Posted November 17, 2007 9:00 am by with 10 comments

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Linkbait has been a popular topic lately for all Internet marketers and I have been reading a lot about the downsides of linkbait or at least the potential loss of value a lot of marketers seem to be concerned about. Recently Aaron Wall made a post that I missed called “Link Bait is the New Reciprocal Links Page”.

In his post Aaron discusses the potential pitfalls of outrageous spikes in incoming links and the possibilities that Google and other search engines maybe tracking organic link growth and not passing along the expected value to sites that don’t continuously supply new linkbait to keep their incoming link growth patterns steady. Aaron goes on to suggests that the search engines may actually appreciate the popularity of linkbait because it makes their job easier when it comes to detecting artificial increases in natural links.

I believe Aaron has good points in making marketers aware that linkbait may have less perceived value than it did five minutes before you read his article, but I don’t believe that just because Google or another search engine might devalue a set of links is any reason to be afraid of generating linkbait. Links that generate traffic, whether or not a search engine values them, in my mind are still good links…

Still, knowing how search engines are looking at the growth in natural links should give marketers the ability to develop solid strategies to take advantage of their most successful linkbait.

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  • I couldn’t agree more with the statements toward the end. I value the potential traffic a new link will generate far more than the possibility that it’ll help Google smile my way. In the end, you can bet that an actual link will still work on 2017, but will search engines still value links in their algorithms?

  • Yea link baiting might be a way to get visitors in the short term, but what is it doing for the long term? You have to give your visitors a reason to stay.

  • its all fake unless its not natural, you have a worth it thing people will link to you, but if you get those links using technical or social techniques its dead 🙂

  • Rand Fishkin and Dave Naylor actually talk about traffic patterns of social media in one of these videos:

    In short, sites that frequently put out link bait have a much different traffic pattern than sites that gradually just build links the traditional way. The question is whether or not Google recognizes sites that produce linkbait as “natural” traffic patterns.

  • Why can we see traffic from link bait as an additional source of traffic. Do we have to think so much of an association with Google’s algorithm? Matt Cutts defined link bait as “interesting enough to catch people’s attention.”
    So if its interesting for a user he/she would like to know more. Why would it be short term?

  • Is linkbaiting considered white-hat seo?

  • If google and other major search engines end up penelizing websites for something like this, i don’t think it will happen before the site has had a chance to grow and evolve.

    All in all, sites like this give the spiders a boost and once they have enjoyed it they may consider penalties…

  • What’s unnatural about people creating good content on their sites? When is good content linkbait and when is it just good content?

    I saw the Whiteboard Friday with Dave and I’m not sure I agree with the idea that Google normalises link profile spikes. There’s just too many completely natural reasons for this happening for it to be that simple.

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