Friday, October 10, 2008

Linkbait scraping shows new revelations

I've learned to love linkbait scraping - which shows new revelations of hows and whys:

My studies have recently turned to linkbait - as a subject, not as a method.

I've learned to use a sequence of Adobe Acrobat Pro, NoteTab, and OpenOffice as my training regimen.

Adobe's Pro version allows you to scrape a page (or several, with their links) and then save to HTML.

NoteTab then will take that file and strip off all the HTML and save the URL's.

Open Office then allows you to format that page back into usable format, with headers and bullets and so on - making it easy to find stuff as a reference.

What this sequence does is to give you the URL in plain text - so you can see what people are actually linking to. And all the affiliate links show up.

What I learned from Jack Humphrey

Essentially, you can take Jack at his word. He applies what he says.

However, this is both good and bad.

True, high-quality linkbait is almost accidental. Low-quality linkbait is a short piece which is just a set of links to other pieces.

This I learned from Jack.

If you take apart his Blackbook using the method above, you'll find that nearly all (I haven't digested his entire magnum opus yet) the links which were a paid service were affliate links. Jack gets paid if you click there. And 3/4's of his links to linkbait were just linkbait themselves - and led right to Jack's blog. But all you got were other links to linkbait articles. Low quality.

But that's how Jack says to do it in his Blackbook.

So I went back to Google to find real articles on linkbait.

If you take Matt Cutt's explanation of quality linkbait:
So, what are the links that will stand the test of time? Those links are typically given voluntarily. It is an editorial link by someone, and it’s someone that’s informed. They are not misinformed, they are not tricked; there is no bait and switch involved. It’s because somebody thinks that something is so cool, so useful, or so helpful that they want to make little sign posts so that other people on the web can find that out.

Now, there is also the notion of link bait or things that are just cool; maybe not helpful, but really interesting. And those can stand the test of time as well. Those links are links generated because of the sheer quality of your business or the value add proposition that you have that’s unique about your business. Those are the things that no one else can get, because no one else has them or offers the exact same thing that your business offers. (Stone Temple Consulting)

That is why Matt Cutt's own article (which has been taken down, for some reason) on Linkbait has been referred to by Jack and so many other people. True linkbait (and so I suppose I have to go to Wayback to find it...)

And what I object to Jack's methods overall. They are simply self-serving marketing.

Jack does a lot of good work. And giving away the Blackbook is quite something. However, when you analyze Jack by Jack's own work - you see exactly what he's doing. Bringing the most possible traffic to his own site - so it can be converted into cash flow. Pure capitalism.

Effectiveness is the measure of Truth.

So say the ancient Polynesians.

Is Jack right to do what he does? He certainly is effective in what he does - he gets a lot of traffic to his subscription site. Is it of real value? If you follow what Jack says, you will get a lot of traffic to your site.

Is traffic the end product of SEO? According to some.

What is marketing?
  • Marketing is the action of creating an area where you can offer your product for exchange.

  • The highest value product commands the greatest exchange.

  • Value is determined by how it improves the life of the people who use it.

  • Great value creates word of mouth and evangelism.

Jack has his evangelists. For me the jury is still out. (And you can see why I haven't linked to Jack or his Blackbook here...)

Summary: His blackbook is linkbait.

(photo credit -

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