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Old 6th October 2006, 08:04 PM   #1
thejenn
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Default When Are SEO Firms Going To Offer Link Baiting Services?

Authored by: Andy Hagans

Full Text: http://www.searchengineguide.com/art.../1006_rc1.html

A Snippet:

This leaves me with one question: since link baiting is among the favorite methods used by SEOs to promote their own sites, why isn't it being offered by SEO firms as a service to clients?

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Old 7th October 2006, 09:11 AM   #2
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The thing I always find about SEO firms is you can hardly ever accuse them of being wrong. So if they say doing XYZ is the best thing to do, you more or less have to live with it. What I mean is there is no Google or whatever manual to refer to, to dissprove them

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Old 7th October 2006, 11:30 AM   #3
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I just read the article and understand that :
* link baiting is greatest SEO tactic
* has become a critical success factor
* SEOmoz, offers a full link baiting
* link baiting is hard
* the success of any given link baiting effort is very hard to predict

But either it is not written in the article, either I don't understand it - what is link baiting actually?

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Old 7th October 2006, 01:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbm View Post
what is link baiting actually?
Link Baiting (n.) -- developing some piece of content with the purpose of attracting viral marketing in the form of links from other web sites, blogs, etc.

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Old 7th October 2006, 01:31 PM   #5
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... nit picky point ... shouldn't that be a verb?

Sounds like the same old "content is king" mantra preached for years by many. Basically, to me, link baiting is creating content or functionality on your site that provides a strong incentive for others to link to you without being asked or for payment. This is not new, although the industry jargon 'link baiting' is.

I think Andy's article is getting hung up on the terminology of link baiting versus the actual service. Many seo's have been encouraging clients to provide excellent content/functionality to increase a sites link popularity.... for years.

Last week I was working with a client that has a lot of (excellent quality) industry research white papers behind an email signup that is required to view them. They've had them this way for years, although the number who submit their email and view them is low. We made these white papers public. I guess its link baiting as the word has been used, but really nothing new to me as an seo and not something that isn't already included within the consulting services I provide.

For reference, here is Rand's service page on link bait development -
http://www.seomoz.org/linkbait.php

(note, this page of Rand's referenced is link bait itself based on this article of Andy's and the thread about it. makes you wonder how convenient it was for Andy to write this article, slant it as he did and then by chance only find Rand as someone providing this 'hot topic' service. Since Andy & Rand know each other, i'm even more skeptical that this is not by chance but by a 'planned' link baiting.)

And how he defines it -

Quote:
Linkbait is the use of content, creativity and an innate knowledge of what's popular and getting links from popular places right now on the web.

Linkbait Design - $5,000 - $15,000
Linkbait Development - $8,000 - $20,000
Linkbait Promotion - $5,000 - $10,000
All Linkbait Services Combined - $20,000 - $50,000
To me, it seems a bit off to promote 'link baiting' services specifically with that terminology.... unless of course your goal is link baiting your very expensive link baiting services.

SEO's should be promoting/marketing (is this something new?), without doubt ... but it is an "industry term" that is not well defined and only used in inner circles. Reference the questions above for proof of this. Huh? What's link baiting?

My customers would be more confused if I used industry terminology to describe my services. That doesn't mean that the type of services are not being provided. To me its just a matter of that I (and others) don't use industry jargon to communicate services to our customers who are not part of the seo industry.

My question is what's the difference between "Content is king" (pre 1998) vs "Link baiting" (2006)?

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Old 8th October 2006, 05:36 PM   #6
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Lightbulb Everything old is new again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan View Post
My customers would be more confused if I used industry terminology to describe my services. That doesn't mean that the type of services are not being provided. To me its just a matter of that I (and others) don't use industry jargon to communicate services to our customers who are not part of the seo industry.

My question is what's the difference between "Content is king" (pre 1998) vs "Link baiting" (2006)?
First: Amen brother!

Next: This makes me think of a few different points and I'll try to organize them.

My stepfather is one of the greatest marketers of all time. His name is Henry Cowen and way back in the 60's he built one of the most well known sales machines of our time - Publisher's Clearinghouse.

Do you know how he did it? With a sales letter. I don't know who gets the credit for the online long letter, but Henry Cowen was the first one to do it offline, and it's been copied ever since

And a lot of young, new marketers are going to believe that the long-letter which has gotten so much hype is a new phenomenon and they're going to say "Hmm, I wonder if this would work offline". Just wait, I'm looking forward to the post-campaign press releases from Chiat Day or Gray saying how they were able to apply this online success offline and make a million bucks.

One who's had enough sleep, caffeine and other sustaining necessities would say: "everything old is new again".

One who fits the more common mold would say: "If you put 1000 monkeys at a 1000 typewriters for 1000 years..."

Here's the thing that I think is pretty smart about the new term for an old concept. "Content is king!" is not sexy. "Link Bait" is sexy.

