[GUIDE] Reverse Squared Virtual Silos - New Technique

splishsplash

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Here's a new technique that will help you build more topical authority and is in line with how the Google algorithm works in 2023.

Traditionally you have something called the reverse virtual silo.

This worked really well in the past because of the way juice flowed.

In the past there was just 1 way for pages to get more "power" and this was through PageRank flow.

In the distance past PR flowed through pages through internal links. Any link passed PR. It would lose some with each link otherwise we'd have infinite PR.

Simple enough.. This was the original purpose of siloing. (Siloing works today, but for different reasons than in the past. In the past it was for PR sculpting, not creating topical clusters for topical authority)

Then Google changed things and the more related 2 pages were the more juice would flow. We don't know how they did this. I'm not sure when it started either. It was probably before AI and they would do some simple comparisons to check the relevance between 2 pages.

So if you link internally from your dog to cat page, a little PR flows, but if you link from your dog to dog page, more flows.

Because of this, a technique was created called the reverse virtual silo.

It worked like this.

You have your pillar article P, and you create support articles, A, B, C, D and E.

A-E link to P.

A links to B, B to C, C to D, D to E, E to A.

You then send a backlink to P, A, B, C, D and E and everything moves up.

But, there's another, more potent way that pages increase in rank now.

That's topical authority.

1 way to increase it is by creating more content within the topical clusters, and those clusters move up.

However, you also increase the rank of all pages within the clusters as you link to articles within those clusters.

Which makes sense.. Think about it. If an article like "How to train your bulldog" gets strong links, why would google not raise the rank of a page "How to groom your bulldog" ?

Instead of just simple PR flow through pages, they are likely causing PR to flow into clusters no matter how they're linked.

This would make much more sense from an engineering standpoint rather than simply causing PR to flow through internal links alone and it's in line with observations of how things work today.

We just don't know the technical details of the clustering other than that they'll need a very fast way to do it.

This means it's probably not super complicated. It'll be some fast sentence transformer model and then a clustering algorithm. New pages will have their distance measured from each cluster and be placed into a cluster accordingly. How they decide on new clusters is unknown.

What this means for us at a practical level is we want to be creating pages that have a distance in vector space close to the page we're most interested in ranking.

What's vector space?

Vectors are what machine learning uses. Vector space is the space that vectors exist in. A dense vector is a representation in vector space of some object, an object being text from a page.

This leads to the thought:

"What's the easiest way to decide on other topics that are going to be close in vector space to my original article?"

You can use tools and look up various questions/keywords and try to find ones close, but..

A much more natural and reliable way is to simply DEEPEN the topics that you're already talking about on the page.

When you write, you might take a couple of paragraphs to discuss a topic. But, many of these topics you are lightly going into could be deepened and have their own article created.

So let me give you an example.

Let's imagine, this article I'm writing here is the very page I want to deepen.


First topic I discussed: "Traditionally you have something called the reverse virtual silo."

So here's an opportunity. I could write another page about reverse virtual silos.

I would then link off to that. Not that it's NEEDED for juice flow, but this helps Google crawl all the related pages and probably makes it easier to cluster. You want to make things as easy as possible for the crawler. This is technical SEO. (Oh there we go, technical SEO, crawling. I can create more pages about these. Juice flow.. Another one )

Next I talk about "Then Google changed things and the more related 2 pages were the more juice would flow. We don't know how they did this. I'm not sure when it started either. It was probably before AI and they would do some simple comparisons to check the relevance between 2 pages."

So from this I could create another article about how google would send more PR between relevant pages.

Then I say "1 way to increase it is by creating more content within the topical clusters, and those clusters move up."

I could create another article talking about topical clusters. What are they, how do they work, how might google cluster"

You see? I'm barely 2-3 paragraphs into my article and already I have another 5-6 article ideas, that are BY DEFINITION close to the original article in vector space. They are by definition close because they are topics within the article, that me, as a human, can see are related. It's not arbitrary keywords I'm trying to write about and create an artificial relation. It's a REAL and DEEP relation. I am DEEPENING my content.

And what about those 6 articles I'd create? I'd do exactly the same in those. What about if I already have covered something? Great, I just link. Eventually I'll have covered a HUGE amount, filling in every little gap that google will see me as an ultra authority within this cluster, and everything within it will move up in rankings.

THEN, when I send some strong links anywhere into this cluster, the ENTIRE CLUSTER moves up.

And as I naturally expand this cluster, the cluster grows, and mini-clusters within the big cluster appear until I have a giant cluster, with sub clusters and sub-sub clusters and I'm a topical authority on everything SEO.


So the Reverse Reverse Virtual Silo, or Reverse Squared Virtual Silo is this

Start with a pillar article, and deepen it, creating related articles going deeper about all the topics, and link to those articles from your pillar.

So it's your PILLAR that links out to the "support" articles.

Note. It doesn't need to be a pillar. It's just a starting article of some sort, but ideally it's a slightly broader one so it has many topics within you can expand on.

Your support articles will then link to other support articles, but not artificially in some A->B->C->A pattern, but rather filling out gaps and deepening the topics it's already discussing.

In summary:

Rather than create a pillar, then artificially create support articles that link to the pillar.

Create a pillar, then deepen the topics within the pillar by writing articles that cover those sub-topics in depth, link to those from the pillar, and then backlink those articles, and your pillar will become stronger and stronger.
 
Create a pillar, then deepen the topics within the pillar by writing articles that cover those sub-topics in depth, link to those from the pillar, and then backlink those articles, and your pillar will become stronger and stronger.
Yes, important to note is not to lose contextual relevancy in the pillar page, i.e. don't stray too far from the macro context of the page and dilute the relevancy.

