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Common Mistakes in Tiered Linking

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Falian, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. Falian

    Falian Junior Member

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    Tiered linking is a very popular SEO tactic. It's also very effective, if done properly. There are some important concepts of Tiered Linking that you need to keep in mind, so you don't end up making common mistakes.

    First, let's cover the fundamentals of Tiered Linking.


    Q: What makes a high-quality backlink "high quality"? What differentiates it from a low-quality backlink?

    A: The website the backlink is posted on. A backlink on a Wikipedia page is high-quality. A backlink on a PR0 forum is low-quality. The difference is in the website.


    Q: Why should we build tier 2 backlinks to a "high quality" website to improve our tier 1 backlink? Isn't it good enough?

    A: The problem lies in the fact that most Tier 1 backlinks are posted to a orphan page on the high-quality website. This is the case for any Web 2.0 property or Article directory. The website itself has a ton of authority, but the orphan page needs a "kickstart" to be recognized by Google and valued as a high-quality page. Building backlinks is a great way to kickstart the page.


    The take-away is the purpose of tiered linking is to strengthen the page itself, which in turn strengthens all backlinks found on the page, not just yours.

    Ok, so we reviewed the fundamentals of tiered linking... what's the problem? two words: link dilution.

    Link dilution is the negative effect of other backlinks found on your tier 1 property. Every link on a webpage shares link juice, so more backlinks = less link juice for each individual backlink. A great example of this is a blog post with 300 comments. Each of the 300 comments split the link juice, which reduces the value of each backlink.


    Let's look at the link dilution on popular Tier 1 properties:

    A 0% link dilution means you are the only backlink on the page. A 99% link dilution means you are one of 99 other backlinks.

    Squidoo - Buy Cialis - 25% link dilution (great job on the linkbuilders part!)

    Hub Pages - Online Poker Review - 80% link dilution. 2 links to money site, 8 other internal links.

    Ezine Articles - Forex Article - 92% link dilution. 2 links to money site, 24 other internal links.

    Squidoo - 5 Easy Internet Marketing Ideas - 70% link dilution. 5 links to money sites, 12 other internal links.


    Sidenote #1: Squidoo seems like a great tier 1 property.

    Sidenote #2: A solid internal link structure, like we see on Squidoo/Hubpages/Ezine, are both good and bad. They make it easier for your orphan page to absorb some of the website's authority/link juice, making it easier to strengthen your property. On the downside, they dilute link juice you send to the property.

    Sidenote #3: An important thing to keep in mind when building common tier 1 properties like Web 2.0 properties or Social Bookmarks is that you have the option to include tags and categories. Make sure to use broad tags and categories for your niche. This is because you're page will be included in these catagory and tag sections, resulting in natural tiered links that will send relevant link juice to your web 2.0 property with little effort.

    Back on topic now. So we can see that most tier 1 properties have significant link dilution.


    Common Mistakes to avoid in Tiered Linking

    Backlink Funnelling isn't effective: A common tactic among SEO's is to funnel low quality backlinks through high-quality backlinks on tier 1 properties. Losing anywhere between 70-90%+ of your link juice is not effective. It's still important to build some low-quality backlinks to strengthen Tier 1 properties, but most low-quality backlinks should be built directly to the money site. There's simply no reason to lose 70-90% of your link juice for the sake of funnelling. Building low-quality links to your money site isn't bad, that's a SEO myth.

    Tier 3+ Properties are a huge waste: I'll admit, the seo services with complex 3, or even 4, tier linkwheels look cool. The graphs are fun to look at. But other than that, there's little value past Tier 2+. Why? Because each additional Tier compounds the link dilution problem. Send those links to your Tier 1 property or, better yet, your money site.

    Carefully Consider what to use as Tier 2: I recently read a post, on another SEO forum, suggesting that SEO's should manually build high-quality backlinks to Tier 1 properties. With such little talk about link dilution, I don't blame the poster for proposing a flawed tactic. If you understand link dilution, it's apparent that these manual backlinks should be built directly to the money site. There's no value in spending precious time building links to a page with 70-90% link dilution.

    Tiered Backlinking is still a sound strategy that can help you reach the top of the SERPs. It simply needs to be done right.

    Best of luck everyone! Make that moolah.
     
