Linkbait is one of the best ways you can get quick traffic, generate awareness about what you are “selling” and build lots and lots of backlinks. People have been doing it for ages and still do it to this day simply because well executed linkbait works and works well.
What Is LinkBait?
From a past dnxpert post on linkbait:
The term “linkbait” is used to describe website content whose main purpose is to generate incoming links (ed note: and publicity) 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.
I still laugh at the great fun we had with the linkbait attempts we made right here on dnxpert in the past:
Top 10 Things Shoemoney, ProBlogger And Britney Spears Have In Common
Top 10 Reasons Why Google Is Sexually Promiscuous
The traffic flowed to the Britney Spears one especially for quite a while – as her name was dragged through the tabloids as a result of her exploits at the time.
It was interesting to see a serious government organization recently engage in linkbait though, especially because linkbait can backfire and erode an entity’s reputation quickly in such a volatile environment as is the web. The US Government’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently published an Emergency Preparedness and Response blog post for when a zombie apocalypse occurs.
In what is obviously linkbait by the authors of the site, and to make sure people don’t take the post literally, they point out that conveniently enough, if you are prepared for a zombie attack, you are prepared for anything.
To further calm any general public fears raised over the blog post, they also provide specific assurances outlining what they would do in case of such an unlikely disaster:
“If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin…”
Obviously, CDC used linkbait to build awareness about their cause – the term zombie attack was just used for the hype it could generate – and it worked a treat.