Link building is a tough business and many webmaster use a technique known as link baiting as part of their search engine optimization strategies. Many webmasters who are new to search engine optimization may wonder if link baiting is white-hat or black-hat in the eyes of Google.
Google’s approach to links, while a little complicated in their approach, can be summarized fairly simply. If links are natural and not in any way ‘bought’, ‘sold’ or ‘farmed’ then they will pass muster. Search engine optimization strategies that attempt to develop natural links will generally not face any penalties. The optimum word is ‘natural’. How you gain these natural links is the hard part.
Link baiting is a process where your content is written in such a way that it encourages others to link to you. In the past the term link bait was generally applied to content that has been specifically written to attract links. These days, any good article may get labeled as ‘good link bait post’. Good search engine optimization strategies would see every article trying to fall into that later category.
Examples of link baiting include lists, ‘top ten …..’; funny cartoons; campaigns, ‘World…….Day’; and in recent times videos. Some blog owners resort to competitions where a post asks others to write about the competition with a link back the original post. It would be interesting to see Google’s take on this. There is a reward offered in exchange for a link. Search engine optimization strategies often focus on how content, particularly keyword rich content, can be written to encourage others to link – should this be called ‘link baiting’ or just plain good SEO strategies.
Link baiting is a generic term these days to describe any content that encourages linking. Any search engine optimization strategy that works within acceptable limits is not legitimate, it is ethical and should be every webmasters goal.