18 Jan 2007

LinkBait alone won’t do it. You need Link Ninjas.

It seems like everywhere I go recently I’m being hit in the face with LinkBait Articles, so I’ll join the crowd, but I’ll be brief.

Just today these articles were published:  

I had just started a very long post giving pros and cons, but I just don’t have the time to go into everything….but I’ll just do a short ramble.

I honestly believe a Link Ninja can beat a Link Baiter in the rankings, here’s some reasons why.

A Link Ninja can get focused link text. A link baiter is at the mercy of the person who links. (It can be really hard to rank for anything unless you’ve got some focus on getting text links with specific targeted phrases).

A Link Ninja can also get a site into the neighborhood that it needs to be in. A link Baiter often gets links from tech sites and blogs….but often not from the sites in the neighborhood.

A Link Ninja can have some control over co-citation (some day I’ll talk more about this).

A Link Ninja can get on older trusted pages from authority sites that might not be seeking to add more, unless a ninja influences them.  A Link Baiter often gets links from tech sites and blogs….but like I said, often not from the sites in the neighborhood.

A Link Ninja can control what pages get the link…and can get links to specific pages , homepage, product pages, etc….A link Baiter gets a link to a great content page mostly….but it’s not usually the page the site owner really wants to rank for anything.

Now I’ll give you, a mid level Ninja can do both, after all, true SEO is a combo of links and text, and the better of each you have, the better you’ll rank.  The better the content, the easier it is to get backlinks (via asking, or not).  (yes, we offer linkbait  content creation at WBP).

I can totally agree that the best backlinks in the world (and often easiest to get) are those that came because of great content (or call it Link Bait)….but without some Focused and Precise Link Building, you might not get to where you want to be.

Do you believe it?

—–

PS, I’m going to be out for at least a day, so if I don’t respond for a day or if your comment is held in moderation, don’t worry, I’ll be back.

Comments

  1. nuevojefe January 19, 2007 at 12:04 AM

    totally agree. One of the best strategies, i believe, is to get some solid likbait going and enjoy the trust your domain begins to build from a wide variety of links (and their corresponding quality), and link ninja your way into the right neighborhood, right anchor text, and to the right pages. And yea, get on the co-citation train while you’re at it.

  2. Automat January 19, 2007 at 12:59 AM

    Links from Linkbait go to Linkbait.
    Links from Link Ninja go to Target Content Page.
    Link Ninja Links make the pages you want to rank well rank well, not the Link Bait pages.

  3. Alex January 19, 2007 at 1:35 AM

    In my opinion, linkbaiting is a more creative way to get links. It is a boring task to search for suitable websites, to contact website owners for a link exchange – 95% time is wasted.

    And to outsource your link buiding to some third party ninjas – be prepared to pay and get a set of incoming links from link farms.

  4. graywolf January 19, 2007 at 1:56 AM

    For me it’s just about having another tool in my toolbox, sometimes you need a hammer, sometimes you need a screwdriver, sometimes you need both, and it’s ways good to have the option to choses between the two.

  5. nuevojefe January 19, 2007 at 1:59 AM

    Alex,

    I think you’re talking about link puppies or perhaps “grasshoppers” in this case. A ninja is not looking for link exchanges in general and if you’re outsourcing to someone who is getting you links from a link farm then you’re not employing the skill of a trained ninja (by the WBP team or otherwise).

  6. BarcodeBulldog January 19, 2007 at 7:15 AM

    OK, Jim. So when you gonna teach us how to do this? When is the “link ninja” training gonna start again? Sign me up!

  7. Jeremy Luebke January 19, 2007 at 11:06 AM

    As with everything in life, it’s all about balance and knowing how to use skill sets properly.

  8. Cygnus January 19, 2007 at 11:52 AM

    Oh to be a linkbaiting ninja with some scripting skills.

    For fun I started looking around at some stuff I had bookmarked a long time ago; linkbait before it was known as linkbait — a lot of those pages now 301 to a more appealing page. Clearly the two strategies can be used in a complimentary fashion.

    It is true what Graywolf says though; they are both tools to be used for their most optimal function.

  9. AgentDirectory January 19, 2007 at 12:33 PM

    Jim–

    Glad to see someone influential come out and say what I’ve been thinking for years. I can see the value in linkbait, sure has a great roi on first glance, but the best results always come as a result of targetted, focused, and controlled text links.

