Debra Mastaler knows and she's more than happy to tell you. Her latest column on link building over at Search Engine Land is a gold mine of information for anyone having a hard time building links a really competitive niche. Always ahead of the curve, Debra looks beyond the standard link bait and aims to help site owners learn the value of using a public relations style campaign as a link driver.

She writes:

Reputation link bait is the combination of two marketing strategies: pitching the media with an interesting story, and developing link bait. Traditionally, media pitches involve floating story ideas to journalists in conjunction with an upcoming event, while link bait is written to attract links from a wider audience by using controversial content. Reputation link bait uses each tactic, but with a twist—instead of promoting events and controversy, it focuses on promoting a company's overall image through positive buzz. In a nutshell, reputation link bait is a tactic used to promote a company using newsworthy and trendy angles to build a positive corporate reputation.

Basically, Debra's talking about good old fashioned marketing. Creating a hook and dangling your hook over the right audience in search of bites. While a random article about something funny or odd in your industry may score well on social media sites, history has shown these hits often fail to deliver in terms of conversions. What Debra is talking about will result in not only links, but conversions.

After all, why just build links when you can build links and attract customers at the same time?

November 27, 2007

Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.


Hi Jennifer... I really found your article interesting. I have a site that I want to create a quiz to do a link baiting campaign. Do you develop quizzes as well? If so, I would like to talk to you.

Thanks! Dede

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Search Engine Guide > Jennifer Laycock > What the Heck is Reputation Link Bait?