That phrase, “You say Tom-ay-to and I say Tom-ah-to.” came to mind on reading an article from that provocative author and fellow North-eastern Brit, Mike Grehan. It was entitled, “Stinking Linking Vs. Creative Thinking“. It all relates to a practice called link baiting, which may be so newsworthy that it will be featured at the next Search Engine Strategies Conference in San Jose. A short quote will give you the sense of where Mike is coming from on this:
“Bait” specifically means food used to entice prey. There’s usually a very unpleasant experience waiting for the prey.
The few examples I know of link baiting in the SEM industry have been based on very unpleasant exchanges by bloggers and forum owners trying to attract attention to themselves.
And that represents nothing more than my own better term for link baiting: “stinking linking.”
The problem in all this is that Bad News travels faster than Good News. Ruud Hein with his Good News Blog, subtitled Real Positive News, has tried to correct the balance. Methinks he has an impossible task on his hands. After all, Mike Grehan’s own title is somewhat provocative as is one of the examples he quotes of ‘creative thinking’.
Even humor has to be sufficiently unexpected to be humorous. So it’s a question of degree. A good slice of the Comedy business is completely unacceptable to a good fraction of the population. So it’s a question of what is acceptable to your niche market. Most of us who don’t like the link-baited topics wouldn’t go to read them anyway. So the only real problems are those search engine spiders but I’m sure they see very much more questionable web pages than these ill-tempered outbursts. It all sounds like a storm in a teacup to me.