Great Linkbait in the Wild - Post What You Find

Ryuzaki

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We've had a number of threads about trying to generate ideas for linkbait or sharing examples. So I figured we might as well have an on-going thread which helps get the creative juices flowing. A lot of these will likely be translatable to your niche. If you rip off a big idea, you won't get the big links, but you can probably still make a big shakeup in your niche and get relevant links from competitors looking for a story. Think of it like BuzzSumo but for links instead of social signals.

Offline Mode Only

Some dude named Chris Bolin is making use of social commentary and device distraction with his recent linkbait. The unique angle is that you have to put your phone in "airplane mode" to read the page, where he apparently lectures us on internet addiction.



Seen at: https://chris.bolin.co/offline/

I didn't bother to actually do it. But this is a perfect example of something generalized and applicable enough to get all of the big sites talking about it in desperation of a story, because hey, they have publishing schedules they have to fill.

I'm not sure when it went live, it looks like about a week ago. Check this out:


Look at the UR score of 42. This page has a better Ahrefs score than most people's domains ever will, all in a matter of days, and that's assuming that Ahrefs hasn't even picked up most of the links, like the one he's about to get from BuSo.

Some domains linking in so far with dofollow, all with DR above 70.
  • Vice.com
  • DaringFireball.com
  • yCombinator.com
  • BoingBoing.com
  • TheNextWeb.com
The number above DR 50 is staggering, and they're all related to his niche. Imagine pulling that off in your niche and then adding some interlinks to important pages on your site as the attention starts to cool down.

If you see a good example in the wild, share it here and give us some info about the stats, you lazy bastard.
 

Ryuzaki

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Is It Raining In Your City?

Saw a new one making the rounds, and it has an interesting twist to the results...

Seen at: http://isitraining.in

Here's a screen cap of the site so you don't even have to visit unless you want to play with it.



The only unique thing is the domain spells out the statement: "Is It Raining In _____?" It doesn't offer anything special, only a very minimal and restricted weather checker. But that's also the attraction, because we've begun to glorify minimalism, smallness, and reductionism, as a society. It literally just scrapes or API's into Yahoo Weather (nothing new or unique, just a twist on presentation).

But it turns out that the normal internet users don't really care about this as much as people like me who are pointing it out.



That's a lot of links, most coming from sitewides on a forum or web 2.0. Most of those referring domains are dofollow, meaning this isn't really making the rounds on forums like you'd expect. It's actually getting links on all of the same "web developer" sites like the example above did.

So what's the point of a gimmick like this? Eventually (or from the start), I'd be adding "Developed and Maintained by My Brand" as an anchor text and the only link on the homepage, and I'd have that be the only indexed page, and all others canoncal-ing back to it.

Alternatively, when the "fun" is over, you could move the thing over to your main domain and 301 it, so instead of it being 1 powerful link to your domain, it can be 385 powerful domains linking to your main domain.
 

animalstyle

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I’lol throw in a historical one here for the “kids” that might not have been online in 2005 :wink:

The Million Dollar Homepage



The idea is simple, sell pixels in minimum of 10x10 ($100) increments with an image, alt text, and a link. A million pixels for a million bucks.

So far as I know this site was the original, the first really well known pixel selling site that gained mass media recognition.

Here’s the site and an informative Wikipedia entry.

You might have heard of it, but if not, I thought it might spark some ideas!
 
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Will Robots Take My Job?

Another successful Linkbait, developed by Mubashar Iqbal, that gained some nice momentum in a short period of time. I initially stumbled upon it on ProductHunt where it was submitted on May 30, 2017. While looking at the backlink profile it looks like the exposure on PH has been the main accelerator.

Seen at: https://willrobotstakemyjob.com



"Side Projects" such as these may be a great way to garner some links, but don't overlook the fact that they still take some time and effort (mostly marketing). There are tons of sites that did the same as isitraining.in before, but never received the intended love. The Developer of willrobotstakemyjob seems to be well connected and experienced to be able to pull something like this of. That's my two cents and a disclaimer for some beginners in here.

So what's the point of a gimmick like this? Eventually (or from the start), I'd be adding "Developed and Maintained by My Brand" as an anchor text and the only link on the homepage, and I'd have that be the only indexed page, and all others canoncal-ing back to it.

Alternatively, when the "fun" is over, you could move the thing over to your main domain and 301 it, so instead of it being 1 powerful link to your domain, it can be 385 powerful domains linking to your main domain.
I've played with this idea before, but wasn't really sure if it's the best move. In this thread you've talked about bad linking strategies and Widget Links/Site Badges.
If you were to do a 301 wouldn't this be equal to the "Top 10 Fashion Blogger Award" badges that link back to your site, in terms of quality? isitraining.in doesn't seem to have the most quality backlinks and especially a useless anchor text profile.
Would this result into a site with a huge backlink profile but nearly zero SERP exposure? I'm seeing sites that have a DR of 50, 3k referring domains and 113k backlinks but are getting 6k organic visitors (there are surely other factors involved). Kind of reminds me of situations like these.

I would guess however that putting a link in the footer of the linkbait site would be much safer, but would have a less powerful impact.
 

