Linkbait: The Most Linked to Articles

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After researching Linkbait, I wanted to share some of my findings.  I wanted to discover which posts/articles on some of my favourite blogs attracted the most raw links.  Some blog posts look like great linkbait pieces, but have failed to attract good link quantities.  Pure linkbait has to attract links or it has failed it’s SEO objective.

It’s the creation of compelling and seductive content that persuades you perform an action such as linking to it

Lyndon Antcliffe, Cornwall SEO

For anyone interested in link building,  blogging or general content creation, you should find this post interesting.  I first researched the link data a couple of months ago and the data was accurate at the time of writing.  These linkbait examples will be continually attracting links, along with retweet counts and comments.  This article assumes that the total amount of  external links are ‘naturally’ acquired.

Terms and Tools for the research:

  • ULD: Unique Linking Domains according to Linkscape Metrics.
  • YSE Inlinks: Total number of links to the page excluding  internal links as given by Yahoo! Site Explorer at the time of writing.
  • Page Authority: Calculated by OpenSite Explorer metrics.
  • RTs: Retweets if applicable.
  • Comments: Taken from the post comment count.


Smashings Linkbait

100 Excellent Free WordPress Themes

  • Author: Vitaly Friedman
  • Date: 08/01/08
  • UDL: 1021
  • YSE Inlinks: 12,530
  • RTs: N/A
  • Comments: 374
  • Page Authority: 79/100


Mashable's Linkbait

Google Wave Guide

  • Author: Ben Parr
  • Date: 29/01/10
    • UDL:  565
    • YSE Inlinks: 3,111
    • RTs: 6053
    • Comments: 208
    • Page Authority:  79/100


Seth Godin's Linkbait

How to Get Traffic

  • Author: Seth Godin
  • Date: 03/06/06
  • ULD:  389
  • YSE Inlinks: 3228
  • RTs: 147
  • Comments: N/A
  • Page Authority: 70/100


Linkbait MattCutts

How  to report Paid Links

  • Author: Matt Cutts
  • Date: 14/04/07
  • Uld:  738
  • YSE Inlinks: 3,419
  • RTs:  N/A
  • Comments: 836
  • Page Authority: 84/100


EC Linbait

20+ Mind-Blowing Social Media Statistics

  • Author: Jill Hird
  • Date: 29/01/10
  • ULD:  117
  • YSE:  986
  • RTs: N/A
  • Comments: 16
  • Page Authority: 47/100


linkbait copyblogger

Magnetic Headlines

  • Author: Brian Clarke
  • Date: 10/07/06
  • ULD: 349
  • YSE: 2,007
  • RTs: N/A
  • Comments: N/A
  • Page Authority: 73/100


Linkbait by Problogger

Top 5 Group Writing Projects

  • Author: Darren Rowse
  • Date:  07/05/07
  • ULD:  407
  • YSE  Inlinks: 1,517
  • RTs: NA
  • Comments: 530
  • Page Authority: 75/100


Linkbait shoemoney

Picture of his large adsense cheque

  • Author: Jeremy Shoemaker
  • Date:  ?
  • ULD:  222
  • YSE  Inlinks: 973
  • RTs: NA
  • Comments: N/A
  • Page Authority: 73/100



Google in late stage talks with Twitter

  • Author: Michael Arrington
  • Date:  02/04/09
  • ULD:  690
  • YSE  Inlinks: 5254
  • RTs: 4884
  • Comments: 997
  • Page Authority: 77/100


Yoast Linkbait

Guide to WordPress SEO

  • Author: Joost De Valk
  • Date:  10/06/08
  • ULD:  464
  • YSE  Inlinks: 5,582
  • RTs: NA
  • Comments: N/A
  • Page Authority: 76/100


linkbait seobook

101 Ways to build Link Authority

  • Author: Aaron Wall
  • Date:  16/08/06
  • ULD:  705
  • YSE  Inlinks: 5,432
  • RTs: NA
  • Comments: 181
  • Page Authority: 80/100



