Linkbaiting, linkbait, link bait, or whatever your term of choice, is pretty much what it sounds like–putting out bait in the hopes of getting links. Here’s an example: I just created a post on another blog called “If the 2008 Elections Were Based on SEO.” While perhaps not the most fascinating piece of literature you’ve ever read, hopefully it’s somewhat interesting. For some people it will be interested enough that they will link to it from their blog or website. Those links will provide two benefits to the website hosting the linkbait; first, the ranking of that website will improve, and second, the website will enjoy greater traffic being generated through those incoming links.
You see, search engines figure that if a lot of websites are linking to your website, then your website must be important or interesting, and that’s one of the many factors search engines use to determine how to rank your website. It’s also one of the more important factors. Generally speaking, the more links you’ve got coming to your website, the better, and linkbaiting is one way to get more links. Create something interesting and unique, and put it out there for the world to see.
Now, if you want to make things happen a little faster you can also submit your piece of linkbait to websites like Digg. There it will be seen by other people, and if they like it they can “digg” it or vote for it. This will push it up so that more and more people see it, and if you get enough people who digg the content then it can really take off, not only generating tons of traffic for your site but more and more links.
It can get more complicated than this, but at its heart it’s a simple concept. Create unique and interesting content, find ways to let people know about it, and enjoy the improved rankings. That’s linkbaiting in a nutshell.