  10. nuevojefe January 19, 2007 at 7:51 PM

    Cygnus,

    Definitely something I’ve noticed as well.

    Alternately I’ve seen content changes or readjustments as well. I’d say that if the redirect or the content changes still contain or serve the purpose of the original posts/linkbait’s subject then that’s acceptable.

  11. Lee Odden January 19, 2007 at 9:17 PM

    Yep, I’m with Michael on this one. They’re all tools and if you need both, why not use both?

  12. earlpearl January 20, 2007 at 1:26 PM

    Nothing like anchor link text. It goes very far. But yeah….both systems help. But if I already have the anchor text from specific well placed links…then the uncontrolled link bait stuff adds extra juice. Bad analogy…..but first build the muscles you need for whatever…then take the steroids to make you a muscle freak. LOL!!

    Dave

  13. Abhilash January 20, 2007 at 6:33 PM

    Jim, Why are your spam protection math questions getting more difficult?? ;)

    To me, one of the more interesting parts of this conversation deal with the scalability of either linkbaiting or link buidling. While linkbaiting depends on creativity (sold at a *premium*), Link building depends on highly-skilled labor. Honestly, the most savvy SEOs that know how to build links don’t have the time to do so and lose in translation the skill that doesn’t get conferred upon the staff.

    This environment makes the ultimate combo of linkbaiting and link building inaccessible to 99.99% of the small businesses out there (including many that are soon-to-be outranked).

    The real solution will be finding the means to deliver these powerful methods in a scalable way to everyone. Now THAT would result in some very powerful content creation. :)

  14. Master(link)baiters vs Link Ninjas January 21, 2007 at 1:08 PM

    [...] Jim just posted about how a link Ninja would totally crush a masterbaiter in steel cage death matchup: I honestly believe a Link Ninja can beat a Link Baiter in the rankings.   [...]

  15. Don January 21, 2007 at 2:50 PM

    Great article Jim. I guess I’ve always done both and never knew it had a name. Thanks to you I know now that I have been a link Ninja and thanks to Quadzilla, I know that some of my most popular articles have been link bait.

    You guys rock!

    Don

  16. wheel January 21, 2007 at 9:18 PM

    Linkbait’s good for getting headlines in the SEO industry. For the rest of us, Jim’s link ninja’s methodology is simply the best techniques there are for putting sites to the top in ultra competitive environments and getting them to stick in the serps through the years. Jim’s been pushing this methodology for years (even before he called it link ninjas) and I’ve been doing my best to follow it.

    If Jim has another link ninja’s class and you haven’t gone, go. If you practice what he preaches, you can rank even in tough fields.

    Looking at it another way, you’re getting surgical precision links from all the right places. You’re basically letting the Google algo come to you, instead of trying to bust it. Stay one step ahead of where links should properly go – and the pointy heads at Google will find and reward you soon enough.

  17. Dave White January 22, 2007 at 7:32 AM

    As things get popular you will always see some new concepts that are launched. It doesn’t matter if its like Link bait or not.What most of the people want is a good tool to improve their site rankings and backlinks.

  18. Yuri January 22, 2007 at 8:21 AM

    You can take a different look at aging here.

    Link Ninja buys a link for a couple of months or a year or something. Then it disappears.

    Link Bait gets links from new pages, but the links grow stronger as they age, forever.

    Link Bait also drives direct targeted (sometimes) traffic. Link Ninja will be hard pressed for cash to buy such links.

  19. Ramblings About SEO » Blog Archive » High Quality Relevant Links and the Trust Box January 22, 2007 at 11:10 AM

    [...] I have seen two great posts about link building in the past few days. One of these is by Jim Boykin on the limitations of link bait, and the other is by Eric Ward at the Search Engine Land blog about the “Circle of Trust”. [...]

  20. nuevojefe January 22, 2007 at 3:45 PM

    Abhilash,

    Honestly, the most savvy SEOs that know how to build links don’t have the time to do so and lose in translation the skill that doesn’t get conferred upon the staff.

    This environment makes the ultimate combo of linkbaiting and link building inaccessible to 99.99% of the small businesses out there (including many that are soon-to-be outranked).

