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Link Bait vs Digg Bait

Posted on Apr 2nd, 2007
Written by Lee Odden
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    There are two perspectives on creative link building that I’ve been thinking about lately involving creating content and resources that offer value and the sensationalism of content promoted through social news communities. My take is that link bait focuses on creating unique, useful and provocative content that people respond to by linking to it and sharing with others.

    Digg bait, which is not limited to Digg but all social news and bookmarking sites, focuses specifically on the interests of social communities and what they respond to. With Digg bait, the power is not in the usefulness and value of the content, but the title and description of the news item, sometimes bordering on the sensational. Think tabloid style writing, “Elvis gives birth to alien baby”.

    Can link bait become Digg bait? Yes, I think it can but not without some creative attention to the title and description. However, more often than not, I don’t think most stories that hit the home page of social news sites like Digg, Reddit or would be so viral if they were promoted in the absence of social news communities.

    In a way, it’s sort of like creating content and linking with the perspective that search engines don’t exist so as to focus on value for the user. Link bait focuses on content that becomes viral based on it’s usefulness and often becomes a long term resource and source of traffic. Digg bait is short term and emphasizes clever hype, knowing that many readers will not actually read the content. Somehow combining both will yield the best short and long term results for both users and as a marketing tactic.

    So what do you think? Is there a difference between link bait and Digg bait?