Search Engine Ranking Factors

  • Author: SEOMOz Team
  • Date:
  • ULD: 2,170
  • YSE Inlinks – 15,607
  • RTs: N/A
  • Comments: N/A
  • Page Authority: 84/100


Linkbait Searchengingland

Google Adds Filtered Pages

  • Author: Danny Sullivan
  • Date: 01/10/09
  • ULD: 368
  • YSE Inlinks: 183 links
  • RTs: 86
  • Comments: N/A
  • Page Authority: 75/100



Reputation Management Guide

  • Author: Andy Beal
  • Date: 07/03/06
  • ULD: 269
  • YSE Inlinks: 1,333
  • RTs: 15
  • Comments: 301
  • Page Authority: 74/100



Paid Links pagerank Update

  • Author: Loren Baker
  • Date: 10/29/07
  • ULD: 175
  • YSE Inlinks:  658
  • RTs: N/A
  • Comments: 132
  • Page Authority: 74/100


The SEOmoz Ranking Factors post has attracted the most links, but they have used a clever tactic.  Each time the ranking report is updated it stays on the same url and the old report is shipped off to another url.  This tactic can also be used on standard webpages that have old content but good links, move the old content and add fresh content to the old link-rich url.

Smashing Magazine has highlighted that the ‘100 best’ posts work really well, especially if you have taken the time to research the article and really provide the reader with a quality resource.  The post is 2 years old and is still being retweeted and gaining links.

I think the data also highlights Rand Fishkin’s view of Twitter cannibalizing the webs link graph.  Mashable’s top linked to post had an awesome 6,053 retweets, but attracted fewer links than expected.  People were tweeting the post rather than linking to it in a blog post.  Though the retweets get the traffic, I’m sure Mashable would prefer more links.

The data also shows good linkbait articles stand the test of time.  Aaron walls 101 ways to build link authority was posted in 2006, I’m pretty sure bloggers will still link to this article in the coming years.

I have really enjoyed writing and researching this post and would love to look at articles across different industries,  it’s just seriously time consuming…

Linkbait Tools

See how well your linkbait blogposts do with my tool ViralSPY. The tool monitors the social reactions to a post along with the total links acquired.


Linkbaiting Resources

SEOsmarty’s guide to finding linkbait inspiration

Smashing Magazines Golden rules of linkbaiting

Lyndon’s 10 link bait tips

Link Baiting by Wiep

SEOMoz Viral Marketing

SEJ linkbuilding using linkbait

Linkbait by Jim Westergren

Matt Cutts on Linkbait

Basics of Linkbait from the Freshegg Blog

Stuntdubl’s Linkbaiting Playbook



  1. says

    you have taken the best posts from those blogs for analysis, those posts really explain about the blog lol, matt cutts – paid links, shoemoney – check display… 😛

    i had read most of those posts actually on their own blogs and they are surely great resource, not just due to their good headlines and linkbait abilities but the information they contain are amazing. Perhaps, we just need to write quality stuff and the links and re-tweets will follow :)

  2. says

    LinkBait so good they all get another link out of somebody writing just how good it is at being bait. This post is pretty baity too and might link to itself!

    Might like to see some bait from niche’s outside this one.

    • Gareth says

      @Geoff – yes I might look at more linkbait examples in different niches, if I get time…

  3. says

    But they all have big names already, and have tons of frequent readers who are also in the same industry. So much harder to start from zip.

  4. says

    Excellent round up… thanks for sharing!

    It’s also worth pointing out that most of these pages got links based on the main domain strength and huge traffic numbers.

    Writing linkbait on smaller traffic websites will not get anywhere near that amount of links no matter how good the article is.

  5. Website Design says

    Top 10 lists work ok but only established authority sites. They are starting to look a little spammy because everyone is doing the same top 10 lists and lots of these lists are crap.

  6. link building says

    I liked the part about building backlinks. Backlink building is a very important part of ranking for each website. Also you cannot forgot on page optimization.

  7. McConnell Group says

    I think google will be working out some new webspam projects that will help eliminate some poor articles,

    These are a good list to take examples from,

    Thank you,


  8. Paul T says

    Thanks for all of the links. It will give me something to look at in the promotion of my site.