    The real solution will be finding the means to deliver these powerful methods in a scalable way to everyone. Now THAT would result in some very powerful content creation.

    Couldnt’ agree more!

    Yuri,

    I would say that’s only partly true about links disappearing. You have to remember that many times you’re paying $50 or $100 bucks for a link for like 12 months minimum.

    Chances that the webmaster will remember your link in 12 months? Chances even if they do they’ll bother to unlink if they can’t get a hold of you to pay? Chances that if you have built links successfully and have great rankings that you’d be happy to renew? Pretty good. Chances you’re cash strapped… probably not if you’re doing things well.

  21. Ештф January 22, 2007 at 6:18 PM

    Totally agree. It’s one more additional tool in the toolbox. The only case – is to apply it properly.

  22. Expert Link Building Can be Fun! - Jim Boykin’s Internet Marketing Blog January 22, 2007 at 6:43 PM

    [...] SEO Tools « LinkBait alone won’t do it. You need Link Ninjas. [...]

  23. Arnie January 22, 2007 at 8:14 PM

    I agree with graywolf, you have to have several tools in your bag to handle the various jobs at hand. Every client is different. So in my view, every link building & SEO task is different.

  24. Paul Knag January 22, 2007 at 9:35 PM

    Linkbait, Bribery, Widgets and Advertising…

    Jim Boykins’ excellent post on the relative value of strategic linking (Link Ninjas) vs the current vogue of linkbait makes some excellent points….

  25. Jenna Ryan January 23, 2007 at 2:23 PM

    I want to be a Link Ninja. Please start more training soon.

  26. Google Defuses Googlebombs; Does this Change Link Building Practices? | Marketing Pilgrim January 26, 2007 at 10:41 AM

    [...] I’m not a “Link Ninja“, but know enough about linking to get the job done. Most webmasters go out and try to obtain as many links as possible, using the same anchor-text, in an attempt to rank well for that keyword. Expert link builders know the value of mixing up link efforts, including varying destination pages and anchor text, but it strikes me that many web sites could see themselves caught up in the new algo, and lose ranking for certain keywords. [...]

  27. Friday Tea Time » TheMadHat January 26, 2007 at 3:37 PM

    [...] * Linkbait or Link Ninjas from Jim. I think they’re more alike than he claims, but he’s the master of linking so whatever. [...]

  28. MaxD January 28, 2007 at 3:09 PM

    I am glad some brought this up. Master baiters are good at getting links for a new domain to get trust. So if heaven forbid you wanted to start using a a new domain bait is a good way to get trust. I personally prefer to get an oldie domain and 301 the links for the trust part ( it works btw). BUt yes, the anchor in both cases is worthless most probably. Once you have trust you can pretty much do what you with anchor want as long as the links are from different ips, so some traditional link building is needed.
    Apart from Cygnus who shamefully has his link building affilliate blog on his business domain :) Nice move.

  29. Community-Centric Relevance and Links from Your Community | Blog Posts February 12, 2007 at 11:40 AM

    [...] I believe that my community-involvement theory could use some ninja-fication from Boykin, though unfortunately in his post on Link Ninjas vs. Linkbaiters he doesn’t talk to much about strategies. Boykin posts “A Link Ninja can control what pages get the link…and can get links to specific pages , homepage, product pages, etc….A link Baiter gets a link to a great content page mostly….but it’s not usually the page the site owner really wants to rank for anything.” [...]

  30. Bestmiler February 24, 2007 at 12:24 PM

    Its true…link ninja > link bait. You have more control when you get links yourself.

  31. SoloSEO Blog » Starting your SEO Business: 10 Ways to Make Your Small SEO Firm Look Big March 15, 2007 at 11:14 AM

    [...] Now not everyone can do this, but if you have someone else on your staff or even someone that remotely helps you out, even if its a Link Ninja, have them blog too. They don’t have to blog all the time (you should, at least once a week) but enough so we know you actually talk with other people. [...]

  32. Community-Centric Relevance and Links from Your Community | Search Marketing Standard Blog March 21, 2007 at 9:29 AM

    [...] I believe that my community-involvement theory could use some ninja-fication from Boykin, though unfortunately in his post on Link Ninjas vs. Linkbaiters he doesn’t talk to much about strategies. Boykin posts “A Link Ninja can control what pages get the link…and can get links to specific pages , homepage, product pages, etc….A link Baiter gets a link to a great content page mostly….but it’s not usually the page the site owner really wants to rank for anything.” [...]

