Western internet marketers have long understood the futility of promoting projects through the purchase of links. Domestic experts are also beginning to change the approaches to the promotion, and the refusal of the largest search engine Runet "Yandex" from the reference ranking will help them act faster.
Search engines are quite normal with natural links. Google still takes them into account when ranking resources, despite the actual failure to calculate PR and combat link exchange schemes. Even if the “search engines” completely nullify the role of links in rankings, natural links from authoritative resources will remain an important source of traffic.
Therefore, marketers began campaigns to attract natural links, barely abandoning their purchase on the stock exchanges. Link earning itself is not a negative phenomenon. Indeed, what kind of negative is it when the company creates high-quality content, and users naturally refer to it? However, obtaining natural links has become an end in itself for some marketers. They create and publish content, the main purpose of the existence of which is getting natural links. This is the so-called bad linkbacking.
In fact, bad linkbiting is a form of reference cheat. And manipulation of search results remains a hopeless investment in the long term. Why should this method become a thing of the past and how can it be replaced? Read below.
What is linkbiting
Linkbuiting is the creation and publication of content in order to attract the attention of the audience and encourage it to link to the site. This word comes from the English link (link) and bait (bait). Relatively speaking, when engaged in linkbiting, the marketer uses content as bait, expecting users to "bite" him and actively link to the site.
According to the main fighter with search spam Matt Cutts, Google does not consider linkbeiting to be an absolutely illegal scheme. When the site offers users really interesting and useful content, they naturally refer to this resource, and there is nothing wrong with that.
According to the marketing company MOZ, it is necessary to distinguish between normal (white) and bad (black) linkbeiting. Black linkbiting involves the creation and publication of content that generates natural links, but does not create additional value and does not bring real value to the audience. One of the distinguishing characteristics of black linkbiting is the use of someone else's content or ideas for the sake of getting links to your site. By the way, the so-called rewriting falls under this definition.
Thus, the line between good and bad linkbiting is very thin and controversial. You can define it this way. White linkbayter create content, services and other assets that differ practical use, information value, the ability to emotionally engage the audience in interaction with the brand. And external links are becoming a positive side effect of these efforts. Black linkbayters think first about links, and then about the practical value of content.
Black Linkbiting in action
An example of a bad linkbacking can be called the publication of eye-catching and viral content, which has low practical value and is only indirectly related to the subject matter of the site or business area. Imagine a company that provides services for the repair of household plumbing. To attract the attention of the audience, this company publishes an infographic of “The 10 most terrible deaths in water”. Events develop like this:
- The old school "SEO" convinces the head of the firm that the keyword "water" is relevant to the plumbing company's business, and references to "terrible deaths in water" will allow businesses to advance in extradition. And the manager somehow doesn’t think that his potential clients are not interested in death in water, but only in repairing pipes and eliminating water leaks.
- Infographics about terrible deaths get a lot of external links as long as the SEO helps to stimulate shearing on social networks in various ways. As soon as the wave of sharing disappears, external links cease to appear.
- Naturally, the site of the plumbing company does not publish other content about death in water. Therefore, users who, for whatever reason, are interested in this topic, do not find anything interesting on the resource and leave it immediately after viewing the infographic. Indeed, why would they need some kind of “How to fix a faucet before plumbing”, when they are interested in leviathans devouring people.
- All links to the site have the same anchor because of the widget that readers use to embed infographics on their blog pages. Google Penguin notices this, takes for cheating and lowers the site of the plumbing company in the issuance of requests that include the word "water".
- The old school "SEO" recalls that the word "toilet" is relevant to the business of a plumbing firm. He proposes to create a viral infographic of "15 most dangerous toilet bowls."
This hypothetical example shows that not all external links are useful for business promotion, even if they are 100% natural.
Why bad linkbiting reduces search marketing effectiveness
Black linkbithing not only reduces the effectiveness of marketing, but also threatens the resource with real sanctions from the search engines. This is due to the following reasons:
- Linkbuying provides a one-time increase in the number of external links. However, this surge of activity ends quickly. Search engines have a negative attitude to such situations.
- The content published as bait usually does not correspond to the subject of the resource.
- Visitors who link to the linkbayter site or follow the links almost never return to the resource.
- Content used by linkbighters has low value. Most often as the bait are repeatedly replicated and rewritten lists of the "top-10".
- Publishing bait content gets a lot of links with the same anchor, which refers to search tag features.
How to use linkbiting
Can linkbeiting be an effective tool to promote a project? Yes, if the marketer is ready to abandon the creation of content-bait and invest in the creation of truly useful content assets, one of the positive side effects of which are external links.
Content assets provide repeated visits by users and the constant emergence of new natural links. It is important that new links are published with various natural anchors or completely without anchors. Due to this, search engines do not consider links to be stranded. As an example of a content asset that generates traffic and links, you can specify a global etiquette map.
To distinguish the creation of content assets from black linkbiting, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this content bringing something new to users?
- Will this publication help users or teach them something?
- Will people use this service or guide again and again?
- What is the practical value of this publication?
- Does this content provide an emotional response?
White Linkbuying Ideas
As stated above, the main idea of white link buying is the creation and publication of content assets that provide real value to readers and generate traffic and external links. Such assets can be:
- Expert textual content, including product reviews, user guides, expert tips, etc.
- Valid online tests.
- Useful infographics, for example, a graphic story about changes in Google algorithms.
- Convenient free services.
- Useful video content.
- The results of practical research, designed in the form of easy-to-download white paper.
- Other downloadable assets, such as e-books, free software distributions, etc.
Creating valuable content assets is the best way to linkbuyting
Turn your unique knowledge, views, products into online assets that interest Internet users. To do this, write really useful expert-level texts, give users access to services, publish infographics. Think about the benefits your audience gets, not about cheap content baits. In this case, you will definitely get traffic and links, but this is not the main thing. White linkbiting is a tool to attract the audience, increase loyalty and stimulate sales. And this is more important than abstract backlinks.
And what examples of content assets do you know?