something nice about another site, chances are they will link to what you wrote. It’s interesting to note that some of my biggest Diggs were done to articles written about Digg. Diggers love to reads about themselves for some reason. They see an article on Digg and they’re like “Oh wow! It’s an article on Digg! I HAVE to Digg that!” You get bonus point if you mention Kevin Rose.

Interview A Site Owner

I have been interview twice since starting John Chow dot Com. In each case I linked to the interview. This is fantastic link bait, and it goes back to the above tip on site owners liking their ego’s stroked. The sites that interviewed me have gone on to interview other blog owners and the blog owners have linked the interviews every time. If you were to post an interview with Kevin Rose, what are the chances of the interview not making it to the Digg front page?

The Trade Show Photo Trick

I meet many fellow webmasters during my party at the Consumer Electronics Show. During the party, I get a few hot babes to take pictures with the other webmasters. They love this because it’s the few occasions when they can get a picture taken with a real girl. The pictures gets posted at The TechZone’s photo gallery. An email is fired off to the webmasters, and they’re instantly linking it on their sites to show all their readers what a stud they are.

There are tons of other link baiting tricks but these are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. If you have some good link bait tricks and want to share it, then please post it in the comments. I’m sure there are a bunch that I haven’t come across.