post written by: Marc Chernoff

Link Bait How To: Obtain 42,000 Unique Hits and 1,000 Inbound Links in 1 Week


The Basic Concept of SEO…
Everyone involved in blogging and web publishing appreciates the value of website exposure.  Whether the site is for business or pleasure, heavy visitor traffic and a high rank on the major search engines is unarguably a definitive goal for any website owner.  Search engines use undisclosed algorithms to evaluate a website’s relevance and importance.  Google calls it PageRank and Yahoo calls it Web Rank.  It’s fairly common knowledge nowadays that inbound links are one of the most essential positive evaluation factors for search engine ranking algorithms.  The more inbound links pointing toward your site’s URL, the more important your site looks to the ranking algorithms.  This deliberate act of increasing your site’s search engine rank is often referred to as Search Engine Optimization or SEO.

The Link Bait Process…
So what’s the best way to obtain hundreds or even thousands of inbound links for free?  It’s actually quite simplistic and almost completely self explanatory.  The answer is using a single article (or multiple articles) as Link Bait.  The basic idea revolves around the fact that one well crafted and informative article can attract an enormous influx of web visitors and inbound links.  I know it’s been said before, but this time I’ll lay it out in 3 easy steps.  I’ll then prove the effectiveness of this technique with past website statistics for our domain.

Step #1: Write a short informative article that is easy to read…
Understand that writing a successful blog post or web article does not necessarily involve a ton of writing.  Short, sweet, and to the point is the way to go.  Make sure your material is relevant and extremely easy to comprehend.  Although informative articles can fall under numerous categories, many of the popular articles (that are easy to write) fall in one of the two following categories:            

Step #2: The Title is 51% of an Article’s Potential Success…
The title is undoubtedly the most important part of an article.  It’s the first and only thing a casual web surfer sees.  It has to grab their attention and wet their appetite for the information contained in the body of the article.  This casual web surfer scans through article titles at a rapid pace, committing only a split second to your title.  In that split second this title has to sell them on the rest of the article.  It should also double as a short summary of the body, giving the potential reader an accurate introduction that seamlessly guides their curiosity into your first paragraph.  Without a catchy title the body of your article is a waste of time and web space.

Step #3: Spread the news!  Release your article into the wild…
There are numerous methods for marketing your article on the web, but I’m going to stick with free, easy, and fun as the primary method requirements.  The advent of Web 2.0 social bookmarking sites like Del.icio.us and article ranking sites like Digg and Reddit have completely altered the way web surfers find, catalog, and exchange information.  If you can get your article to stir up buzz on one of these sites, the traffic to your site will escalate by a multiple of 10 in a matter of hours, and the inbound links pointing to your site will start pouring in by the dozen.  Based on the excessive inbound link exposure, your visitor traffic will continue to thrive long after your article loses its buzz on these social bookmarking and rating sites.  With a catchy title and the content to back it up, it’s only a matter of time before one of your articles makes its way to the top.  Here are the sites I would submit my articles to, and this is the order I would do it in:

  1. Shoutwire – I would submit my article to Shoutwire immediately following the completion of the article.  This will give you a test bed for evaluating how well it is being received before you submit it to Digg and other more popular sites.  If needs be, you’ll have time to edit the title (or whatever) before pressing forward. 
  2. Del.icio.us, Furl, and other social bookmarking sites – There is always the chance that other users will come across it and pass it along. 
  3. NowPublic 
  4. Fark 
  5. Reddit 
  6. Digg – Save the best for last.  Submit to Digg at least 1 day following your initial Shoutwire submission. 

Note: If you run a blog with RSS feed capability I would highly recommend opening a Technorati account and pinging it every time you update your site.  You may also want to ping Ping-O-Matic to hit multiple birds at once.

