Last week at the SMX Social Media conference, there was an interesting panel, “Linkbait: Chumming for Traffic on Social Media Sites.”
The panelists, Rebecca Kelley of SEOmoz, Brent Csutoras of BrentCsutoras.com, and Cameron Olthuis of Factive Media, covered all angles of linkbait, as well as lots of tips that were covered in live blogging on Search Engine Land.
While I was watching the panel, I was reminded of how I used to try to create content for my early sites that would generate traffic, but I don’t think there was a name for it back then.
This was back in the 90’s, so there were a lot less resources and venues at my disposal. I would typically spread the good word on relevant Usenet groups and via press releases.
Anyhow, I was trying to remember some of my vintage linkbait efforts, and I came across one that is particularly dated. It was a press release from November 1998.
SHOCK JOCK VOTED BEST BABYSITTER
Strip jock Dr. Laura and liar Prez considered untrustworthy in Internet poll
NEW YORK, New York — In an online poll in the Velocity NYC e-zine, 1,375 respondents were asked “Who would you trust as a babysitter?” The choices were President Clinton, Dr. Laura and Howard Stern.
The majority of Americans polled chose Stern as the person they’d trust most with their children, as he captured the popular vote with 54%. Scandal plagued Dr. Laura followed close behind with 42% of the vote, and President Clinton tallied an appalling 4%.
“I voted for Howard Stern because, while his show is raunchy, he’s a good dad and devoted husband,” said Anthoula Vokolos of Astoria, Queens. “And above all, (he) is always honest to his listeners, his critics, and his supporters.”
While Dr. Laura has been embroiled in her nude photo scandal and the President has taken hits for his lack of character and integrity, the resounding choice for America was Howard Stern. Some people still care about family values and morality.
I don’t remember the numbers, but I do recall that this bit of linkbait was good for the most traffic I’d had to date on my site, plus a bunch of hate mail. The good old days.