  33. 20 Link Building Quickies | WebGeek June 1, 2007 at 5:56 AM

    [...] LinkBait alone won’t do it. You need Link Ninjas. | Jim Boykin’s Internet Marketing Blog [...]

  34. Using Reputation Monitor As A Link Building Tool June 4, 2007 at 11:20 AM

    [...] How you ask? Read on young link ninja (if you don’t know what a link ninja is then go read all about it here!) [...]

  35. jasel June 7, 2007 at 2:25 AM

    How exactly does one become a link ninja? Cos I’m interested , lol

  36. Business Blogger June 7, 2007 at 3:48 AM

    Great post Jim. What really helps the Link Ninja get his black belt faster is a quality site with quality content.

  37. The Best Link Request Email Yet | SoloSEO Blog June 15, 2007 at 2:21 AM

    [...] Anyone who has ever done link building knows there is a lot that goes into link building. One of the most challenging parts is getting your request noticed from the site owner that you want a link from. We’ve all received the standard, run of the mill request that we just delete instantly. But today I got a good one, and it almost made me give out a link (almost). (name withheld) Here, [...]

  38. Alec Kinnear June 19, 2007 at 4:53 PM

    Empty argument. Dave is right on. You need both. Linkbait to get the trust and authority and domain wide PR (for lack of a better word) and then you need targeted anchor text from your neighbourhood. Neither will function well on its own.

    Linkbait is certainly more fun though.

  39. Hobo SEO UK » Add Good Content June 20, 2007 at 6:04 PM

    [...] Become a Link Ninja. [...]

  40. Position Acquisition » Blog Archive » Ever Catch a Tiger by his Toe... or Spot a Ninja in the Wild? July 11, 2007 at 10:25 PM

    [...] Ninja’s weapon of choice? Love! (p.s. if you had said “Love, Lauren K.” instead of “Thanks,” we’d have sold you the link. [...]

  41. Jeremiah July 17, 2007 at 10:46 AM

    Perhaps the best method to truly conquer the task of increasing links and having to decide between link bait, or ninjas, is creating link bait, and then utilize every link ninja skill you have to develop links to your link bait. This method will spread the popularity of your link bait more rapidly and thereby exponentiate your link growth.

  42. Link Shepherd August 10, 2007 at 11:08 AM

    I understand that speed is everything, but I still see a lot of use in plain old link bait. There is so much general purpose stuff with little commercial appeal but bit link bait potential – and the content has enough flexibility to support commercial use later – build it, wait several months, then use it still works well enough for me without trying to move so fast it becomes obvious. I’m ready to be convinced because I know I’m a plodder, but plodding is working.

  43. DBlogged - The Ultimate Guide to Linkbaiting Resources October 3, 2007 at 7:26 PM

    [...] Link Bait Won’t Do it, You need Link Ninjas (Jim Boykin’s Blog) [...]

  44. s_jenkins November 14, 2007 at 4:15 AM

    great article! do you think that ‘baiting’ is a gives the term ‘linkbaiting’ a bad precedence? it seems that some people think that ‘linkbaiting’ automatically means a trap of sorts. in the same breath, does google penalize for the term ‘linkbait’?

  45. Best of Jim - 2007. - Jim Boykin’s Internet Marketing Blog December 20, 2007 at 1:59 PM

    [...] LinkBait alone won’t do it. You need Link Ninjas.  – Jan 18th, 2007 [...]

  46. The Achilles Heel of Free and Natural Links. - Jim Boykin’s Internet Marketing Blog May 23, 2008 at 3:08 PM

    [...] basically the same arguement I made on my post in Jan 07 "LinkBait alone won’t do it. You need Link Ninjas", where I said: I honestly believe a Link Ninja can beat a Link Baiter in the rankings, [...]

  47. Content and Links are the Bread and Butter of SEO May 27, 2008 at 6:02 AM

    [...] example, many SEO experts talk about the need for link bait, link ninjas, PageRank, branding, no follow tags, paid links, on page optimization, title tags, social media, [...]

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