Link building is an essential part of any successful SEO campaign, and tiered link building is a strategy that can take your efforts to the next level.
Tiered link building involves creating a series of links that point to each other in a hierarchical structure, with the highest quality links pointing directly to your website.
By using this strategy, you can create a more natural and powerful backlink profile that can help increase your website’s authority and visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).
In this guide, we will provide you with a step-by-step process to create a successful tiered link-building strategy, along with tips and best practices to maximize your results. So, let’s dive in and learn how to master tiered link building!
Tiered Link Building is a technique that involves creating multiple links to a single website to enhance the backlinks’ link juice, ultimately boosting the website’s ranking.
Tier 1 links are crucial as they are directly connected to the website and should be of high quality with high DA. If these links do not have enough link juice, they can be strengthened by creating second-tier links.
This process can be repeated, forming a pyramid of links, with the base comprising various links directing their link juice to fewer links at the top, which leads to the website’s ranking.
In summary, Tiered Link Building creates a pyramid of links that link juice to the website at the top.
A. First Tier of Links
Assuming you want to improve the ranking of a particular page on your website, let’s call it Webpage 1A. You create links from a few other web pages, namely Webpages 1B, 2B, and 3B. Ideally, you aim to acquire links from reputable sources with high-quality and relevant content.
The links here are typically Web 2.0 blog links, such as those from popular platforms like wordpress.com or blogger.com. Some experts recommend using article directories, and you can also create links from other websites that you manage.
It’s essential to ensure that these links are legitimate and relevant to the content on Webpage 1A. This forms the first tier of the link-building process.
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B. Second Tier of Links
After creating the first tier of links, the next step is to establish a second tier of links pointing to the first-tier links. This involves building 10-20 links to each Webpage 1B, 2B, and 3B to increase the authority of the first-tier links, thereby enhancing the authority of your original content.
The links in the second tier typically include blog comments, forum comments, or wikis with substantial user-generated content. The goal is to generate as many links as possible while still ensuring some degree of relevance and context. This constitutes the second tier of the link-building process.
C. Third Tier of Links
After creating the second tier of links, the third tier of the link-building process focuses entirely on quantity rather than quality, relevance, or context. Practitioners often prioritize building as many links as possible to the second-tier links, regardless of their source.
During this stage, automated link-building tools are commonly used since the workload becomes too cumbersome for an individual. In summary, there are 300 third-tier links directing traffic to 50 web pages in the second tier.
In that case, these 50 webpages in the second tier lead to three webpages in the first tier, which, in turn, all link to the original content, Webpage 1A.
Tiered link building may appear to be a frivolous and time-consuming endeavor for someone who lacks technical expertise.
The inclusion of second and third-tier links adds to the complexity of the process. However, despite these factors, tiered link building offers several benefits outlined below.
1. You’ll Save Time and Money
Creating legitimate backlinks can be a time-consuming and costly process. If you don’t have the financial means, there’s a limit to the number of backlinks you can reasonably obtain.
One possible solution to this issue is to generate multiple affordable backlinks that can be created quickly. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the quality of the backlinks is more significant than the quantity, and relying exclusively on cheap backlinks could harm your website’s search engine ranking.
2. Risk Management
The main website is greatly impacted by primary backlinks, but if Google suspects any guideline violations, it could lead to issues.
On the other hand, second and third-tier backlinks are a more secure option since they do not directly implicate the main website.
Additionally, they provide room for experimentation and are often used by beginners to learn Ethical link-building tactics.
3. Possibilities for Self-Promotion
In the online community, self-promotion is generally looked down upon. However, the practice of tiered link building enables individuals to link back to one of their tier 1 or tier 2 pages, directing some traffic toward their website without overtly promoting themselves.
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4. Excellent Backlink Profile
Statistics show that 41% of SEO experts consider link building to be a challenging component of search engine optimization.
The benefits, however, may be substantial if one has a clear grasp of what must be done and how to achieve it. Practitioners may fine-tune their strategies and obtain a balanced mix of do-follow, no-follow, and high-quality links by adopting tiered architectures.
