About a month ago, while I was StumbleUpon'ing it up, I came across this forum post. Seeing as how I'm paid to basically sit around and come up with clever ways to build traffic and links, I recognized the potential for this idea to be hugely viral if presented in the right light. So I whipped up a few questions, designed some graphics, registered www.howmanyfiveyearoldscouldyoutakeinafight.com, and submitted it to all the major social media websites.
Shortly after, this quiz was receiving nearly half a million page views per day and it ended up taking our server multiple times throughout the night due to the high load. This traffic load sustained for several weeks and now, almost 2 months later, it's still receiving 20,000 page views a day. It was featured on the usual websites, such as Digg and Stumbleupon, but also got quite a bit of attention from offline sources, such as radio stations and TV shows, including CNBC news. It also made it onto the diggnation podcast. I'm not the type of guy who is easily star-struck, but seeing Kevin Rose laugh out loud at my depraved little quiz totally made my day.
This was without a doubt one of the most successful pieces of linkbait I've ever created. So why was it so popular? One would assume this linkbait was so successful because it's controversial, morbid, or even funny - but I think the real success came from the fact that it incites an opinion from anyone who reads it. Even though fighting a bunch of kids is something none of us will ever experience (hopefully), the logistics behind this scenario are things we're very in touch with: our own physical strength, stamina, athletic ability, body type, and so on. This quiz prods at our opinions of our own abilities and generates a reaction based on that.
Lastly, Google just sent us this email a few days ago:
Our program specialists regularly review sites in the AdSense program. We have reviewed your site, www.howmanyfiveyearoldscouldyoutakeinafight.com, and found that we are unable to display ads that would provide a valuable experience for your site's users or our advertisers. As we feel that the site isn't a good fit for the AdSense program at this time, we have disabled ad serving to the site.
Your account remains active, and you can continue to display ads on other sites. Thank you for your understanding.
The Google AdSense Team
Apparently Google lacks my sense of humor. YPN it is! :)