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  2. chris1025

    chris1025 Regular Member

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    You spill the bean! XD thanks for your share tho, i hope alot of newbie would find this golden.
     
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  3. SweTech

    SweTech Power Member

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    Nice post mate. +6 rep coming your way.
     
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  4. Rua999

    Rua999 Power Member

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    Could anyone please tell me if they know.. is it important to be using keywords related to your niche / targeted keywords in your tier 2 links, or is it only important in the tier 1's linking to your money site?! Thanks
     
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  5. Crewchief007

    Crewchief007 Power Member

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    Saw this same article posted on TP forum under the profile, "DFB Nick."

    So do we have yet another SEO pundit, who asserts that "THEIR WAY" to building links is the way???

    Learn this point friend: SEO is an art and not a science.

    Consequently, there are many ways to achieve rankings, increase PR and build authority sites.

    Concerning a number of the things you "CLAIM" don't work or won't work, there are plenty of SEO pros, BHatters and savvy Internet Marketers who are effectively using those very techniques and strategies and seeing tremendous results.

    So what it a person to believe?

    A SEO pundit says, "Don't use article directories as tier 1 but countless SEO pros do exactly that with great success.

    As SEO pundit says, "Tier 3 are a total waste!" But while the SEO pundit is preaching the vagaries against tier 3 link building, plenty of SEO pros with experience are using tier 3 links to solidify their backlink architecture.

    Do you take theory over experience?

    Look at it like this; Harold Camping is a religious pundit who declared that the world was coming to an end on a number of occasions. His latest bodacious assertion of the world's demise was to be May 21st, 2011. His assertions were based on a list of carefully crafted, seemingly incontrovertible and indisputable calculations, charts, explanations and illustrations.

    But guess what, he was one hundred percent wrong!

    The OP has provided us with an impressive and carefully crafted list of explanations and examples concerning his interpretation of what he thinks works and what he believes does not work concerning SEO and backlink building.

    Take note; although his writing sounds impressive, this can be summed up as his opinion and not incontrovertible SEO science.

    The OP can come back in here and argue/debate his points until the cows come home but his arguing won't change the fact that many of the techniques he claims we should not be using are effective techniques that getting the job done!

    Incidentally OP, your posts are starting to look, smell and read like nothing more than brazen pre-sales pitches. You had another post on TP, which just like this post can be summed up as nothing more than pre-sales hoopla. See, pre-sales. You blasted that same thread on the BHW, TP, WF and Wicked.

    Why not stop trying to hard sell us and instead become a contributing member who provides value?

    Just my two cents.
     
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  6. knall

    knall Regular Member

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    Crewchief007 just put the smackdown on your thread.
     
  7. Falian

    Falian Junior Member

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    Hey Man, thanks for posting!

    I'll try to address your concerns piece by piece!

    Yes that's me bro. I also posted the thread on WF. Some users frequent multiple forums, others don't. I think many BHer's will find this article useful, and they wouldn't have a chance to see it unless I posted it here :).

    I don't make a claim that Tiering past Tier 2 or Backlink funneling won't work. They do work. My point is that they are way less effective than just focusing on building Tier 1 properties, Tier 2 backlinks, and directly backlinking your money site.

    We have limited time and resources, the best SEO's are the ones that focus on the most effective tactics.

    This is a valid point and thanks for bringing it up. What I was trying to get across is, all things being equal, building a hubpage/squidoo tier 1 property is better than an ezine article because there's significantly more link dilution on ezine. But you're right, article directories are still great backlinks. I'm going to re-write that part of my OP.

    Sure, you can build a Tier 3 if you want to. And yes, it's going to provide some value. But why not build those Tier 3 backlinks to your Tier 1 properties, or better yet, directly to your money site?

    Once again, limited time and resources means we need to focus on the most effective tactics.

    Well, considering that i've built over 500 million backlinks, I think I know a thing or two about backlinking ;).

    Plenty of SEOer's on TP and WF have found this thread valuable. Plenty of SEOer's on BHW will find this thread valuable.
     
  8. Falian

    Falian Junior Member

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    Hey bro,

    It's a good idea to do it if you have the option. If you can't due to the type of backlinks you're building, then it's perfectly fine not to.

