The term “linkbait” is used to describe blog content whose main purpose is to generate incoming links from other sites. Linkbait content can take different forms – from a unique tool or a breaking news story to a well written article or controversial image.
Almost every blog publishes linkbait of some kind. Most people put together blogs with the intent of attracting a readership and in order to attract a readership they publish material which they hope will be linked to by other blogs. Unintentionally or intentionally, they are publishing linkbait.
There are different types of linkbait. Some bloggers write a step-by-step guide to something useful. Others resort to a more aggressive approach like waging a war of words with another blogger publicly in order to gauge interest from the on-looking blogging community.
In addition to creating an almost instant flow of traffic, linkbait ensures positive long term effects on your blog’s search engine rankings as search engines consider inbound link-count as a major factor in determining your blog’s search engine rankings and placement.
When creating linkbait you should be careful not to go over the top as badly written or unethical linkbait can be deemed inappropriate by your peers.
I recently created linkbait #1 and #2 which resulted in quite a bit of traffic for my domaining blog. You can find other examples of cool linkbait here, here, here, here and here. For some added thought, you can read Matt Cutt’s advice on linkbaiting and seo.