Out of the numerous link building strategies that are used at the moment, tier link building stands out as the most common one. It is sometimes considered to be white hat but most specialists see it as a gray hat SEO strategy, with some even believing it to be black hat SEO.
The truth is that tier link building can easily be 100% white hat and can be really beneficial for a website. However, most people that start their search engine optimization journey do not have any idea what tier link building is in the first place. That is why we should start with some words about the strategy and then see if it is something that you should use.
What Is Tier Link Building?
The principle is incredibly simple. Let’s say that we have domain abc.com that we want to optimize and help climb in search engines. A tier 1 link would be a link that would come to abc.com or to a post from abc.com. Let’s say that the link comes from domain2.com/post. A tier 2 link would be a link that would go towards domain2.com/post. We can go on and end up with tier X links.
The reason why people use link building is simple: domain authority and link juice is practically passed towards the page linked. When you gain more authority for a Tier 1 link from a Tier 2 link, the main abc.com domain has a stronger presence.
What Does Google Say About Tier Link Building?
Google sees tiered link building as a black hat strategy. This is because it is a method that influences search engine rankings. It practically takes advantage of a huge algorithm flaw that exists and that will never go away, the fact that sites are ranked based on the value of the backlinks that they gain.
Although Google hates it, there are cases in which even if the search engine identifies that you use tiered link building, you cannot be penalized. This happens when you use this strategy properly with one main goal in mind:
“Offering high quality content to people that visit the pages you use in the tiered link building strategy!”
Let’s look at this further.
How To Properly Use Tiered Link Building
Whenever you get backlinks to use in tier link building, you want to remember the following:
- All backlinks should come from pages/sites that offer high quality content.
- The backlink needs to come from highly relevant content.
- Your main focus should be put on the experience that the visitor has.
A Good Example
An example can easily help. Let’s say that we have a page that talks about the benefits of using protein shakes for bodybuilders. A good tier 1 link would come from the blog of a person that talks about bodybuilding supplements. Let’s say that the article would talk about how he uses protein supplements to put on muscle mass. The tier 2 link, the one that you point towards the blog can be a post from a healthy nutrition blog, with an article that talks about how protein shakes are digested by the body.
In all these situations we are faced with content that is highly connected. If the articles used for link building include high quality content, it means that the articles will be naturally shared. They will naturally gain more links from other sources, organic lists.
A Bad Example
Unfortunately, most people that use tiered link building do it wrong because they follow a strategy that is really similar to the example I will offer now. Let’s say that we have the same article about the benefits of protein shakes for bodybuilders. The tier 1 link comes from a blog that is general and that features articles in all niches. The tier 2 link comes from a random social bookmarking website. In this case it is quite obvious that there is no real quality that is offered for the visitor and Google will hate what you just did.
Guest Blogging As A Part Of Your Tiered Link Building Strategy
One of the best things that you can do if you want to create tier links is to incorporate it in your guest blogging strategy. The golden rule of guest blogging is to always create high quality content. Let’s use the same protein shakes benefits article that you publish on your blog. You can write another high quality article about the different types of protein shakes on the market. In that article you put a link that teaches the reader how to use the shakes when he trains at a bodybuilder. In another guest blog post you can write an article that talks about nutrition for bodybuilders, with a link to the tier 1 link you created. The value that you create when you use such an approach is really high and it allows you to gain authority in a way that is 100% white hat.
Tier Link Building Tips
Before I close this article as it is already pretty long, here are some tier link building tips you have to always remember:
- Never use social bookmarking links, wiki links, article directory links or stupid things like that. Such links are really cheap and sold through various websites like SEO clerks and Fiverr. I did talk a little about the problem with such low quality SEO services here.
- Never create links in any tier with the use of automatic software. Results would only be temporary and can lead towards Google penalties.
- Every link that is used in the tier building campaign has to offer high quality, valuable content for the reader. If you offer something that would never be shared on social media, you are doing it wrong!
- Do not go too deep into tiers. I never use more than Tier 3 and even that is quite rare.
- Pay close attention to how relevant the link is.
- Pay close attention to the authority and the trust factors associated with where the links come from.
- Do everything manually. It takes longer but it is always better.
Should You Use Tiered Link Building?
YES, IF you can do it properly. NO, if you have problems in understanding anything that was mentioned above or you want to build low quality links! It is as simple as that.