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SES London: Linkbait & When It’s Not

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The link baiting season promised to be one of the highlights of SES London. With linkbait being one of the hottest contemporary SEO themes, the crowds filled the room to hear what the industry experts were going to share.

The widget as link bait

First up, Nick Wilson gave a good high level introduction to ‘viral link building’. Giving a passionate speech, Nick discussed widgets as the ultimate linkbait, and his observations were well worth hearing.

Heellloou Jason Calacanis

Dave Naylor gave another extremely passionate speech. During the entire conference Dave entertained the crowd, and this session was no different. Jason Calacanis was the main target, as Dave vented vitriol on the ‘SEO is bullshit’ argument. All highly entertaining.

‘Textual advertisements’

Alan Webb of Abakus gave a presentation on link buying with some interesting, if not ground-breaking, discussion about how to approach site owners when buying links purchasing textual advertising . Bread an butter stuff.

This is the bit When Link Bait Isn’t Link Bait

This last guy annoyed me so much that I actually bailed about 60 seconds into his presentation. The official handbook says his name is Matt Paines, MD of XSEO. This guy obviously does not understand link bait.

He started off by referring to the famous SEO ‘Chris’ until someone in the crowd told him it was Rand. OK, that’s a human mistake – anyone could make it. But the 30 seconds that followed showed that this guy doesn’t have a clue. So fumbling on he’s muttering ‘Wow. yeah. Rand Fishkin. Superbowl.. now that was some link bait’. I got up and left right then and there.

Link bait is contrived content created with the intention of deriving inbound links. [My definition]

So what the final speaker was basically saying that Rand Fishkin contrived his engagement in order to generate links.

I don’t know Rand Fishkin personally, but do read his blog which regularly contains some great posts. Maybe I’m a sucker, but I believe that people are in general innately good. So the idea that someone would go on national TV (and the Internet) to say, first, that he loves his soon-to-be fianc, and then ask her to marry him, that this was in some way link bait.

Well I didn’t stick around any longer so I’ll never know what else he said.

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