These guys have very smartly, invented (or appropriated) the term for the need. And by so doing, and by the extent to which they themselves are talking about it they are amplifying the perception of need.

So the beauty of this campaign, apparent in this article, is it actually loses even more sex appeal on further de-construction.

These guys are really just pimping a new box for the same detergent.

They're brand-marketing. Consider (and I'm now showing my age) "Hey, where can I get a Tickle Me Elmo"? What's that, it's only available at Toys-R-Us? Let me look in the phone book and find the nearest Toys-R-Us store. The toy du jour fades, the brand reinforcement remains.

The new question is, "Hey, where can I get some great link bait"? Oh, what's that you say, there's only one SEO on the planet who has it itemized on their web site...

... Let's give old Rand a call.

I love it. It just proves - the internet is merely a fast new medium for what?

Marketing!

Not Internet Marketing. Not Pay-per-click Marketing. Not Viral Marketing. Just good, ol' fashioned, tried and true - Marketing.

I love it!

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Old 8th October 2006, 07:02 PM   #7
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Quick reply on a couple things:

Quote:
Originally Posted by willscott View Post
"Content is king!" is not sexy. "Link Bait" is sexy.
I think it's more than that. I wrote a lot of great content on my employer's web site -- 20+ articles, 100+ weekly newsletters, all related to SEO/SEM, online marketing, web development, etc. It helped the site get a lot of traffic on long tail phrases, and helped establish the company as experts who know what they're doing. None of it ever got any great inbound links, because I never tried.

That's the difference between "content is king" and "linkbait." The content itself isn't the endgame when you're linkbaiting; rather, you have to have built up a little network of friends first, you need to email them to alert them to your content (link bait), and you have to encourage them to link to it. It's like fishing, which is why it has a name like "link baiting."

Link baiting builds on the "content is king" concept by tapping into your ability to network and your ability to use that network to get word-of-mouth marketing going in your favor.

Quote:
there's only one SEO on the planet who has it itemized on their web site...

... Let's give old Rand a call.
I'm pretty sure that Andy Hagans, Todd Malicoat, and maybe even Aaron Wall are also offering link baiting as a paid service, itemized on their web sites and everything.

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Old 8th October 2006, 08:28 PM   #8
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I guess I understand what you are saying regarding the difference Matt ... if you consider basic content is king versus buzz generating link baiting. At the same time, hitting the buzz with the content is king terminology still isn't new. Paris Hilton content anyone?

I didn't find a page with Aaron Wall's providing a service. If anyone finds others please let us know.

For reference here is ...

Andy Hagans -
$4995

Quote:
The methodology of the link baiting service

1. We brainstorm and outline several link bait ideas tailored to the specific topic of your site. We then present these ideas to you, along with our recommendations, and you select the specific idea you prefer.
2. We write/program/create/design the link bait and send it to you for review and editing.
3. You release the link bait content on your site on a timetable which coordinates with our promotional campaign.
4. We research and send out customized emails to webmasters and bloggers whose visitors would likely be interested in your specific link bait content.
5. We post and/or submit the link bait piece to several social bookmarking and tagging sites, in such a manner that the link bait is more likely to 'go viral' and attract new links and traffic.
6. One week after the release of the link bait, we will deliver a report of links and references the link bait has received in its first week.
Todd Malicoat
$5000

Quote:
What You Get in a Linkbaiting Package

You will receive an article to place on your site that will be promoted through social networks, with the hopes of gaining a high level of exposure as well as potentially links from other sites. I will work with you to optimize the page on your site to maximize the benefit of the bait. We will work together to get you exposure on over 5 of the major social networks - getting you the initial nudge you need to build the force for a successful viral campaign.
Substitute the words 'link baiting' with 'marketing' and I think my point is clear. As willscott said - "a new box for the same detergent". marketing.

..... side note ....

Quote:
I don't know who gets the credit for the online long letter, but Henry Cowen was the first one to do it offline, and it's been copied ever since
That's an interesting history. Actually, in many/most circles Corey Rudl does when it comes to the online version. He passed away, much too young, within the past year or two during a racecar accident.

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Old 8th October 2006, 09:15 PM   #9
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I guess my big point was that there is really very little new under the sun.

It's packaging; like any good packaging it helps sell a product.

So, to re-state the earlier definition based on Matt's reply:

Link Bait (n.) -- Some piece of compelling content + a concerted attempt to generate buzz.

All of which have been done for 100's of years.

Whenever possible, I like to use the words which will be understood by the greatest number of people to whom I speak.

Cheers,
Will

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Old 8th October 2006, 09:34 PM   #10
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan View Post
Actually, in many/most circles Corey Rudl does when it comes to the online version. He passed away, much too young, within the past year or two during a racecar accident.
Hey Logan, thanks for this tidbit - Henry and I have had a number of conversations about the long letter and I've wondered but never bothered to ask.



Cheers,
Will

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