How to perform Switchbait

I have a fictional client residing in the pet supplies market who wishes to dominate the dog collar market.

I have been thinking about a technique called switchbait and whether it would work for such a client. Here is the process:

Buy a domain containing the keyword you wish to target. In this case is will be,

  • Throw up an optimised wordpress blog on the domain.
  • Add relevant links to authority sites in the same area.
  • Write pet based linkbait, you know the thing: “Top ten superdogs grown from a bag of Doritos”
  • Submit posts to social media sites.
  • Encourage friends to vote on stories as long as they are of high quality.

After a few times on the front page of Digg, Reddit and Delicious etc. You should have a few thousand backlinks. Most of the links will use the Title of the story for anchor text of the link, but some links will contain the domain name of

Let the domain age a little, then 301 redirect the domain to the official Pet Supplies website. Keep the original content but integrate the ecomerce part of Pet Supplies to the posts.

You now have thousands of links linking to your main site with relevant anchor text 301 redirected to it.

Now this is theoretical, I have not done this yet. But I have had success with getting links with specific anchor text and I have succesfully 301 redirected a domain and benefitted from the added juice.

But I have never mixed the two and so am not totally sure this would work. Obviously the links would still be pointing to the old domain, although the 301 would take care of that.

The question is, would this give the Pet Supplies website a boost in the SERPS for “big dog collar”?
Would the return on investment be enough to make it worthwhile.

I suspect it would, the next question would be what is the ROI? How effective would the bump be.

I will be setting up a test domain and report back, although if it’s wildly successful I will probably only pass the results to friends.

Discussion welcome, if you think this is pie in the sky thinking let me know.

10 thoughts on “How to perform Switchbait”

  1. Here is another technique for the same type of “Link Bait & Switch” strategy. I have no idea if it will work or not and should be used for entertainment purposes only. 😉

  2. Not sure if I trust the 301 too much. I think just integrating an ecommerce site into the blog would be better, or just putting a blog on the original pet supplies site at /blog ?

  3. Im with Brian. The thing with things that work today is that they might not work tommorrow. I love the idea of the blog thing though. A wp install is a killer way to generate stuff too. Most of the tools and plugins required to zing you where you need to be are already on hand.

  4. The benefit of the 301 on a seperate domain is to get the anchor text of the domain in the link. When people link to me they use Cornwall SEO in the anchor text, subsequently I rank no1 for cornwall seo.

    Using SMO to get links rather than an email request means you have less control over the anchor text. By creating a domain with the anchor text you have more of a chance.

    A 301 does work, I have used it successfully a number of times. Where it hasn’t worked is when I move it around too often. Google sees the 301 as legitimate and is a perfectly reasonable way to move a site, however what I am suggesting is not outlined as having a green light. But it also has not got a red light.

    The only way to truly know it to make a few throwaway domains and test.

  5. this is a really interesting ide you are proposing, i can see the others points about adding the content to the original site, but some times the link bait wouldnt really be the content someone would want for their corporate site.

  6. The reason why I think this may work is the domain name of the site acting as anchor text, when Google tries to figure what the site is about it will take the 301’d domain that has all the juicey links into account.

    Brandon switching content of the linked to page would gain something, however, if you are trying to rank a clients site a 301’ing a domain that has the correct anchor text to it would be very powerful.

    However, I am trying to think of a situation where this would work.

    It’s interesting to knock these ideas around.

  7. L, would you be 301’ing the entire blog to one location on the pet supplies main site, or would you be going page-by-page and line-by-line to 301 the different articles on the blog to different parts of the main site?

    I’m just wondering how you’d propose to keep the original content, as you mentioned in the post.

  8. Personally I would go with the whole site, as it will only be one or a handful of pages on the original domain. However, after re reading this I am not sure if it’s the best way to go.

    I have not measured such a technique so it’s still a theory, although the fundementals are sound.

    If you are considering using digg as the main source of links, the domain will get burned by digg, but if you 301 the whole site it matters not. However, if you 301 individual pages digg will pick up on this and ban the whole site.

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