Viewers of primetime Saturday night TV in the UK will be familiar with ‘Who Dares Wins’. No, we’re not talking about the classic SAS movie starring Lewis Collins (Bodie from the Professionals) where they stormed an embassy while shouting ‘move it’ repeatedly, we’re talking about the gameshow sandwiched around the Lottery draw, hosted by Nick Knowles.
So what does this gameshow have to do with SEO? Quite a lot actually. The idea of the gameshow is that contestants are given a question where there are multiple answers, and they have to bid against each other to see who can name the most. For example, the question might be: ‘Name official James Bond movies up to 2009’ – and the two teams of contestants then have to say how many they can name. If they think they can’t name more than the other team, they challenge them to ‘name them’ – and the other team has to name as many on the list as they’ve bid. If they get one wrong, they lose.
This simple idea has formed the backbone for Linkbait for many years, as everyone likes to read a good list. There’s a sort of compulsive order that sets in when you read a list, with the reader asking themselves do they agree with it, how would they order the list, and can they think of items that should be on the list.
Most SEO professionals would agree that lists for SEO should be quite short, because of the short attention span of most readers online. 10 is considered too many, five too short. The ideal length for a list for SEO is seven items, but of course this is open to debate – as is everything in search engine optimisation.
So how many official James Bond movies could you name? We could obviously name all of them, and we wouldn’t fall into the trap of saying ‘Never Say Never Again’ either – as that’s not an official Bond movie, despite having Sean Connery as Bond.