What is link baiting and why the bad rep?
Link baiting itself is just web speak for creating a piece of exclusive content with the aim of having it picked up by as many people as possible. This in itself is no bad thing. Everyone wants their content to be seen and discussed. However, there are cases when content is created with the specific aim of being deliberately controversial or misleading to get circulation. When Robert Scoble posted a story on his Scobleizer blog in December 2009 (2010: the year SEO isn't important anymore?) the deliberately provocative title and underlying argument got many people talking. Hundreds linked and 72 comments were posted on the thread. In a more extreme case, the website fuckedgoogle.com thrived on malicious stories against the search engine to fuel hits - until it was taken offline in 2006.
Is link baiting useful for your business?
When you're competing for links with other content providers any kind of an edge is an advantage. There are different hooks on which to "hang" your content that will resonate with readers and convince them to re-post the link. Inbound links are one of the metrics used by search engine to rank a website. Link-baiting helps to get your website higher up the page.
How to develop a good link bait strategy:
Types of bait