The simplest definition of linkbait is a blog post that attracts people’s attention enough to get them to link back to the post. Getting links to a blog post is crucial for SEO.
Generally speaking: more links = better SEO. And better SEO = more traffic.
I’m simplifying, but the basic premise is there. For a more detailed definition you can check out these great posts about linkbaiting.
The truth is: linkbait works best when the content is great. It’s about writing great headlines and valuable content. So I don’t consider linkbait cheesy or inappropriate (although I’ve seen some fairly lame efforts at it.) Most of the time I consider successful linkbait to be about, “writing great content in a very smart way.”
Tad Chef has a great resource post (in and of itself a nice piece of linkbait!) – 45 Link Baiting Resources: Ideas, Techniques, Case Studies & Drawbacks.
I agree with Tad that the terms “linkbait” and “linkbaiting” are not used as much anymore because the concept has become the norm. But what I am curious about is whether linkbait is really relevant anymore? And whether it works as well as it used to?
I’m seeing less and less links to this blog. I suspect others are seeing the same thing. And one of the big reasons is Twitter.
Twitter is where more and more people are sharing the precious resource that bloggers’ crave: links. It’s so much easier to tweet a link than to write a blog post. And bloggers have made it even easier, using things like Tweetmeme to encourage the behavior. But the result is that you get less links from blogs. Tweets with your linkbait link are still valuable – they can drive traffic, buzz, etc. – but they don’t have the same SEO value by any stretch of the imagination.
So if linkbait doesn’t generate as many links as it used to because of Twitter (and I believe Facebook will have more of an impact on this as well), and this is only going to get worse in the future, the question is this:
Is Linkbait Dead?
Maybe we should call it TweetBait? You tell me! And feel free to link over … oh, and tweet too. Much appreciated!