Eric Ward mentioned link baiting in his Link Week column this week, which first got me thinking, is it better to say linkbait or link bait? To answer, I did some searches, which in turn brought up some good articles on the topic. And now another good one has come out from Todd Malicoat. So here’s a rundown on a few linkbait articles and the "to linkbait" or "to link bait" decision I had to make.
The Art of Linkbaiting from Nick Wilson dates from back November 2005 and continues to stand up as a great read. In particular, Nick talks of needing a hook for your bait. Remember, it’s like fishing. You want to pull those links in. Some fish like particular bait. Links, to be baited, like particular hooks. OK, the metaphor is all confused, but roll with it. Nick covers hooks like being a great resource, providing news, being contrary to everyone else, attacking someone and being funny. POSTSCRIPT: See also Nick’s updated 2007 Guide To Linkbaiting: The Year Of Widgetbait?
SEO Advice: linkbait and linkbaiting from Google’s Matt Cutts in January 2006 offers three examples (I got to be one of them) on how to bait for links through being an original resource, being creative or being controversial.
Linkbaiting or Link Baiting? from Aaron Wall in December 2006 shares a variety of nice tips on targeting particular communities, controlling the message, having magnetic headlines, tapping into the "me me me" factor of others and more. Aaron also makes me laugh because like me, he’s clearly struggling with the "linkbait or link bait" question and goes with both in the headline for no other reason than I can see than to target both terms!
The Link Baiting Playbook: Hooks Revisited from Todd Malicoat came out this week. He picks up from Nick’s original hooks back in 2005 and adds some more, such as the "ego hook" and the "incentive hook." He also covers the importance of titles – a great story title can make or break your bait.
Now back to the "is it linkbait or link bait" question. First I tried a count of matches on Google:
- linkbait, 124 searches in December 2006
- link bait, 120 searches in December 2006
Linkbait, one word, hanging in the lead!
Now both Nick and Matt go with one word, and since Nick seems to have coined it, I’m coming down on the one word side as well. But you can vote to say what you think below:
Comments are also welcomed! And don’t be surprised if I slip up from time to time and say "link bait" rather than "linkbait." I’d like to be found for both, after all!
Finally, I leave you with this funny thing from Google, from when I searched on linkbait:
See! Google doesn’t want you to linkbait. They want you to link a bit! Seriously, Google’s got no problem with linkbaiting. Stop The Freak Out Over Linking from me last month explains more about that.