Link Bait is the practice of adding content to your site that draws an enormous number of natural links, which serve to push that page higher up in the search engines and therefore creating more opportunities to get more links. Is this practice manipulative? Is it is a good and white hat search engine optimization strategy? Will it always work?
OK, these are three distinct questions. I’ll answer them one at a time.
- Is link bait manipulative? Yes. It is. In fact, just about everything you do online is manipulative in one sense or another. Optimization, by its nature, is manipulative. So, yes, link baiting is manipulative and that’s OK.
- Is it good SEO? That depends on who you ask, but if you ask me then I’ll give an unqualified and resounding “yes”. Link bait is sound SEO.
- Will link bait always work? I think so. The reason link bait works now is because it does the one thing that search engines thrive on. It is the creation of content that is so good that it draws natural links in very high numbers. The search engines love natural links. They don’t care if those links are developed in high numbers over a short period of time or over a long period of time. What they do care about is whether or not a website unnaturally builds links – that’s bad. But natural links gained using powerful SEO strategies are encouraged. Link bait is good and always will be.
The problem with link bait is that it is hard to pull off successfully. Hard, but not impossible.