    Anchor text only really becomes important on your tier 1 backlinks. Make sure to diversify your anchor text portfolio, especially in light of the recent discussions of an anchor text over-optimization penalty.

    Consider this, CNN.COM has over 30 million backlinks and over 2 million unique anchors. It breaks down to a 13.5:1 ratio. So for every 13 backlinks, there's a unique anchor.

    I'm sure plenty of SEO's have a ratio of 100:1 or greater. Try to keep your ratio as low as possible.
     
  9. laowai

    laowai Power Member

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    I think that OP has a point what comes to link dilution, it's something that should taken account. But it doesn't mean that link pyramids and other multitier methods wouldn't work. I believe that the reason why those DO work is the high volume of links which is used on lower tiers. Even the juice flowing upper layers is small, when you multiply it by thousands it has affect.
     
  10. Crewchief007

    Crewchief007 Power Member

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    Falian, I think you missed my two primary points. That may have something to do with the frailty of my ability to communicate.

    My first point being that SEO is an art and not a science and some of the strategies and tactics that you state are ineffective, less effective and/or should not be used - are actually being used by countless people with great results.

    My second point being is that your posts, [the ones that I have seen] no matter what forum you are posting them on are coming across as sales pitches. But hey, that is my perception and I am not asserting that everyone feels that way. I will say this; if you continue implementing that sales strategy in all of your posts, you can expect others to start pulling your coattail and they are not going to be as diplomatic about as I have been. Go back and scan some of your TP posts and you will see what I mean.
    Just some friendly advice. :goodnight
     
  11. Rua999

    Rua999 Power Member

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    Thanks for the reply Falian, ye i was thinking it prob wouldn't have mattered too much in the tier two's alright, was hoping others thought the same aswel. Good stuff talk t ya again then
     
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  12. Ambassy

    Ambassy BANNED BANNED

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    Awesome thread. Great job, was an interesting read.
     
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  13. Smart SEO

    Smart SEO Senior Member

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    This is a perfect post. Great detail and analogy, it should be a sticky for everyone to see especially these noobs that come up everyday not knowing how to start backlinking.
     
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  14. kityuen123

    kityuen123 Junior Member

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    Repeated
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  15. kityuen123

    kityuen123 Junior Member

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    OP,

    Some guys here suggest using some Document submission site like powerpoint and pdf as their tier one, what do you think about it? Does the link juice pass these backlinks?
     
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  16. BLIXX

    BLIXX Regular Member

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    Not trying to be rude, but Op's post is at best muddled.

    Tiered linking is the only way to build a network of authoritative buffer/satellite properties for an 'end' property (the "end" property being one's website). It's same the principle that governs blog networks and is why they work (until de-indexed by Google, that is): When you control the property, that property's TrustRank and PageRank, as well as its overall authority, you don't lose links and they remain effective indefinately.

    There are 2 different, but related, forms of link juice; direct and indirect. Direct link juice flows from your Tier 1 properties to your website; indirect link juice flows from Tier 2 to Tier 1. Linking to your Tier 1's with a second Tier, to your second Tier with a third Tier (etc) builds up each Tier's authority, culminating at your website as the backlinking terminus (end point). Further, this diversifies one's backlink profile in that diversity is not only important for the types of Tier 1 links that are pointing to a money site, but for the tier 1 links, themselves; Tier 2's and Tier 3's as well (and in some instances, into Tiers 4 and 5).

    Tiered linking (and the periodic adding of relevant content on one's buffer/satelite properties), in fact, is the best way to develop, refine and maintain long-term rankings and SERPs stability. Depending on the structure of the pyramid, it is also advantageous to hit certain Tiers periodically with additional backlinks so as to keep them active and rooted in the index.

    An effective example of 5-deep tiering, off the top of my head:
    5.) BackLinksIndexer--> 4.) High PR Forum Profiles--> 3.) Do Follow Wikis--> 2.) Web 2.0s--> 1.) High PR blogs (Worpress, etc)--> money site. For maintenance, hit Tiers 1 - 3 once per month with PR 1 - 5 blog comments, 50/50 no/do follow. Also for maintenance, add weekly content to Tier 1 and bi-weekly content to Tier 2. Tier 1 should never be spun content; if you add spun content on Tier 2, make sure it's a really, really good spin.

