Pubcon 2007: Link Baiting

Ash Nallawalla

20 January 2008

SEO, Social Media

Todd Malicoat ( said that there are two main ways to get links through linkbait.

1. Identify and target the distribution channel, then get their attention. Use hooks such as ego, sex, humour, picture, resource, incentive, news, attack or a contrary hook. Use a combination of these for an added punch, e.g. an interview uses the ego hook and a resource hook if the interviewee has something useful to share.

2. Target webmasters by writing about their websites. They will gladly link to your article without asking. This keeps their attention. Todd encourages all to read the Cluetrain Manifesto ( particularly the 95 Theses.

For targeting Digg, Andy Hagans ( said that the audience seems to consist of sensitive 16-year-olds. Use catchy titles else they will bury you. Reddit attracts people interested in politics, tasers and conspiracy theories. Delicious is full of resource-hungry librarians and info junkies and easiest to spam manually. StumbleUpon attracts bored Ritalin users who are happy to be taken to some random site. If your main content is above the fold, you will do well with this audience. Tweako is for the “how to [anything]” nerds. Hugg is for greenies. DZone is for hard core developers and Sphinn is for targeting SEOs.

You should display social media “add this” buttons and target all SM communities at once. Some bait will fail and some will work.

Bill Hartzer of MarketNet recommends targeting sites that are known to link out. Use to to see which sites are using linkbait to their advantage and add your site to its Tracker tool. Here are the pathetic results for this site – all because you are not linking to me!  🙁

Ash Nallawalla

Search strategist experienced in large, complex websites. SEO consultant.

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