I’m a big believer in linkbait. You all know that. But there was a big story recently of an Internet marketer who invented a story for the sole intention of getting linkbait. The story, he now admits, was completely made up. He got the linkbait he wanted and now he’s in hot water.
Not legally. But integrity-wise. No one will now consider him credible if he ever decides to print something that is true. And that’s sad.
Here’s a great article that sums up the issue for Internet marketers.
Matt Cutts even mentions it.
I’m with Matt Cutts on this one. I see no reason why Google should honor links that point to a totally made up article that poses as a true news story for the sole purpose of attracting linkbait. It’s not that writing stories for the sole purpose of attracting linkbait is bad. That’s OK, as long as your intended audience can trust that the story isn’t a fabrication of a news story. In other words, if it is what it appears to be then all is OK.
It is too easy to create a fictional story that is believable online. And if this is the type of tactic that you use to garner linkbait (which I don’t recommend) then at least have the smarts not to admit to it publicly. Otherwise, you have no reason to expect Google to honor any links you get. Nor do you have any reason to expect others to link to you in the future. Otherwise, linkbait is cool.