Andrewkar

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I'm not sure this will qualify here, as this is not a example of click bite as the ones above. Anyway, it's just a YT video created to promote some shipping brand from EU. While other companies are promoting their services by showing off how great, sweet and on time they are, this company decided to go different way. Was it a good choice? Surprisingly this video has atm very smal number of likes and views, but it definitely did make a dent, because was featured in many medium and even some high level media outlets - so brand name got some attention for sure. What is interesting for marketing orientated guys is that this brand decided to separate themselves from the competition, by showcasing how bad and full of shit this industry might be (especially right now in EU when problems with immigrants are plenty however, they didn't touch this subject, and that's very good for them). I guess it shows how in two minutes you can separate yourself from the market, and in turn create attention - according to this saying: “Remember, a dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.” Simple and old idea, but always effective if done right.

Version with English subtitles.

 

Ryuzaki

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Update Your Website Footer.
Source: http://updateyourfooter.com



And the backlink profile:



This is a decent idea because it becomes relevant again once a year, since it's not based on a celebrity acting crazy or anything like that. All it is is a list of ways to change the time stamp in your footer to a dynamic snippet of code in Javascript or PHP so it updates automatically every year.

They don't seem to be doing this for the link juice just yet. It has a couple Adsense blocks on it and that's all. You can tell by the DR 49, though, that even though they only have 181 referring domains, they must be getting some links from some very juicy domains.

This is the kind of site I'd reach out to and try to buy if it was in my niche. Then I'd give it a real marketing push and a giant outreach campaign once a year.
 
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The NCAA march madness tourney has been going on for a little while, and I recently saw an article about a guy posting a Disney movie bracket on twitter. It has gotten tons of attention from websites like buzzfeed, gizmodo, etc. Just search 'disney bracket'.

The shame of it is this guy needed to have it on a website of some sort, maybe with a neat form filling app where you could choose the movies and it would generate an image you could download and share by submitting your email. Heck, you could make a bracket about all kinds of subjects that people care about and will get emotional over. Maybe a lesson in here about using current events applied to your niche?

Anyways, it looks like all the potential backlinks are instead going to his twitter post.
 

Ryuzaki

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Evolution of the Scrollbar - LINK

Here's one that just happened that you can watch grow live. Seems to have been released today. So far, just today, here's a few of the links it's gotten:



Two of those are homepage links. I didn't visit them and I'm sure it'll roll off the homepage, but still. Very nice. It's going to get a lot more links today, in the coming weeks, and then can be re-promoted again and again. It just got another one from BuilderSociety.com!

It's a very simple design, but interesting to a tight niche of people:



You can whip these microsites together so fast and funnel link juice wherever you want or use them to promote your brand. Just need a micro-idea and you're off to the races. They don't need to be complicated. In fact, simpler is better. These are similar to and easier to make than infographics.
 
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This idea isn't as unique as what everyone here is talking about, but I'll share what our SEO team at my old company did a ton of in finance.

Method:

Create unique study you generate with your own data -----> localize the data & mix in some publicly available data -------> pitch to pack of 100's of local news sites.

In our case, we'd survey all of our customers some questions about their car accidents, then just segment the data by state. Repack the data into a cool post about best & worst drivers by state in the US. It's about that simple.

Here's an example of what the end article would look like:



https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/state/florida-drivers-considered-4th-worst-in-the-u-s-according-to-study

It was massively successful and scalable. Over my time at the company, the SEO team got hundreds of links from this strategy.

......many of the competitors of ours did this too. The model itself has gotten a little stale after 3-5 years, but it was MASSIVELY successful overall even though after a few years everyone was doing it.

I think the formula up top is what to really pay attention to.

1. Know that news anchors want cool stats local to their news market. If you can provide interesting, LOCALized studies, consider the link yours.

2. Create a study using your own accrued data. Something that is highly argumentative/shareable -- be a marketer with this. If you find something that is highly shareable, news networks recognize that too and your "outreach conversion rate" goes up a ton.

3. Massive outreach. Our group had heavily researched all news sites (including TV, which we got a lot of links from local TV networks' websites) and they continued to use and reuse this list of contacts for outreach year after year for campaigns & new studies.

The Why & What News Networks Want

All details told, the data itself in our study wasn't completely scientific, but it got a conclusion that was shareable & easy to digest. For anyone who has read about lack of fact-checking on news sites, you know this. They want eyeballs, sensationalism, and clicks, not scientifically-verified facts. Another popular study that did some rounds for us was around the concept of "WOMEN BETTER DRIVERS THAN MEN???" and our data set that showed the case for it. Aim for controversy.

Check out this big link our company got that made it to the front page of Reddit. URL shown is NOT our site, it's the site that posted our linkbait.



See the comments? People love to discuss it and whine about drivers in their area. And the news network that shared this study, do you think they were pretty happy about getting to the first page of reddit on some clickbait article someone basically made for them? Ya they probably were happy about it. The morning this happened we were getting a lot of traffic from this site and the SEOs couldn't figure it out why (cuz they really just aim for links). I just did a query into Google and realized the page was on the front page of reddit ha! Look at the people in the comments whining about local traffic issues etc. This article is funny, verifying, relatable, interesting all rolled into one. The sweet-spot for a news network.

