Is This Linkbait?

Regular readers of Perfomancing probably already known what linkbait is: an article that for some reason generates loads of traffic social media sites and backlinks from other websites. Linkbait can arguably be divided into two categories: (1) useful and (2) novel/ interesting. Sometimes linkbait is both.

Seth Godin gives a nutshell, positive definition of linkbait that makes it sound easy and fun to do. And it can be. But look at the example that he gave, Web Trend Map 2008. Which category is it in? Is it actually useful? It’s definitely novel, displaying popular websites clustered like stations in a subway map. But because of that very presentation, I don’t really find the paradigm that useful. It’s rather hard to absorb the map as a whole.

Subway maps are useful because a person using one is interested in getting to from point A to point B. They’ll mentally filter out all the distractions – i.e., all the other subway stations. This Web Trend Map cannot really be used for analogous purpose because there’s no real-world physical relationship for the clusters, so it might be hard for some people to follow.

My point is that it’s easy to come up with web content that give the semblance of “linkbait” but isn’t really.

Now at the time of writing this, the map itself only has five diggs at Digg. Will it get more? Do you think it’s effective linkbait?

3 thoughts on “Is This Linkbait?

  1. No Problem – For what its worth, I learned 95% of the important stuff about linkbaits from you, so if I am missing something in this lesson, I am 99.999% certain its the student’s fault and not the master.

  2. I’ll reserve comment until I see other responses (You’ll understand what I’m getting at eventually.)

  3. It’s interesting, and as pictures can be linkbait material I think it fits the bill. Its not useful like a tool, but is useful for providing a new perspective on a rehashed topic.

    Plus, I believe it would also fit under the category of linkbait as you have linked to it! Even if you did take a contrarian view, that again by definition is a type of linkbait draw- push out something that people will take exception to and link in to it to argue the claim.

    Do you need any assistance getting the hook out of your mouth? 😉

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