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DISCLAIMER: The FTC requires me to let you know that I may be compensated for products or services recommended. In many cases I am recommending my own company's services, so it's kind of funny to have to spell this out, but I do get paid by some of the companies whose ads are on the site. I ONLY list ads for companies that I use and fully endorse.

Using online contests as Link Bait (contest bait?)

Contest Bait? Dare I introduce another new term in the SEO industry? (no one ranked for it when I wrote this) There is lots of talk in the SEO blogosphere about Link Baiting (or becoming a “link ninja” even). Many focus on unique content with catchy phrases, a host of “hooks“, and enlisting an army of social marketers to drive links to articles, however few touch on the use of contests to drive traffic.

SEO contests have done quite well for several SEO firms, including the current globalwarming awareness2007 SEO World Championship by Swedish SEO firm, GetUpdated (who just bought eTrafficJams). So that gets my vote for the next big link bait technique. Is it new? NO Is is being used effectively by most companies? NO – That spells opportunity.

Affiliate marketing
blogger John Chow recently announced a contest at his site JohnChow.com, and I know there are a few others. He is holding a give away drawing for a Microsoft Zune from the pool of people who link to his site with the anchor text “make money online” to his home page. I didn’t link to his site because I think I was about 2.5 hours too late to meet the contest deadline (I was trying to find out what a Microsoft Zune was… lol), but I did redirect it to an affiliate site :-) I think John makes the mistake here of asking people to link to his home page rather than the contest page. His home page has a decent page rank of 6, and IMHO, it just makes sense to drive traffic deep into the site, especially in this case where they will do whatever he asks them to do to try and win the Zume. I saw he had over 200 comments alone, so I’d say it was a reasonable success.

Kudos to Andy Beal at Marketing Pilgrim for continuing to offer SUPER contests. Apparently he gets it… and he has some connections to give away lots of good stuff. I had honor of being one of the lucky recipients of the Future of Online Advertising Conference in NYC; which is nice since I missed SES NYC.

I actually have future plans for an SEO contest myself, but I can’t say too much about it as it is in the works. Stay Tuned!

- Old School

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