While reading an inbound discussion recently, I realized a lot of folks might not realize what the difference is between link bait and click bait.

They both kind of sound the same, and in reality are very similar principles. So lets get down to it:

What is Link Bait?

I looked all over for a good definition of link bait, but oddly enough the best one I could find was courtesy of Urban Dictionary:

“In SEO, content placed on a web site specifically for the purpose of enticing people to link to it.”

Link bait is any piece of content (a blog post, website, video, infographic) that has been created for the purpose of getting webmasters and influencers to link to it and share it on social networks.

I consider link bait to be very subjective in many different ways. For instance I might consider a photo to be link bait, but someone else might never consider linking to it. In other words link bait is in the eye of the beholder.

Have you ever read something so thought provoking that you are just compelled to link to it? That is link bait in action.

Examples of link bait

Link bait used in a sentence

Sam: did you see my ultimate list of CSS tricks?

Me: yea man, that should be some solid link bait as well!

What is Click Bait?

I found an excellent definition of clickbait courtesy of Wiktionary:

“Website content that is aimed at generating advertising revenue, especially at the expense of quality or accuracy, relying on sensationalist headlines to attract click-throughs; such headlines.”

Basically all of these top-ten-buzz-worthy-up-blog type headlines “3 Ways My Dads Foot Fungus Can Cure Cancer” and such are examples of click bait.

This definition really gives off a negative connotation to the word, but it doesn’t always have to be. Click bait can be done in a positive manner.

Examples of click bait

  • “Geek husband and wife just had the ultimate techie wedding”
  • “4 ways oatmeal can be used in your next art project.”
  • “Penguin 3.0 released: see which sites got hit the hardest”

Like link bait, click bait is in the eye of the beholder. What might be great click bait for you might be totally uninteresting to your Mom or Aunt Geninne.

Click bait used in a sentence

Me: did you click on my Facebook headline?

Nino: yea, but when I read the post I realized it was just clickbait for a lame blog post.

Link bait and click bait can work hand in hand. One great way to get a piece of link bait shared is to assign it a click bait headline.

I hope this post helped anyone reading understand what these terms actually mean. If anyone has any suggestions / corrections please feel free to reach out in the comments below.