What’s the difference between great link bait and spam?
Complaints to Google from sites you outrank seems to be the most important factor. Consider the two widgets below. The first sites ranks #1 for "online dating" while the second has been banned by Google for using spammy, off topic widgets after Google received some complaints about them. The second site has essentially been smoted from the index.
Your Score: Read Minds
We’ve discovered your super power! Hope you like it…
You’re a psychic and you can read minds! But please don’t read my mind right now, because I’m imagining you naked. Of course, you’re probably already used to people doing that. Ah, the joys of being a psychic. At least you’ll always ace interviews and pass your college exams with no problems.
|Link: The Discover Your Super Power Test written by
OkCupid Free Online Dating , home of the
The Dating Persona Test
View My Profile(reikiwriter)
In fairness to Google, the folks at JustSayHi did stray into the dark side. After they ranked number 1 for most dating terms, they started promoting other domains with their widgets. They crossed the line with Google’s TOS. On the other hand, after a couple of failed re-inclusions, they decided to start over with a new domain and rebuild an entirely white hat site at One Plus You using the same quiz widgets. It turns out that Google considers the One Plus You quiz results widgets to be Spammy and Off Topic when they include the anchor text of "Free Online Dating".
The challenge for marketers is to know where to draw the line between very effective link bait and spammy, off topic link bait. As long as the algorithm rewards targeted anchor text, marketers will continue to find a way to get people to link to them using preferred anchor text.