They may develop a comprehensive link-building plan with outstanding results using this method.
1. Possibility of Google Penalties
The most significant risk involved in utilizing a tiered structure to enhance a website’s SEO is the possibility of Google penalizing it. If a website uses multiple poor-quality or unethical links to boost its SEO profile, Google’s bots will eventually detect it.
When an unscrupulous link-building approach is identified, Google not only penalizes the website but also decreases its ranking in search results in a way that is difficult to recover from. This has endangered the future of tiered link building, making it an unreliable method for achieving desired outcomes.
2. May be Time-Consuming
To reap the benefits of this approach, you must exercise patience, as the process of creating a website and obtaining relevant tier links can take longer than anticipated.
The outreach phase is a time-consuming process that can last from weeks to months, depending on various factors such as the responsiveness of publishers, the pace of the writing team, and other networking elements.
There may be instances where publishing websites take a while to respond to guest post requests. In such cases, it’s advisable to seek assistance from a reputable outreach agency that can complete all the necessary tasks within the designated timeframe.
3. Cost a Lot
If you plan to use the white hat approach outlined in this blog for tiered link building, it can be a costly strategy. Creating each tier 1 link will likely cost a minimum of $150, and you will need at least five such links to form a robust network.
As we move down the tiers, the number of required links will increase, causing the overall cost to escalate, even if the individual backlink prices decrease. The entire campaign may end up costing several thousand dollars.
Tiered link-building used to be a popular gray-hat SEO strategy, but nowadays, it is much harder to deceive Google’s algorithm with such schemes.
As a result, creating a decent counterfeit backlink profile is nearly as challenging as building a genuine backlink profile. However, there are some scenarios where tiered link-building can still be advantageous.
1. When there is no other option
In a highly competitive market, it may not be feasible to establish genuine backlinks in large quantities. In such situations, utilizing tiered link-building can assist you in generating some early traction.
However, it is essential to bear in mind that this is a brief approach that carries the possibility of being penalized, hence it is necessary to weigh all the advantages and disadvantages before proceeding.
2. If you have organic opportunities
Suppose you have a chance to link to one of your previous guest posts while writing a new one, then you should seize the opportunity.
Similarly, if your partner has recently published your guest post, you can assist them in promoting it via your channels, and this might result in a few organic second-tier backlinks from your audience.
Essentially, you should be attentive to natural opportunities to establish backlinks, not just for yourself but also for your backlink partners.
Google’s algorithm is becoming more sophisticated with each update, and as a result, low-quality links that are used in tiered link building are losing their value, especially if they are not nofollow links. Even when links are built in large quantities, their ability to enhance page authority and pass PageRank is decreasing.
Although tiered link building may still have some impact, it is unlikely that Google will permit it to continue. Nevertheless, the fundamental principles of tiered link building could still be beneficial to SEO professionals when links are naturally obtained.
Therefore, it is essential to stay informed, avoid questionable strategies, and maintain high rankings.
While backlink schemes are always a potential risk for organic search rankings, it is challenging to promote a website, even in niches with minimal competition, without backlinks. Tiered link building may be the only option in certain cases, and it may be justified to use it.
However, if other link-building strategies are feasible in the niche, they should not be overlooked.
Tiered link building is a powerful strategy that can help to boost your website’s search engine rankings and drive traffic to your site.
By creating a tiered link-building strategy that includes high-quality content, diverse link sources, and careful attention to anchor text and link velocity, you can improve your website’s visibility and authority in the eyes of search engines.
However, it’s important to remember that tiered link building is just one piece of a comprehensive SEO strategy, and should be used in conjunction with other tactics like on-page optimization, social media marketing, and paid advertising.
With a well-rounded approach to SEO, you can achieve long-term success and stay ahead of the competition in today’s competitive digital landscape.
Shahid Shahmiri is a digital marketer who helps online businesses grow with smart marketing tactics to improve sales and leads. He is passionate and driven to grow businesses online and is responsible for analyzing marketing, SEO, growth and managing promotional and media channels.