Mar 19 2008

6 Reasons Why Your Linkbait Failed

Linkbait has become a popular way for bloggers to increase their readers and traffic.

What is Linkbait?

Linkbait is basically a piece of content placed on a web page that is designed for the specific intention of gathering links from as many different sources as possible. Many linkbaits are also designed to go viral or go be popular on social media sites.

Good linkbait can be gold for any blogger or webmaster.

My Linkbait

Linkbait LinkbaitingRecently I tried my own linkbait, 8 reasons to link to our blog today. I wouldn’t say it failed because we did get some links (which I definitely appreciate). However it wasn’t as many as I had hoped.

It was a simple idea that I thought might spark some interest, especially to our regular readers. We did gain several rss subscribers along with a few links.

Why Did Your Linkbait Fail?

There could be several reasons why your linkbait failed.

Not Interesting Enough. The post just didn’t serve it’s purpose as linkbait. Whether it was simply boring or not eye-catching, the post or image just didn’t work.

Couldn’t Go Viral. For whatever reason your post couldn’t go viral. Maybe it wasn’t the right topic or submitted to the wrong websites. It’s important to put it on the best sites possible depending on the category.

No Promotion.
Most linkbait definitely needs promotion, at least to get going. You need those votes and views for people to actually SEE the linkbait. This would be a good method for all I’ve written about on Social Media like Sending Stumble Requests to your Friends.

Viral but No Links. Sometimes posts go viral and go popular on digg and more, but you don’t get people writing about it. Another linkbait I’ve written, Top 10 Reasons to Sleep Through New Years Eve, went popular on digg and others, but didn’t get people linking to it.

Social Media Didn’t Like It. You can have a great posts, a few votes, but not enough. Sometimes I’ve had over a dozen stumbles on an article, but only a small trickle of traffic. It often depends on WHO votes for it, instead of how many.

It’s Been Done Before. It’s hard for people to be into something that they’ve actually just seen, or seen before. It’s almost like “copying” to people. Digg’ers are the hardest to please when it comes to that sense. If you do anything even similar to what they’ve seen before you post will likely get buried.

Have you ever written linkbait? What were the results?

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18 Comments on this post


  1. Blogosfera: Le Ultime Notizie - Edizione Del 27 Marzo 2008 | MondoBlog wrote:

    [...] 6 Reasons Why Your Linkbait Failed [...]

    April 5th, 2008 at 8:39 am
  2. 100 Posts That Are Lists - Left The wrote:

    [...] 67: 6 Reasons Why Your Linkbait Failed [...]

    May 5th, 2008 at 7:05 am
  1. spostareduro said:

    Hi..Nice post. Sphunn.

    March 19th, 2008 at 10:31 am
  2. Matthew Henrickson said:

    thank you for the sphinn :D

    March 19th, 2008 at 11:06 am
  3. spostareduro said:

    You’re welcome :-)

    March 19th, 2008 at 11:18 am
  4. Aaron at said:

    Great post. It makes me think I need to pursue this more often.

    I have only had limited attempts at link baiting, but I have gotten some link love.

    One key that can’t be emphasized enough is high value, unique content. Top 10’s are often easy to come up with and are all over the net. Top 1,000 organized by category–that takes time but will result in making that post the place EVERYBODY links.

    March 19th, 2008 at 12:36 pm
  5. Frank C said:

    I’ve had more luck with “search engine bait” than with social media link bait.

    The best social media link baits I’ve had were on articles that dealt with eBay tips and tricks and top science fiction movies mini-review lists.

    March 19th, 2008 at 1:16 pm
  6. Jay said:

    What were your exceptations and what were the actual numbers you got?


    March 19th, 2008 at 1:44 pm
  7. Matthew said:

    great responses, im trying a bit more of “search engine bait” myself with my newest project. Already indexed and getting hits :)

    Are you asking me that Jay? Im not sure what you mean

    March 19th, 2008 at 1:56 pm
  8. Agam Panwar said:

    Its quite informative…

    Even i tried many different Linkbait and found that it entirely depends on your domain (which one to chose)


    Agam Panwar,
    First Trade Show

    March 20th, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    Never tried link bait but found this interesting. I’ve been thinking lately how do I get more people to link to … me

    March 21st, 2008 at 4:58 am
  10. Wil Reynolds said:

    It would be interesting to follow up with a dissecting of a failed linkbait with a bunch of top linkbaters to see what could be done differently.

    Great post thanks!

    March 21st, 2008 at 12:22 pm
  11. Manish Pandey said:

    Hi Matt,

    Well I do write few articles, don’t know if they are link bait or not. They get a few links but not that many I desired.

    March 22nd, 2008 at 12:02 pm
  12. M. Volz - Online Marketing said:

    Do you have some examples for successful linkbaits ?

    July 21st, 2008 at 11:15 am
  13. Matthew Henrickson said:

    Take a look at digg, most non news story that hit are generally linkbait, especially those filled with funny photos etc.

    July 22nd, 2008 at 10:43 am
  14. Tom Kirkpatrick said:

    I’d really like to know exactly how many links you got out of it and how many new rss readers, and how you worked out figures for those…

    Tom Kirkpatricks last blog post..5 Drupal SEO modules – essential modules for all sites

    August 28th, 2008 at 5:44 am
  15. Nayan said:

    Nice Post. I really didn’t know what is link bite till now.

    July 4th, 2009 at 1:53 am
  16. Jayesh said:

    Great post.
    As link bite is so important.

    July 4th, 2009 at 1:59 am


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