Tiered Link Building: Tips on how to build backlink pyramid
Link building: it’s one of the bedrocks of quality SEO and must be used by every site owner looking to boost their online property’s search engine rankings.
Most only concentrate on building links that point directly towards their website, but there is a way to go further: tiered link building. Hyperchecker will help you with tier link tracking (or monitoring), and in this guide, we’re going to be taking a closer look at tiered link building and how it can boost your website’s SERPs.
What is Tiered Link Building and How Does it Work?
Links pointing directly to your website can already be powerful. However, what if there was a way to turbocharge these so-called tier 1 links, giving them even more power and boosting their effectiveness further?
Well, there is a way, and it’s called tiered link building. Instead of pointing all links directly to your site, you point some links to pages containing other links, essentially providing backlinks for your backlinks, and adding link juice each and every time.
Here’s an example. You’ve got a link pointing towards your website from a well-regarded blog in your industry. You can now go onto other, less prominent sites and point links towards this blog page, creating tier 2 links. You can then create links from places like social media posts pointing to your tier 2 link. You’ve then started the process of creating your backlink pyramid.
By creating a multi-tiered link network, you’re essentially recreating what happens when a resource is seen as valuable by Google. Basically, you’re mimicking your content going viral, even if it hasn’t perhaps reached that level of popularity.
What Are the Benefits of Tiered Link Building?
The biggest benefit of tiered link building is pretty clear: it helps you to boost your website’s SERPs, thus increasing traffic to your site and hopefully increasing sales in the process. Every link pointing to a link higher in the pyramid will add link juice to the final tier 1 link, improving its efficacy and making it more valuable to you.
Tiered link building is also a fantastic way to throw some fog in front of your links. You might be wondering why this is helpful, and the answer is simple: if it’s easy to see the make-up of all your links, there’s nothing stopping competitors from copying you. By adding second tier links and third tier links to the equation, you’re making your backlink profile much harder to comprehend.
Finally, a tiered link building strategy can be exceptionally affordable. While some sites might spend thousands on acquiring a few tier 1 links, you can just look for one. It’s then generally free to create tier 2 and 3 backlinks – just head to places like forums, social media sites, and blog comment sections.
What Are the Difficulties and Risks of Tiered Link Building?
There are a few pitfalls when it comes to tiered link building, and the biggest is that, with so many links pointing to different pages, it is exceptionally tough to keep track of your entire link profile.
However, the complexity of tracking tier 1, 2 and 3 backlinks is solved by Hyperchecker. This tool allows you to upload links and classify them as one of the three tiers. You can then easily access a report on your backlinks, allowing you to quickly understand exactly where your link building strategy stands.
You’ll also find that creating a complex selection of links can be tough work, especially if you’re a one-man team. However, this is also the case when it comes to simply creating tier 1 links, like most people do. In fact, the latter option is even tougher, as finding tier 1 links can be exceptionally time-consuming – unlike creating tier 2 and 3 links.
Finally, you should be aware that Google can penalise site owners for creating bad links. However, if you create tiered links in good faith and try to ensure they provide genuine benefits for those clicking them, the risk of penalties is exactly the same as everyone else using simpler link building methods.
Is Tiered Link Building Seen as Black Hat?
For those who don’t know, black hat SEO refers to any SEO techniques that Google and other search engines have deemed to be against their guidelines. Black hat can see exceptionally fast increases in rankings, but will be discovered eventually, after which sites can be delisted from SERPs – the worst possible result for a website.
Are tiered links black hat? Definitely not. Under Google’s rules, creating any unnatural links is not technically allowed, but everyone does it and it won’t cause problems. So, you could say tiered link building is gray hat strategy, if you’re being really critical.
The most important thing is this: if you build a balanced portfolio of backlinks, without spamming or misleading users, you’ll be absolutely fine. In fact, you’ll find that the practise usually leads to some stunning results in the SERPs.
However, you should always monitor all links within your tiered link building strategy, to ensure one specific link isn’t damaging your rankings. If you suspect this is the case, act quickly and remove this link.
Tips for Building First, Second, and Third-Tier Links
Looking for some tips on how to build link pyramid schemes? If so, take a look at what we’ve got to say below.
Tier 1 Links
These are your most prominent and most important links, pointing directly to your website. They generally come from high authority websites within the same niche as your site. Examples could include established blogs and popular websites, such as Wikipedia.
Gaining first tier backlinks will be perhaps the toughest part of the entire process. One particularly effective strategy to use is reaching out to blogs and other websites in your niche and offering a guest post. Many sites will be happy to get some quality content added and will provide a backlink to your website in exchange. Just make sure the links you receive aren’t nofollow links.
You can also find blog articles that receive high traffic and look for a way to improve them. For example, you could email the owner of the blog and suggest adding in a link to one of your pages, to further increase the usefulness of their post. They’ll be happy to provide extra value to their readers, and you’ll get a nice link simply for firing off a quick email.
Tier 2 Links
Your second tier links point directly at the pages containing your first tier links. By doing so, they transfer link juice throughout the chain, boosting the power of the first tier link.
These tier 2 links generally come from sites with less authority and less popularity with searchers. These could be less popular blogs, especially ones hosted for free on Wordpress and Tumblr. You could also leave comments in the comment sections of blogs or leave links in social media posts.
You can also search out private blog networks (PBNs) and see if they’ve got a group of sites within your niche. However, be very careful about doing this, as using PBNs walks a fine link between gray hat and black hat SEO, so if Google gets suspicious, your site could be in trouble. Article directories are also an option, although their effectiveness has diminished in recent years, diluted by changes to the Google algorithm.
Tier 3 Links
As you might imagine, tier 3 links are backlinks that point towards tier 2 links. There’s not a huge amount to say about links of this type, as they are entirely interchangeable with tier 2 links. So, for example, you could use a link in a blog comment section as either a tier 2 or tier 3 backlink.
A backlink pyramid is essentially an arrangement of backlinks, all of which lead to the pinnacle – your website. So, you might have two tier 1 links pointing to your site, then have five tier two links pointing to each tier 1 link, and then 10 tier 3 links pointing to each tier 2 link. When visualised, the arrangement looks like a pyramid.
Link juice is a term coined for the value that one backlink passes to its target page. Link juice can flow between several websites – for example, it could start with your tier 3 backlink and end up at your website, taking a path through all websites in between.