Motivations for Linkbaiting – Why Links are Good for Your Blog

In my introduction to linkbaiting I talked about some of the negativity surround the word and some of the nefarious techniques bloggers use. But why would anyone want to put their blog at risk? Because those incoming links are good for your blog.

The Two Benefits Of Incoming Links

Referral Traffic: When another blogger links to you from inside one of his posts, that sends a powerful message to his readers. They trust that other blogger and if he’s recommending they visit your blog, then they know they can trust you, too.

Referral traffic is a little different than organ traffic that comes to you through the search engines. Those first-time visitors from the search engines are going to have to visit your blog a few times before they begin to trust you. But visitors referred by another blogger already have at least some trust in you because they trust the blogger who linked to you.

Search Engine Authority: The search engines also see those incoming links and if they’re coming from relevant blogs they look at them the same way readers do – as a recommendation from the blogger who’s linking to you.

The search engines also have the same problem readers do – they don’t know who to trust. If you have no incoming links then you’re just like any other blogger, but each incoming link makes you a little more trustworthy in their eyes.

The search engines want to make sure that their users find the information they’re looking for and if all those other blogs are linking to yours then they figure you’re doing something right. They reward your efforts by improving your ranking on the index, which in turn increases the organic traffic to your blog.

So the prime motivation for linkbaiting is traffic. You’ll either get referral traffic from that other blogger, or you’ll get more organic traffic as a result of your increased link authority. Either way, linkbaiting is beneficial for your blog. Or is it?

Linkbaiting Gone Bad

There are always going to be greedy bloggers who think that gaming the system will put them on the fast-track to success. Unfortunately, these bloggers usually end up ruining it for everyone. Because of some of the nefarious linkbaiting techniques they use, Google is cracking down on all bloggers.

These days, Google is devaluing links that come from poor-quality sites and/or non-relevant sites. And because they’re cracking down on everyone, most bloggers are hesitant to link out to anything now, even if it’s the best content on the most reputable site on the Web.

The motivations for using linkbaiting are still the same, and linkbaiting, when handled properly, is still a valuable SEO technique. But now it’s based on quality content, not how well you can game the system. In my next post I’ll talk about some successful linkbaiting techniques so you can get started with your own linkbaiting campaign.

Stéphane Kerwer
Article written by Stéphane Kerwer (1995 Posts)
Bonjour from a french guy. My name is Sté Kerwer and Dukeo is my blog. I do most of the heavy lifting in here but from time to time, you may see some guest posts. To receive updates from Dukeo, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.
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3 Comments (Add one)

  1. Thomas McMahon

    If you’re talking about link baiting as far as content going viral I don’t think there is much of an issue and the outcome will be mostly positive from everyone’s perspective.

    But if you’re trying to force the issue by spamming your mailing list or something like that and trying to get people to share the content then I agree, the links you’ll get from this probably won’t be highly valued by yourself or Google.

    That’s why I’m not a big fan of link baiting. Typically the content doesn’t have much to do with the site. I always refer to Dollar Shave Club when we talk about link baiting done right. Their promo video exploded and the traffic from it overloaded their servers. But you can’t make this happen by any means.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      There are so many different types of Link Baiting, I think it’s hard to say it’s all good or bad. It all depends on how it’s done… don’t you think?

      1. Thomas McMahon

        Yeah I’d have to agree. Although, in my opinion, the best kind of link baiting is the content that brings in strong links over long periods of time rather than a giant rush of traffic over a short amount of time. I guess I just have a problem with “link baiting strategies” since it usually moves the focus away from your sites readers.