The quantity and quality of inbound links are two of the many metrics used by a search engine ranking algorithm to rank a website. Link bait creation falls under the task of link building, and aims to increase the quantity of high-quality, relevant links to a website. It is considered to be a white hat optimization method almost universally. Part of successful linkbaiting is devising a mini-PR campaign around the release of a linkbait article so that bloggers and social media users are made aware and can help promote the piece in tandem.
Although there are no clear-cut subdivisions within link bait, many attempt to divide them into types of hooks. This is a short list of some of the most common approaches with brief descriptions:
- Informational Hooks - Provide information that a reader may find very useful. Some rare tips and tricks or any personal experience through which readers can benefit.
- News Hooks - Provide fresh information and garner citations and links as the news spreads.
- Humor Hooks - Tell a funny story or a joke. A bizarre picture of your subject or mocking cartoons can also prove to be a link bait.
- Evil Hooks - Saying something unpopular or mean may also yield a lot of attention. Writing about something that is not appealing about a product or a popular blogger. Provide strong reasons for it.
- Tool Hooks - Create some sort of tool that is useful enough that people link to it.