Net linking strategies: Link Building vs. Link baiting

Link Building

Net linking is one of the favorite areas of SEO. This strategy of obtaining incoming links (backlinks) to its site increases the authority of the latter in the eyes of search engines and mainly Google and its 90% market share.

Google considers the links that point to your site as “votes” of confidence and each backlink turns out to be a more or less influential vote. Even if many metrics make it possible to measure the power of a link (DA, Trust Flow and Citation Flow…), establishing a net linking strategy is far from easy.

In the universe PPC for Event Planners, two methods to obtain backlinks to your site are to be distinguished: link baiting and link building. What are these two techniques?

Why establishing a net linking strategy on your site is essential?

Whether to gain popularity, visibility or authority, the deployment of a net linking strategy is essential for any site that wishes to acquire organic traffic.

The development of an effective incoming link strategy is, in addition to a means of improving its credibility, a lever for asserting its EAT. The EAT does not refer to a pun on food (although Google likes to give original names to its algorithms)! EAT is the acronym for “Expertise”, “Authoritativeness” and “Trustworthiness” and concerns an update established by the Mountain View firm in August 2018. Following its activation, sites offering real added value, as well as coherent and quality content with a well-established semantic cocoon are favored.

Sites that are experts in their field gain from the change, while sites that lack credibility and lack an ecosystem are impacted. Therefore, it is in your interest to forge/obtain relevant links aligned with your field of activity. As I explained in my article on Google’s algorithms, links play a key role in your natural referencing and you should never favor quantity over quality, otherwise you risk being penalized.

For many, getting backlinks is either a real mystery or an insane quest. In order to enlighten you, I will explain the two methods of acquiring incoming links that exist.

Link baiting: the art of baiting a link to your site

“Link baiting”, a fusion of the term “link” and the verb “to bait” which means “bait”, is the opposite of its counterpart, link building. Link baiting consists of obtaining backlinks to your site without buying them or without going to collect them through guest articles, PBN (Private Blog Network), etc.

The goal of link baiting is to encourage other sites to create outbound links pointing naturally to yours. To do this, your main weapon is your content. By offering texts with high added value, the probability of seeing it shared on the networks and on other sites is increased and, from the moment your article makes the buzz, you benefit from a snowball effect: sharing leads to and multiplies sharing!

We are not talking about link bait for nothing! Link baiting is like going “fishing for backlinks”. In this logic, you take on the role of an investigative journalist looking for any information that could go viral or arouse interest by its relevance.

To deliver the most relevant content possible, you need to:

  • Follow trends on social networks
  • Follow the trends abroad
  • Stay abreast of developments and changes in your field of activity

Examples of link baiting techniques

There are many forms of content that can be extremely effective in baiting the link. Here are a few:

  • Propose the most complete and original articles possible: with so-called “long form” articles, in addition to publishing potentially viral content, you put the odds on your side to please Google!
  • Translate and rework articles published abroad: in many areas, some foreign countries are ahead of ours (e.g., cinema, web marketing), to get a head start on your competitors, consider going browse on foreign websites in order to get out of the game.
  • Publish controversial content: people like to criticize and debate. Controversial content is capable of baiting a large number of links. However, be sure to choose a topic that will grab attention.
  • Present services or products through comparisons, tests and demos: this content format can quickly go viral.
  • Propose events articles: you can present and detail an event; many Internet users are looking for concrete and reliable information on events.
  • Write lists: in a logic of link baiting, the articles-lists (Top 10, tips, unmissable…) are effective.
  • Share an infographic: Infographics are a great way to get backlinks to your site. People appreciate statistics and numbers. Illustrated in graphic form, they are all the more relevant.

Other techniques exist (guest blogging, photos, contests to name but a few). In a link baiting strategy, remember that the most important thing is to offer content:

  • Potentially viral
  • Coherent and informative
  • Eye-catching and captivating
  • Easy to read and understand

Unlike link building which seeks to manipulate links as we will see, link baiting baits them. Link baiting and link building strategies are therefore complementary.

Link building: building your backlinks strategy

Link building is about creating links yourself. Through the creation of a set of artificial links, you develop the visibility of your site and push its authority in the eyes of Google. The quest for backlinks takes time. It is only in a black hat logic that you will seek to deploy incoming links massively and automatically. With this in mind, your site will quickly be penalized by Google and the Penguin algorithm.

A link building strategy must be worked on. Between the variety of anchors (exact anchor, partial match anchor, brand anchor, generic anchor, etc.), the number of referring domains and their authority, the theme of the site at the origin of the backlink and many other parameters, the link building is a real field in its own right.

The deployment of such a strategy is not done randomly and it is often preferable to call on specialized agencies in order to guarantee the effectiveness of the links to your site. The weaving of links is a pillar of SEO audit services and via SEM Juice, my net linking agency, you benefit from the expertise of professionals and quality backlinks which will allow you to improve your natural referencing in the long term, and this, significantly.

Example of link building techniques

While, for link baiting, content is the key to getting links pointing to your site, in a link building strategy, it is the ability to find spots where to put your links that will determine the success of your net linking.

  • Use your contacts: if you have relatives, colleagues or clients on the internet, you can offer them a link pointing to your site.
  • Publish on directories: they are the most reputable spots for obtaining artificial links. However, take care to choose your directories carefully, otherwise you risk receiving a poor-quality backlink.
  • Comment and participate on blogs and forums: blogs and forums are very good places to put your backlinks. Unfortunately, more and more of them pass the links in No Follow. However, if you are familiar with footprints, you can still find blogs and forums offering you the possibility of receiving a Do Follow link.
  • Think about the exchange of links: on social networks, many link exchange groups exist and allow you to obtain backlinks by writing guest articles or by sending a link to other sites. Otherwise, there are platforms for exchanges and the purchase of links.
  • Putting a link on a press release: even if John Mueller, webmaster trend analyst at Google, assured that links from CRs were not counted, it is nonetheless true that some of them still offer the possibility of obtaining a quality link including the Do Follow attribute.
  • Develop a site network (PBN): PBNs consist of a set of domain names that belong to you and on which you can put your backlinks as you see fit. Attention! This practice is frowned upon by Google, which may consider it to be one of the “tricks intended to artificially improve the ranking on search engines”.
  • Monitor and recover broken links: Sometimes, some sites have URLs that redirect to pages that no longer exist. Tools like Screaming Frog can help you identify them. Therefore, you only have to contact the webmaster of the site to offer him a replacement link.
  • Acquisition of sites, NDDE (Expired Domain Name), competitive intelligence, etc.

Here too, the techniques are numerous. However, link building can be very time consuming and obtaining quality links can be a particularly complex task. In order to set up a sustainable and safe link strategy for your website, the best thing is to use the services of a net linking agency to outsource the management of obtaining backlinks on your site to specialists.

During Scamp 2023, I had the opportunity to present these two concepts that we have discussed. The on-site structure is not enough to position yourself well on search engines. Google’s algorithm is based on links. It is in your best interest to seek to find quality natural links in order to position your site on the SERPs. With net linking, your take-off is assured.