As I usually do for each Bloggers Unite initiative, I am taking part, but as usual I want to at least try to keep on topic, so I can connect with my readers better.
How would I define good linkbait?
It is the kind of linkbait that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling that you did something to make a difference, provided a useful tool, some great content that people found exceptionally useful, or when you invested a huge amount of time researching a story so that you could break real news before anyone else.
The guys at Blogcatalog and their army of bloggers genuinely believe that through blogging they can make a difference to the world, and the links they gain to a subdomain on their site dedicated to promoting good causes are well deserved.
There is no “bait and switch” they drive traffic and juice to the Bloggers Unite subdomain, and whilst there are links from there back to their main site, and their blog, there are also plenty of external links as well.
It is a genuine effort to promote good causes, and Blogcatalog reap the reward of constantly growing traffic and mindshare.
The bloggers involved can even benefit from it.
Today, 2 bloggers were highlighted on CNN
Dead Rooster is a humor blog and blogged about helping the victims devastated by Cyclone Narigis in Myanmar.
Likewise Kevin for once wasn’t writing pointless banter
Both were mentioned by Veronica De La Cruz in a special segment on CNN all about today’s blogging for human rights.
What can both of them do? Well now they have both been featured on CNN, why not make use of that fact for some social proof and create a simple “As seen on CNN” badge, and link it to the posts they have written celebrating the appearance.
So that was doing things right, what I look on as “Linkbait for Good”.
I am using the term “bad” because it is the opposite of good, not to make any kind of specific moral judgement, though ultimately doing something that is linkworthy for a charity is always going to end up being more morally uplifting than doing something which is self-serving.
Just over 20 years ago a newspaper launched in the UK that took the tabloid press in new directions, the Sunday Sport. The current owners don’t seem to have much of a website, in fact I had to lift that link from a Reuter’s press release.
They could do insane traffic in the web’s current climate, even just doing a rerun of the “best of” articles.
At the time I was working in a pub at weekends, and I can still remember some of the headlines from around their launch date.
“Double Decker Bus Found On The Moon”
“Woman Gave Birth To A 12lb Trout”
You see as a feature of Sunday lunch at the pub, around that time, along with the heavily salted roast potatoes on the bar as snacks and a few pints, a group would gather around the pub manager going through the headlines, or occasionally one of the other regulars. One copy of the paper effectively passed through 50 pairs of hands in a 2 hour period, and it wasn’t for the T & A.
There are quite likely very similar newspapers in the US, and I hear Fox News has some similar characteristics…
This was/is entertainment, it is not meant to be taken seriously
Stories such as this make exceptional linkbait, especially in niches where it is hard to otherwise accumulate quality links.
If you are looking for something like that, you need a linkbait specialist. Lyndon provides ample proof that this works.
It generates laughs, it is entertainment, at times it can spread like a wild fire even if it is untrue (especially if it is untrue), but whilst I appreciate the humor, and especially appreciated it in my youth, it leaves me with that empty feeling.
The same happens when people generate fairly mediocre lists of items, pretty them up with interesting pictures and screenshots, and proclaim them as the very top X blah blah blah.
I know this stuff is popular, I know it works, I know it generates links and for some that is the sole purpose of the endeavour.
Links = SERPs = Traffic = $$$
Ultimately the rich get richer, and then make large donations to charity for the tax benefit