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The difference between link bait and high quality content

John Murray

You may have heard of the term “link bait” in passing, but what is it? It’s content designed to maximise visitor links and is the opposite of high quality content, which aims to provide value for its readers.

Examples of link bait

Content that is designed to get links include amusing videos and controversial blog posts or articles. A lot of social media content can be classed as link bait, such as those amusing videos of pets doing funny things that go viral, with lots of people linking to them from their web sites or social media platforms.

A controversial article on your web site could result in people recommending it on an aggregation site, and this can result in thousands of extra visitors a day.

How does quality content differ?

Quality content is written for people to learn something useful, such as how to find out how a product compares to its competitors, to get advice from industry experts, and to find valuable resources. Whilst quality content will attract some links, it is primarily aimed at benefiting people.

Why is quality content is better?

Amusing videos and controversial articles are not necessarily bad, and can have a place in marketing strategy. Link bait content will tend to initially get a lot of links from many sources, but after a short time these links will get less and less. That zany cat video on You Tube may get plenty of views when first uploaded, but visitors will then move on to the next popular amusing video.

Links to quality content will tend to be from better and more reputable sources. High quality content is there is build you brand and create a trusted reputation, and it should not date; it can attract visitors for a long time.

Quality content is more valuable in the long run than link bait content as it is persistent. Don’t worry about it generating links, though; quality content that is not primarily concerned with getting them will generate quality links naturally over time.



John is every inch the wordsmith and loves a game of Scrabble above all else. With experience writing for newspapers, John’s time at university was spent studying Creative Writing – something which comes across in his love of the pun.

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