Community Hacking - 96 Baiting Strategies You Can Employ

Nov 13, 2008 - 6:50 pm 0 by
Filed Under PubCon 2008

Link-baiting is a topic that makes some people snicker when they hear it. However, the complexities and subtleties are a fascinating combination of clever copywriting and strategic placement. Did you know that there are 12 types of links? Moreover, there are eight types of link bait to get those 12 types of links? That means there are 96 different strategies to get links. This session will look at the eight and the twelve.

Moderator: Andy Beal Speakers: Todd Malicoat, Independent Marketing Consultant, Meta4creations, LLC Ian Ring, Application Developer, IGLOO Inc. Bill Hartzer, Search Engine Optimization Manager, Vizion Interactive Jane Copland, Search Marketing Consultant, SEOMoz

Bill Hartzer:

Link baiting specific sectors: target a group in your sector/topic, tell them what they want and what they need to know. Point out the industry problem (e.g. my funniest PPC mistake) - search for "keyword" at search engine. Find companies biddibng on word "keyword." Copy the list of keywords from the spreadsheet, paste into PPC program.

Target sites that link out - research those sites. Blogstorm tracker, Technorati, and more are good tools.

Find linkbait that worked. Don't always reinvent the wheel. Research your topic in social media, find URLs that have gone popular, create a unique twist for similar linkbait, write an update to the previous article (link to the previous with new developments), watch for press releases in your industy for studies, research, and other news. Set up Google and Yahoo alerts for news.

News works well as linkbait: be able to respond to breaking news (set up a blog or page ready for the article). Post quickly. Submit to social sites. Go back and edit/update Add pictures/photos/logos/screen captures. This strategy helps you get the market share of links and is good for organic search.

Linkbaiting Techniques: - tools, quizzes, contests, be first, scoops, expose, awards, lists, humor, make someone famous, create belonging/community, design, rants, controvesy, attack, shock, research and statts, give something away, resourcefulness, cool factors

Social media, linkbait, and search are all coming together. Create new linkbait on your site consistently. Participation is key - daily voting, commenting, and submitting. Linkbait + social media = market share of links and getting noticed If you get links when being noticed, you'll be successful in organic search.

Jane Copland:

Everyone can publish content online. It's low cost, high visibility, and easily digestible content. Blogs imitate familiar old media - the banner, the sidebar, and the lead article. Their success is partly a result of the familiar nature.

Different types of blogged content achieve different results: shes shows illustration for some sites that have 2500+ digs with 27 external links. One had 900 diggs and 131 external links. It varies.

These multiple types of blogged linkworthy content exists as: - "The Gimmick" - it helps to be drunk - Light content lists - footer post - it's easy - The OMG ticket (URLs ending in 0 - see on - it's harder, and it doesn't help to be drunk - Heavier content lists - it doesn't help to be drunk - In-depth articles and case studies - which shouldn't be launched on a blog. It's not a good idea to decide which type you're working with before you start writing.

It's never a good idea to launch viral content that isn't in a visible area.

SEOmoz has rewritten blog posts and 301d past links over to the new page.

Enable comments, because sometimes your readers are more interesting than you are. - However, disabling comments have its place where comments are inappropriate.

Link building achieves 3 main goals: * it adheres to traditional ways that content is distributed * it invites interaction * it's easy to spread becasue people can subscribe to blogs.

Todd Malicoat: awareness, sales, and revenue

Quick Digg primer: a lot of people read Digg and they have the power to put links to your site. You can either get a consultant or build up your own account. - Get an optimal name - alpha sort organization - Adding the right friends - they digg upcoming a lot, submit a lot, digg your stories. But don't do more than 5-10 a day. You'll want to reevaluate your friends. - Find good stories quickly - Submit good stories and ask for help

Some linkbait will bomb!

Have a friend submit your story.

Linkbaiting hooks: attack, humor, contrarian, news, resource, etc.

When you launch, if it doesn't bomb and it hits Digg's frontpage, you don't want your server to melt. Cache your content, host images on another host, search for the Digg/slashdot effect (and fix your server). Email friends and allies. Use sites as "jump off" points for other sites.

Don't have 25 social media buttons on the bottom of your blog post.

Reddit is similar to Digg - gives you less traffic but it's valuable. StumbleUpon has a toolbar and brings traffic.

Ian Ring: Optimizing Conversion using Genetics CSS styling can affect the clickability of links. Testing and optimization will increase your site's reevenue. Do you know if your current stylesheet is eleiciting optimzal user behavior?

Optimization algorithms: trial and errots, multivariate testing, hill climbing, simulated annealing (e.g. making the font size bigger, smaller, incrementally changing things until optimized), genetic algorithms

Introduction to genetic algiorthms - some are more optiized for environments. - Metaphor: the page is the ecosystem, the page elements are living organizsms, a hyperlink is a species, a well-adapted organism thrives in its ecosystem. A healthy ecosystem is comprised of fit organisms.

How do you do it? Survival of the fittest. - What is fitness? It's anything you can measure: clicks, purchases, subscriptions, sales leads, registration - these are all measures of fitness. - Fitness is easy to measure. It's the number of times something good happens.

In biology, chromosomes affect fitness. Brown eyes are better optimized than blue/green eyes. On your website, you probably want to optimize for brown eyes. - The chromosome that determines this is the CSS stylesheet.

CSS is a link's DNA: it could be an image, a graph, a link. You may have 3 bits for a font size or 24 bits - if you're testing another interface element, you may have another set of genes - hue/saturation/etc. Properties of CSS stylesheets can be turned into a binary string that can be stored, manipulated, and moved back into a CSS stylesheet.

CSS can be expressed as a binary string: A chromosome is a string of 1s and 0s. Define the genome: it's the map of placement of the genes that appear in a chromosome. You'll need a table to assign positions of the DNA to the genes in the CSS.

Create a template: inject genetic values into the template. You need functions to transalte binary chromosomes into CSS. Replace variables in the template with values from the DNA.

onPageLoad(): choose an organism; convert into CSS; if user clicks, increase organism's fitness. Increment organism's age. Do this until the end. After that, it's time to mate, spawn, and die.

Genetic variance via mutation and crossover: flip from 0 to 1 or 1 to 0.

You need a lot of things - databases, web pages, server side languages, and more!

Conclusion: unpredictable successes, continuous optimization, and no maintenance.


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