I originally wrote this post for a blog I started called LinkLures – which was going to explore link bait and content marketing. I’ve recently decided I don’t have the time to maintain it, so I’m going to gradually move the few posts I did write for it into the AR Web Design blog.
Original post starts here…
After a morning of deliberation over what the first real Link Lures post should be about, I was struck with a brainwave. Why not point out the very thing that converted me from the ‘link-building as labour’ ideology and start thinking instead about attracting links naturally. Ironically, it was a blog post about link building.
If you’ve ever googled ‘link building’, ‘link building tips’ or something similar you’ve probably come across Aaron Wall’s article, 101 Ways to Build Link Popularity. I say that because it’s been the number one result for quite a while.
A couple of years ago when I was first getting my head around SEO I stumbled across this article and started reading. The fact (and reason) that it was the number one result didn’t dawn on me until I got to the first tip:
1. Build a “101 list”. These get Dugg all the time, and often become “authority documents”. People can’t resist linking to these (hint, hint).
It occurred to me then that the reason that I’d found this post wasn’t because Aaron had gone and posted links to it in article directories and blog comments. It was because it was such a useful, well written and definitive resource that people couldn’t resist linking to it from their own blogs, websites and social media accounts (5 years later and it’s still getting links – i.e. this article).
At that point I already knew that the best links you could get (in terms of SEO) were ‘real’ links – links from the body of a blog post (not the comments), a real website (not a directory) etc. So when I realised that this post had been sitting there attracting good quality links for years after Aaron wrote it, it dawned on me that while some link building was good for small sites in less competitive niches; a far better strategy was to produce something that would continue to attract links on it’s own long after the labour and effort had been taken to complete it.
As time went on I continued researching SEO and the methods that people use to improve their search rankings, and I started to realise that most SEO tips and hints were small technical things, most of which would only make a small difference if you already had plenty of inbound links.
Over time I became less and less interested in these meaningless and usually ineffective hints, and more interested in using link bait as a primary SEO method.
The advantages of using link bait over manual link building are not only numerous, but they’re BIG advantages:
- You don’t need to hire a SEO company,
- It’s more fun,
- The links are worth a LOT more,
- It continues to work after you stop working on it,
- The links actually get seen by humans (and not just search engines),
- Link worthy content can help create trust.
What do you think, is link bait worth looking into?