We'd get the most action from the best/worst sites. It's not very interesting to say "Ohio ranks 25th best drivers" (middle of the pack? who cares?). But lots of action for "California rated WORST drivers in US". The reason for this should be obvious, one stat makes your local market very interesting in either a good or bad way. The other stat makes your local market average --> not interesting.

I think what I've described is a big model that can still be cracked wide open for other niches and industries. I don't think the data even needs to be your "own" -- though you can weave in some stuff to make it sound like its your own proprietary data.

You know how much energy you put into aligning your website & content to cater to what your users want? Put just as much energy catering your linkbuilding content to cater to what news networks want. What that 25 year old news network 'gatekeeper' wants in a story he stamps his name on. What are his incentives? Cater your approach to the network!

There's so many campaigns you can build on the back of this model, ask yourself these questions as you consider topics:

[ ]
Is this study topic controversial/shareable?
[ ] Can we include proprietary data of ours?
[ ] Can we localize the data to make it a state-level comparison? (not essential, but important for local news networks in particular)



Look at all the angles. People did it by car model. People did it by "first born" too. Not just state. It's all about the controversy baby.

BTW - "worst drivers" always got more press than "best drivers".
 
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This idea isn't as unique as what everyone here is talking about, but I'll share what our SEO team at my old company did a ton of in finance.

Method:

Create unique study you generate with your own data -----> localize the data & mix in some publicly available data -------> pitch to pack of 100's of local news sites.

In our case, we'd survey all of our customers some questions about their car accidents, then just segment the data by state. Repack the data into a cool post about best & worst drivers by state in the US. It's about that simple.

Here's an example of what the end article would look like:



https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/state/florida-drivers-considered-4th-worst-in-the-u-s-according-to-study

It was massively successful and scalable. Over my time at the company, the SEO team got hundreds of links from this strategy.

......many of the competitors of ours did this too. The model itself has gotten a little stale after 3-5 years, but it was MASSIVELY successful overall even though after a few years everyone was doing it.

I think the formula up top is what to really pay attention to.

1. Know that news anchors want cool stats local to their news market. If you can provide interesting, LOCALized studies, consider the link yours.

2. Create a study using your own accrued data. Something that is highly argumentative/shareable -- be a marketer with this. If you find something that is highly shareable, news networks recognize that too and your "outreach conversion rate" goes up a ton.

3. Massive outreach. Our group had heavily researched all news sites (including TV, which we got a lot of links from local TV networks' websites) and they continued to use and reuse this list of contacts for outreach year after year for campaigns & new studies.

The Why & What News Networks Want

All details told, the data itself in our study wasn't completely scientific, but it got a conclusion that was shareable & easy to digest. For anyone who has read about lack of fact-checking on news sites, you know this. They want eyeballs, sensationalism, and clicks, not scientifically-verified facts. Another popular study that did some rounds for us was around the concept of "WOMEN BETTER DRIVERS THAN MEN???" and our data set that showed the case for it. Aim for controversy.

Check out this big link our company got that made it to the front page of Reddit. URL shown is NOT our site, it's the site that posted our linkbait.



See the comments? People love to discuss it and whine about drivers in their area. And the news network that shared this study, do you think they were pretty happy about getting to the first page of reddit on some clickbait article someone basically made for them? Ya they probably were happy about it. The morning this happened we were getting a lot of traffic from this site and the SEOs couldn't figure it out why (cuz they really just aim for links). I just did a query into Google and realized the page was on the front page of reddit ha! Look at the people in the comments whining about local traffic issues etc. This article is funny, verifying, relatable, interesting all rolled into one. The sweet-spot for a news network.

We'd get the most action from the best/worst sites. It's not very interesting to say "Ohio ranks 25th best drivers" (middle of the pack? who cares?). But lots of action for "California rated WORST drivers in US". The reason for this should be obvious, one stat makes your local market very interesting in either a good or bad way. The other stat makes your local market average --> not interesting.

I think what I've described is a big model that can still be cracked wide open for other niches and industries. I don't think the data even needs to be your "own" -- though you can weave in some stuff to make it sound like its your own proprietary data.

You know how much energy you put into aligning your website & content to cater to what your users want? Put just as much energy catering your linkbuilding content to cater to what news networks want. What that 25 year old news network 'gatekeeper' wants in a story he stamps his name on. What are his incentives? Cater your approach to the network!

There's so many campaigns you can build on the back of this model, ask yourself these questions as you consider topics:

[ ]
Is this study topic controversial/shareable?
[ ] Can we include proprietary data of ours?
[ ] Can we localize the data to make it a state-level comparison? (not essential, but important for local news networks in particular)



Look at all the angles. People did it by car model. People did it by "first born" too. Not just state. It's all about the controversy baby.

BTW - "worst drivers" always got more press than "best drivers".
Do you know how much it costs to commission a company to run the surveying research on your behalf? Also, is it better (in terms of new companies, etc, picking it up) to do smaller surveys on the state level or one larger one on the national level?