Linkbait 2.0: The Soul of Linkbait (Part 2)

By Todd Mintz.

Heard it from a friend who…heard it from a friend who…heard it from another…” REO Speedwagon

Part 1 Can Be Found Here (and Part 2 won´t make much sense if you haven´t read Part 1).

Part 1 chronicled my “failed” attempt to linkbait my personal reminiscence of Marvin Gaye´s 1983 NBA All-Star Game National Anthem . At the end of that story, I wrote that I vowed to start the linkbaiting process anew…to use different forms of social media to gain attention for what I´ve written. I´d like to report on the progress that I´ve made:

First, I Wrote a Story About Writing a Story: Publishing my original linkbaiting article at Search Engine Guide launched my current linkbaiting campaign. Search Engine Guide is one of the most prominent SEM websites in existence and I knew that any story published there would be very visible not only in our industry but on the web as a whole. However, there was another powerful reason why I shared my experiences at Search Engine Guide…

I Needed To Appear Credible With People That Could Further My Goals: In my linkbait strategizing, I identified one particular blogger that clearly had to be the top target of my efforts. I was sure that he got lots of requests of links from people he didn´t know, so I knew that in order to be successful, I had to be:

*  Extremely nice and polite

*  Knowledgeable about him and his blog

*  Authoritative

Linking to my original Search Engine Guide story (along with my namedropping of the folks at ESPN.com and The Sporting News that I had been in contact with) made it much more likely that he would consider my request. To a potential link partner, the fact that Search Engine Guide, a well-respected industry website, would publish a story about my experiences gave me a tremendous amount of credibility.

Thank you Henry Abbott…ESPN´s NBA Blogger: Henry´s freelance TrueHoop blog was of such high quality that ESPN hired him to continue blogging the NBA under the ESPN banner. My email to Henry successfully got me the following TrueHoop mention (though better link text would have been nice). In my email, I made sure to mention prominently that we were both huge Portland Trailblazer fans…I wonder if that helped? I had awesome traffic the day Henry´s column ran.

Others followed Henry´s Lead : Soon after Henry linked to me, others (Bumpshack.com , Cantstopthebleeding.com) did as well…folks that clearly found me through the Truehoop link. Both of these sites continue to generate traffic for my story.

Other Techniques I´ve Been Using :

PPC: Minimum bids for the relevant long-tail keywords keep me on the first page of Google / Yahoo / MSN SERPS and generate several visitors each day.

Wikipedia: Even though no link-juice is being passed to my site, I´m still getting 5-10 visitors a day from Wikipedia.

Reciprocal Linking / Leaving Relevant Blog Comments: I´ve done a little bit of both and continue to look for more applicable opportunities in these areas. I use Google News Alerts to find new link opportunities.

Mybloglog: I created the following MBL Profile just for marketing my story. All I´ve done is slap the code on the page and forget about it…however, I know that MBL could help me build links if I take the time to work with it.

Answering Email: Several people have emailed me asking about the event and I´ve answered their questions to the best of my ability.

Results so far :

Currently, I´m on Page 2 of Google and Page 1 of MSN for the search “Marvin Gaye National Anthem” (no quotes). I´m getting steady if unspectacular traffic for the story and am slowly but surely generating links from relevant people.

I´ve decided that the “End Game” for my story will be to attempt an exercise in predictive search engine optimization. February 2008 will mark the 25th anniversary of Marvin´s Anthem and at some point prior to that date, the number of people searching for information about the event will spike greatly. If I can position my story on Page1 of the SERPS (Natural & Paid) + get the relevant “linkerati” to acknowledge what I wrote, perhaps my reminiscence can become part of the collective societal reevaluation of that special moment. If I fail in my goal, at least I can take solace that I enjoyed my experience and made friends with like-minded people on the trip.

I never thought I would write on the same topic as Thomas Dolby

[This has been an entry for Marketing Pilgrim's SEM Scholarship contest. Keep up to date with all entries and other marketing news by subscribing to our rss feed.]