Tiered Link Building – Getting Started

When leveraged properly, tiered link building can be used to supercharge your page rank and drive large volumes of traffic to your main website. Getting started can be overwhelming so I have done my best to break down the basics in this article.

What is Tiered Link Building?

Tiered Link Building Diagram

Tiered link building is the process of building back links to your back links. The basic idea is you surround your main site with high quality white hat SEO optimized sites to form your first tier of back links to the main site.

Once you have a first tier in place you can “spin” the content to create a second tier of links. There is software to automate this process which will be covered in the next article of this series. For the second tier we will need to do a quick look over and correction of the generated content to ensure it retains a fairly high quality level. It should be noted, though you want these pages to not be too spammy, these links do not need to be the same quality as your Tier 1, as we are starting to shift the scales towards quantity over quality. All tier 2 links only link to tier 1 content.

For our third tier, we will generate more articles – this time with no editing required. Tier 3 is all about quantity, and its contents can be very spammy so long as it is linking up to our tier 2 “good” sites.

Why Use Tiered Link Building?

There are many advantages to the tiered link building strategy. Since you should already be levearing the power of white hat SEO you should already be well on your way to having a first tier established!

Since the first tier of sites is the only tier that back link to your main site, they act as a buffer preventing google penalty. If any of your lower tier content is flagged by Google, the first or second tier will intercept the penalty. This keeps your higher quality links safe while providing plenty of auto-generated black hat style links to supercharge your keyword traction.

Though white hat SEO alone is an excellent strategy, it can be a very time consuming process to see results. By implementing some black hat SEO on our lower tiers while still building and maintaining high quality white hat tier 1 links we can drastically reduce this time frame. You’re already doing all the hard work by writing your white hat content, why not spin it and use some black hat tricks too?

What is a Tier 1 Link?

Tier 1 links are pure white hat SEO sites and content that link to your main site. A great example of a tier 1 link is a micro site for a specific product that links back to your main e-commerce site, or a Facebook fan page. You can also issue press releases, wiki submissions, blogs, and videos. Whenever building a tier 1 link, you need to ensure you can get the direct URLs to the content you have created. Without direct URLs we cannot link in our lower tiers!

I can’t stress enough the importance of making sure this content is proper white hat. That means relative, informative, and helpful. Do not take short cuts with tier 1 content ever.

What is a Tier 2 Link?

Tier 2 links have lower quality content than tier 1, but should still be relevant and helpful. We want a larger network of tier 2 sites, so we will be using some auto-generated content based on our tier 1 articles and quickly hand edited to ensure legibility and proper SEO keyword usage. These sites have less focus on Google authority, can be created easily, and allow us to get the direct URL so the lower tiers can link in. Some great examples of tier 2 links include blog or image comments, micro sites, web 2.0 sites like Facebook fan pages, and you can also use high PR blog networks like ALN.

Once again I want to remind you that our tiers should only ever link upwards when we are getting started. This helps us keep organized where our traffic is coming from as well as figuring out the source of any penalties. When you get into more advanced tiered link building sometimes it is advised to have a few sources that link down and up just to make things appear more random to Google, but when getting started never use this method!

What is a Tier 3 Link?

Compared to our other tiers, tier 3 is low quality in content, and we can use riskier link building strategies. Because of these methods, we need to ensure we are only linking into our tier 2 content. We want to build as many tier 3 links as possible based on our auto-generated content, no editing required!

Tier 3 links being the greasiest also go the most places! They can be micro sites, trackbacks, wikis, micro blogs, social profiles, guestbooks, pingbacks or comments. The key is to getting your tier 3 articles on as many indexed dofollow sites as possible to create a large amount of activity pushing relevance to the higher tiers.

Challenges to Tiered Link Building

The main challenge to tiered link building is keeping yourself organized. Lucky for us, Matthew Woodward has created this spreadsheet to help in this monumental task. Please take a look at Matthews site as this tutorial is based on his Tiered Link Building series of videos. Consider this a companion piece to video 1, with some cross referencing different sources on my part.

Tiered Link Building in Three Sentances

Build great tier one links. Build good tier two links. Build dirty tier three links.

Other Resources

Of course we can’t put all our eggs in one basket, so I’ve linked a few great SEO tutorial sites that build off the tiered link building strategy. Especially of note is this article by Jacob King which shows you a small flaw in Matthew Woodwards’ strategy as well as some tips on using the GSA software for Tier 1 instead of Ultimate Demon which Matthew recommends. If you only read one resource article outside of the videos make sure this is it!

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