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Link bait versus quality content

As you probably know, there are a lot of articles on creating link bait. But what is link bait for your customers and how can you create the most efficient content?

Meet link bait

Link bait was termed as content, aimed to get the most number of links from visitors. As it is specifically aimed for gaining links, it is compared to a bait. Hence, link bait.

Generally, certain link baits are more effective then others. Link bait examples may be:

  • useful tools to complement your product/services
  • amusing videos, related to your topic
  • certain types of content, aimed to generate lots of linkage
  • controversial blog posts/articles
  • flames on some famous bloggers/industry experts

Of course, some useful and informative content may be link baity, but the whole difference between the link bait and quality content is that link bait is created to get links, while quality content is created to provide value to the people.

Why link bait and content are different?

As said before, link bait is different from content in that it is created solely for the purpose of getting links. Sometimes, the usefulness of the link bait may be disregarded to match certain interests and ignite emotions of certain easy-linking demographics.

Another aspect of link bait is the social aspect of it. Some judge the success of link bait by getting dugg at Digg.com and getting to the homepage. An article on the Digg homepage can get thousands of visitors per day and it is a juicy bite that some marketers lust for.

I'd also note that one of the differences is that link bait content gets a large number of quick links from the start and then the incoming links stream dries out, while quality content continues to get links from more reputable sources for the length of its digital life.

However, the main difference is how the person can use and benefit from the link bait. Though a free tool is useful, some of the link bait types (such as videos) may not be used to learn something new on how to make one's life better.

Some may argue whether link bait is good for the Web. The idea is that link bait lowers the quality of content on the Web, pollutes the SERPs and makes it harder to find useful information. However, it may be assumed that 80% of everything is junk and that link bait is another form of low quality content.

Quality content

Quality content, in turn, is created to provide value to the people:

  • to learn something new and useful on the topic
  • to know how to choose and use the product
  • to learn how the product is compared to others
  • to find other useful resources of information
  • to know other industry experts in the industry, etc

Mostly, quality content is designed for people to benefit from it. It is not designed just to get links, it is created to be something of use. Mostly, quality content is timeless, as it is truly focused on the universal aspects of the topic.

However, certain quality content may be temporary - comments on news, some new edge in the industry, etc.

In short, it is the intent that counts: doing it for the people or for links.

The benefits of providing truly quality content is that it will help you build a stronger brand and trust, increase conversions and also deliver long-term benefits of reputation, traffic and links. While quality content gets links as well, it is a good bonus for delivering value, not the goal of creating it.

Conclusion

While you may find a certain balance between providing value and aiming to get links with your content, it should be beneficial to focus on true quality. This will allow you to make the best effort for reputation, trust and credibility as well as traffic and incoming natural links.

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