    4 or 5 of these and similar structures, aged, and you're pretty much cemented in search results.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  17. Nigel Farage

    Nigel Farage BANNED BANNED

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    A Google search of the exact phrase "indirect link juice" results in less than 20 hits, and this thread is #4. I don't recognize any of the other sites where this phrase is used. I suspect that if someone wanted to do a full-on investigation, they would find there is a common denominator, that being just one SEO "expert". I have no opinion on the validity of the theory; my point is that it is not widely documented and therefore probably not widely accepted. Feel free to show me different.

    So, to the existence of "indirect link juice" as something separate and distinct from "direct link juice", I suspect the difference does not exist. It may be a different and acceptable way of looking at link juice and how it is passed from one site to another (directly vs. indirectly), but the semantics of the post imply that "indirect link juice" has a special quality that is separate and distinct from "direct link juice" and I am having some doubts as to whether that is useful information. It feels like it's just a way of hooking a reader into believing that they are reading something new and different instead of the same old information spun into a different form in order to create the illusion of "special expertise" by the person using it. The phrase comes to mind: "Just because the world was new to me, does not mean I was new to the world."

    1) Person "A" drives a car directly to a City.
    2) Person "B" drives a car through a different City before arriving at the same City.
    This means that Person "B's" car is somehow different than Person "A".
    That's the false reasoning I am describing. Neither the word direct or indirect applies to juice, it's just the route it takes in order to get there.

    One thing that no one has mentioned is that spamming your money site risks deindexing. Having nothing but undiluted links feeding juice to your money site looks unnatural, and Google wields a mighty ban hammer.

    Another false assumption in this thread is that there is always a direct and proportionate relationship between PR and link juice. Some low PR sites can send more juice than than a high PR site, and having backlinks from a disproportionate ratio of high-PR to low-PR sites looks unnatural, and is therefore bannable. Those "useless" backlinks may be the only thing that prevents your site from being de-indexed. It would be a good idea to treat them with the respect that they deserve, and also be wary of those that would advocate that you jeopardize your money site for no compelling reason. As far as using time as efficiently as possible, the time wasted on calculating link dilution would be better spent simply creating more backlinks. Google LIKES diluted links; it looks more natural.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  18. Dan Da Man

    Dan Da Man Elite Member Premium Member

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    I think someone got worded.... TWICE!!

    I agree with crewcheif. Sounds like a sales thread to me especially if you post on multiple forums.

    No one likes a subliminal sales pitch.

    Who let the dogs out?
     
  19. volund

    volund Senior Member

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    Your information is not any more true here than it was in the other forum. What you really need to do before posting your "theories" as fact is do some real world testing.

    Your examples of how much links are diluted have no relationship to reality at all.

    Look at the examples below, they have no relationship to what really happens when building links. You are saying that a high PR page with the following


    80% link dilution. 2 links to money site, 8 other internal links. REALLY 2 OBL's and 8 internal links is going to make each link worth 80% less than if there was just 1 OBL??? Seriously? Even a small amount of testing would show that it not even close to being true.

    92% link dilution. 2 links to money site, 24 other internal links. Same thing here 2 OBL's and 24 internal links and 92% of the link value is lost??? Again are you really seriously saying this is true??

    70% link dilution. 5 links to money sites, 12 other internal links. Just one more example of you pulling numbers out of your ass.


    Seriously dude before you make up numbers and use them to scare newbies into using your service you might want to do some real life testing.
     
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  20. BLIXX

    BLIXX Regular Member

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    Not sure what you're on about. The terms are illustrative/explanatory of why and when tiering works. One can call them whatever one wants to, but it wouldn't make much intuitive sense to call juice flowing from Tier 1 to a money site "Banana Juice" and juice flowing from Tier 2 to Tier 1 to a money site "Prune Juice."

    The whole point is that it is not 'dilution' (per se) that is occuring when people effectively Tier their links - it is the building of one's network's authority and stability in SERPs: There is nothing theoretical about it - everyone tiers their links because it works.

    Put another and simpler way: Juice from Tier 1 to the money site is by definition 'direct', whereas juice from Tier 2, to Tier 1, to the money site, is by definition 'indirect'. I mean prune juice. It follows that there are instances in which prune juice is banana juice.

    Yeah.