In this article we will discover which of the SEOmozzers linkbait attempts were the most popular and, most importantly, how you can use the same ideas to emulate the success of SEOmoz.
This post has been somewhat of a labour of love for me and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing and researching it.
Firstly it is useful to take a look at the SEOmoz Alexa data which shows the phenomenal growth of the site during late 2006.
December 2005 – Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization
Referenced everywhere the Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization became the default location web marketing newbies were sent when they asked about learning SEO. 2 years later the article is still one of hte leading beginners resources in our industry and fully deserves the 4,689 links it has attracted.
January 2006 – IP location
The first piece of SEOmoz linkbait to hit the Digg front page was in early 2006 and used the new Google Maps API and some cool AJAX technology to create an AJAX Powered IP Location Lookup tool which went on to attract 9,566 links. The tool hit the Digg front page with 1352 Diggs and also received a lot of attention elsewhere with 1280 Del.icio.us bookmarks.
May 2006 – Digg Bait
Next on the list was more Digg bait than long term linkbait. The Interviewing Web Developers – 20 Good Questions to Ask post attracted 800 links to both the old and new versions of the url as well as over 1200 Diggs.
This post was ideally targeted towards the web development community on social networks such as Digg.
July 2006 – Digg
Rand is clearly getting the hang of the Digg audience and figures out that the one thing Digg users like to Digg more than anything else is a story about Digg. The Top 100 Digg Users Control 56% of Digg’s HomePage Content post attracted over 4485 Diggs and around 700 links in total.
August 2006 – Linkbait Headlines
Matt is back with another good post this month about 5 HTML elements you probably never use (but perhaps should) which attracted 1400 links and over 3500 Diggs. This post has a perfect linkbait title and appeals to a wide range of web design blogs so the link potential is much higher than some of the other linkbait posts.
October 2006 – tricky client
Matt clearly had a difficult client in October as the two stories on Digg were about How to convince a client their site doesn’t need background music and How to Convince a Client They Don’t Need a Splash Page. These two posts attracted 700 links between them.
The Page Strength tool is a great example of long term linkbait and has attracted around 6,000 links to the various different urls it has occupied.
February 2007 – Web design
Once more the theme is web design as Matt offers 8 Web Design Tactics to Help You When You’re Stuck attracting 1791 Diggs and an impressive 3000 links.
Another success this month was 15 CSS Properties You Probably Never Use (but perhaps should) with 2600 links
Web 2.0 Awards
What can we learn from SEOmoz
Attracting links from within a specific niche is difficult purely because of the limited number of related sites that may link to you. The tactic SEOmoz has used is to create more generic linkbait that appeals to a much wider section of the online community. If Rand had restricted SEOmoz to pure search engine optimisation content the site would not have seen anywhere near the growth or links from outside the SEO community as it has.
As long as your linkbait is loosely related to your core subject area it is important to embrace off topic posts and thrive on the links you gain from totally unrelated websites.