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Link Baiting - The New SEO Spam?
by Jerry West
Updated March 27, 2006
Back in August of 2005, an SEO I greatly respect, Aaron Wall came out with the term "link baiting." At the recent Webmaster World in Las Vegas in November, 2005, Matt Cutts, senior engineer at Google said that "link baiting" was a good idea and commended people such as the guy who thought of the "Million Dollar Home Page" and others who had orginal ideas that made one-way quality links a natural thing.
However, the idea of "link baiting" has been alive on the web for over a decade, it just wasn't called "link baiting." And with all good things, there will be abuse sooner or later. Sooner has already arrived.
Proper "link baiting" has included:
- Providing a free useful tool
- Breaking news of consequence before anyone else
- Creating a new concept such as the "Million Dollar Homepage" or "Battle of the SEO"
- Report reliable testing results
- Expose a scammer
- Create a software package or plugin that meets a need
- Comment (intelligently) on a current topic
- Offer something valuable for free
- Create an original idea or methodology
It has been said that "the best part of creating content like [link baiting] is building trust and value naturally."
The problem is, many people are not giving heed to the ethics behind reporting information. Many don't have the necessary skills, or are outright lying to get attention.
One recent article that SEO and Link Building stud Andy Hagans nailed was one published by Site Reference (note: the "nofollow" tag was put on the above link as to not give anymore "link bait" than necessary. This is where link baiting goes seriously wrong. Read our Debunking of Link Baiting article for the truth behind testing and compliancy.
Too many SEOs, both rookies and veterans get suckers and not only change their sites, but their client's sites as well. While it is their responsibility to ensure the information they are relying on is accurate, I want to end the crap that seems to be getting deeper and deeper with this "new" link baiting strategy.
I don't think alone - many of the mods over at Webmaster World want it to stop too.
Remember the old saying, "Trust, but verify."
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Jerry West is the Director of Internet Marketing for Web
Marketing Now. He has been consulting on the web since
1996 and has assisted hundreds of companies gain an
upper-hand over their competition. Visit Web
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