The Proof of Concept…
Alright, I know the most important aspect of any suggested success technique is the hard evidence that it actually works.  So here is the proof… 
On Friday October 13th I wrote a short “how to” article about using Google to search open website directories for music, documents, and video files.  The article was entitled “Turn Google into Napster 2000”.  I never even had the opportunity to submit it to the entire list of social bookmarking and sharing sites.  In fact, all I did was ping Ping-O-Matic with our blog’s updated RSS feed, and the rest was history.  Here’s how it played out:        

  1. Sometime Friday afternoon the article was posted on Reddit.  It made a quick jump to the front page where it remained until Saturday morning. 
  2. On Saturday afternoon the article had over 200 bookmarks on Del.icio.us within a 12 hour time frame, thus sending it to the “Del.icio.us Hot List” on the front page of the site.  It remained there until late Saturday night.  It then continued to remain on the Del.icio.us “popular page” for another 12 hours or so. 
  3. On Sunday morning it was posted to the front page of the Lifehacker blog where it remained for two days. 
  4. On Monday morning someone posted it to Digg.  This is where the visitor traffic really took off!  The site started receiving thousands of hits per minute.  It received well over 1,200 Diggs and maintained a position on the front page for about 5 hours.  It then remained on the front page of the Digg “Tech News” section until Tuesday morning. 
  5. At this point the URL of our article was posted all over the web, from blog to blog.  It even wound up on the front page of Ehrensenf, a very popular German news portal. 

AWStats Website Stats for marcandangel.com (Oct 24, 9AM)…
CLICK HERE (note the increased visitor traffic after the article was written) 

Inbound Links for marcandangel.com (Yahoo!)…
CLICK HERE  
 

Feel free to leave us questions or comments. 

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20 Comments

  • A lot of what you have stated here Marc can be attributed to a snowball or ripple effect. Nicely highlighted in a concise kind of way!

  • Interesting article.

    Good read!  Thanks for the info.

  • Are you sure this is possible?  You seem to have solid proof, but we are trying so hard to get traffic, and unable to do it.

  • This is one of the best posts I have ever read regarding this topic. You laid it out beautifully. There is one question I would love for you to answer. Do the bookmarks in Delicious and Digg stick as backlinks to your site?

    Answer by Marc: If a website links back to a post on Digg or Del.icio.us that in turn link to your site, Google and Yahoo will not see this as an official backlink to your site.  However, it makes sense that any popular site linking to you will generate several direct backlinks to your site.  Blog readers/writers love to find and share original content, so most of the people who find your site through Digg, Del.icio.us, etc. will most likely link directly to your article.  I know I would.  I think of Digg as a medium for sharing interesting links, not a site that hosts content I should link to.

  • Cool job!  Great info!  Thanks for sharing.

  • Great advice - I tried this and have seen changes in my user stats in just one day. Only one drawback - NowPublic doesn’t install properly and keeps crashing Firefox - anyone else had this problem?

  • Very knowledge article, and to be honest with you. I would suggest this to be on digg front page. I feel that you can become very knowledgeable if you study what you have just written, and I think that is a major factor from what you have said, “speaking if idealistic”.

  • Very informative article. I need to come up with some viable link bait. Any suggestions for a top ten list for my site?

    I am just starting my first blog. Trying to learn what works and what doesn’t to attract eyeballs.
    Thanks for the post.

  • Congrats. I’d say it’s 80% title though - especially on Digg.

  • Thanks for this one. I have used it while doing the research for my article on linkbaiting. Click my name to read it. Comments are appreciated.

  • Cool Tricks is what I would have called this Post! Anyways I did the linkbait trick too and continue to do so, therefore my site is most trafficized! LOL

    Gr8 post!

  • I have started implementing some of the things that you have mentioned here and hope to see some results.

  • Anurag,

    It was a really neat experience, and a great way to get my blog out there. Best of luck to ya! ;-)

  • Surprisingly decent SEO advice. Thanks.

  • Always good to get good decent SEO advice, I will give it a go to see if it works. I hope it does, cause my New Tech blog http://www.britec.co.uk/techblog/
    is as dead as a doodoo. Think I have had one comment so far! LOL
    Maybe the reason I only have one comment is that my blog is crap or it’s just not getting seen. Any idea’s??

  • @Brian:

    My suggestion would be to follow the SEO and blogging advice found here:
    http://www.matthuggins.com/55-essential-articles-every-serious-blogger-should-read/

  • That’s good advice.

    I would say that a well-written article is the most important thing in the process.

    Most articles that are popular are popular because they address a need that people want.

    Like this article, for example :)

  • Hard to keep up with SEO its changing all the bloody time.

  • Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! really nice post.

  • Trying to increase ones page rank is a pain.

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