As with everything in topical authority, go deep, go wide and go fast :)
 
You have your pillar article P, and you create support articles, A, B, C, D and E.

A-E link to P.

A links to B, B to C, C to D, D to E, E to A.

You then send a backlink to P, A, B, C, D and E and everything moves up.

But, there's another, more potent way that pages increase in rank now.

So basically, the new way is: P link to A-E ?
 
Yup this is pro seo advice I remember testing these for a friend and they actually worked though it requires lots of patience and no need to rush it
 
So basically, the new way is: P link to A-E ?

This is too much of a simplification.

It's not just linking to it, which by its self won't do much.

It's developing the topics within P, at a deeper level within A to E *and* also linking to them at the right points within P.
 
This is too much of a simplification.

It's not just linking to it, which by its self won't do much.

It's developing the topics within P, at a deeper level within A to E *and* also linking to them at the right points within P.
It might be too much of a simplification, but in my case, I have P as a pillar, and I have created links to it from DEEPENED A-E pages already.

So I guess my question is should I simply reverse my inner linking strategy?
 
It might be too much of a simplification, but in my case, I have P as a pillar, and I have created links to it from DEEPENED A-E pages already.

So I guess my question is should I simply reverse my inner linking strategy?

If all your A-E are linking to P, that's not the concept I'm talking about. That's a traditional reverse virtual silo.

if A to E deepen P, then they are unlikely to link very often to P.

They are more likely to link to each other, and then further deepened concepts.
 
The more I think about it, the more I am coming around to not trying to game google.

Just do what G has been telling us all along: make good content that satisfies user intent.
The change is just I reckon google is getting better at being able to actually do that properly without using a bunch of stuff that are proxies for it.
Obv getting backlinks is still the part we gamify.

The proposed reverse squared virtual silo -needs a new name btw- achieves a much better experience for the user. They learn about something, and then get passed around the site going deeper as they learn.

Thanks again for the share :)
 
The more I think about it, the more I am coming around to not trying to game google.

Just do what G has been telling us all along: make good content that satisfies user intent.
The change is just I reckon google is getting better at being able to actually do that properly without using a bunch of stuff that are proxies for it.
Obv getting backlinks is still the part we gamify.

The proposed reverse squared virtual silo -needs a new name btw- achieves a much better experience for the user. They learn about something, and then get passed around the site going deeper as they learn.

Thanks again for the share :)
I think the point of "gaming" google, is 3 fold:

- To make money in a systemized way as opposed to a randomized way
- To do more than your competition, depending on their size in your market: average person who simply buys a dot com, a team of marketers with a budget, other cheaters - blackhatters - scammers - SEO gamifiers
- To leave our mark on something we can influence and see the fruits of our labor - without consequences.
 
These are fair points, well made.
It just feels less to me like we are able to do effective sneaky hacks to trick G.

Still need to work hard, or at least harder than the competition, meaning:
- better technical
- better and more content (but now designed for the user, not G)
These aren't really gaming it though, just quality work.

The whole getting backlinks thing is still a game we can play with G though.
PBNs, paid guest posts and niche edits etc.

Maybe one day G will get good enough at identifying when we do that, and then it really will be case of only being able to do better than your competition, in obtaining backlinks, by doing genuine outreach for guest posts that add value to the linking site.

From a user perspective that would be great. No more of the internet being filled with posts/sites that no one ever reads, purely for the purpose of passing juice.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I am off to buy some guest posts!
 
So, I really want to get higher ranks than them then!
I will get more brand customers!
 
tldr
Inter-link whatever posts semantically related to each other.
Send links to all posts instead of only sending to the pillar/commercial page.
 
The simpler, easier theory is the internal links that send juice and context.

I've done several experiments and analyzed the SERP.

You can have a simple page with a post and a sidebar for latest posts, which might show posts in other categories. Then the post might appear in SERPs for keywords even from the sidebar.

E.g. The post is "How to eat apple" and you have a sidebar showing only the titles of latest articles like "How to walk a dog", "why splishsplash is SEO god".

When the post is first indexed with freshness boost, you can find the post ranking for "walk a dog" or "splishsplash". Or the "walk a dog" post ranking for "apple".

I forgot about the exact conclusion, but I'm sure about the post ranking for other keywords not in the main content.

With virtual silos, it can only get better results.
 
This a really frickin cool post, so thaaanks for that.

I wanted to ask if my process sorta in line with what you've written here.

I'm pulling in all my keywords for a specific page on Google Search Console. It's a page targeting a high volume keyword. I'm still ranking for some keywords, but I was on page one for the primary keyword and it was getting a ton of traffic. I'm on page 2 for that keyword now, but the amount of keywords in GSC is still huge.

So I use the Search Analytics Google Sheets add on to pull in all the keywords for that page... and it's around 6,000.

I'm then using a clustering tool to see how many clusters it would create. I know the industry pretty well, so I can look at what it suggests and decide what supporting pages I should write. With 6,000 keywords it suggested almost 1000 clusters.

I'm thinking this is similar to your process, because it's data from Google generated from one page.

Any input on this from you would be awesome and thanks for the amazing guide!
 
It's not arbitrary keywords I'm trying to write about and create an artificial relation.
So does that mean, in order to deepen my cluster I should be writing about keywords that seemingly have no search volume (do not show up in PAA, autocomplete, or alphabet soup) but is somehow relevant to the cluster and fills in a knowledge gap?

Basically, I need to write a few articles for the sake of strengthening the cluster and not search volume, right?
 
Which tool are you using?
I'm using thruuu. It's a cool tool and the creator is very responsive. He jumped on a call with me and my writer last week and went through a few clusters I created with up to 6000 keywords.
 
Would the support articles that deepen the knowledge only link to each other in some fashion but not link back up to the pillar then?
 
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