Tiered link building is a controversial SEO strategy that involves creating multiple tiers of links to increase the overall link strength and authority of a website.
Some people believe it is a quick and easy way to boost rankings, but others argue that it is unethical and can lead to penalties from search engines.
The truth is that tiered link-building can be effective if done correctly, but it is important to understand the risks involved.
Google and other search engines are constantly cracking down on manipulative linking practices, so it is important to use caution and avoid shortcuts that could harm your website’s reputation.
There are tons of professional SEO services selling tiered link-building packages. They usually come in large bundles (like 100 links for $250), claiming they are all from high DA (domain authority) sites.
No question, 100 links for $250 is SPAM. That’s not what this article is about.
If tiered link building is done correctly, it’s an effective way to increase the authority and trust of your link profile, which can lead to improved search engine rankings.
Let’s look at tiered link-building, some pitfalls you may encounter, and how you can legitimately use it as part of your link-building strategy.
Backlinks are like a boost of confidence for your website. When other authoritative sites link to your content, it increases the credibility and authority of your page.
But sometimes, even the best backlinks won’t make a huge impact if the page they’re on doesn’t have strong link juice to pass on.
That’s where tier two link-building comes into play. This strategy involves creating multiple levels of links, each one building upon the previous one, to pass along even more authority and link juice to your target website.
Your first tier of links are your high-quality guest posts and niche edits, and your second tier links are built to give the first tier an extra boost.
In short, tiered link building means building backlinks to your backlinks. You create top-notch links to your most important pages and then boost those links by building more links to them.
This approach helps to make your website even stronger and more authoritative, which can lead to improved search engine rankings.
It’s cool, and it works if done correctly.
The first tier of links, also known as tier one links, are the most important and directly point to the target website, whether it’s a money page, blog post, or homepage.
These links are typically from high-quality and authoritative sources, such as guest posts or niche edits on industry-related sites.
These tier-one links serve as the foundation for the entire tiered link-building structure, and their strength and authority will be passed on to your website.
The value of the backlinks to your site is based on how relevant those backlinks are and how much authority, or link juice, those links pump into your site.
A new tier-one guest post starts at a PA1 (page authority of the lowest ranking) because it’s brand new and doesn’t have any of its own backlinks yet.
All of its authority and strength come from its domain and any internal links it might have pointing to it. In most cases, the new guest post will not have any internal links. It’s an “orphan page” and will sit as a PA1.
So, what do you do? You build some tier-two links and point them at those new tier-one guest posts to help boost their authority.
(strength, authority, and link juice are all sort of the same thing here)
You don’t need to get expensive tier-two links. We recommend 5-15 DA10-15 to each tier-one guest post that needs the juice.
Check it out in your dashboard.
Easy enough to understand – tier-three links are the third tier in a tiered link-building structure. They are built to support and reinforce the tier-two links, which support the first-tier links.
Tier three links are usually of a lower quality than the first and second-tier links but still play an important role in the overall tiered link-building strategy.
Most tier-three links I’ve seen are horrific foul dumpster grease – so I don’t even like talking about them, but there’s no reason you can’t get decent tier-two quality links in your tier-three.
Google doesn’t like any link building – none – at – all.
The links being built in tiers two and three of a tiered link-building campaign need to be built because the information is relevant or because it enhances the user’s experience.
The second and third-tier links are being built for authority-building purposes only.
And, to be frank, most people that sell tier link-building services build terrible spammy links like blog comments, forum comments, bad directory profiles, and with automated link-building tools.
This makes Google unhappy.
If Google sees that the authority of a website is being manipulated, it will penalize the site by de-indexing the links or pushing the site down in rankings.
Even some hardcore whitehat SEOs will admit that tiered link-building strategies work. (I’m one of those SEOs)
It works because that’s how link juice is passed from site to site – we know this.
What happens if Google catches it?
Let’s create a scenario.
Google sees loads of new links hit a site in your second tier, and deems them unnatural. Oh no! Not good, but what will happen?
Google might devalue the tier 3 links to the tier 2 site or in the worst-case scenario, even deindex the tier 2 page.
This action by Google will have minimal effect on your website because, in this example, your tier-one guest post is still live and safely linked to your website.
Let’s say Google doesn’t like the links pointing to your tier-one guest post and decides to devalue them.
This won’t hurt you either as long as your tier one is a high-quality and relevant post.
Most of your links will stay in place, and the juices will flow!
The best way to build backlinks to your backlinks is to buy good quality link insertions and point them to your tier-one guest posts. That’s clean and cool, but it costs a good bit of money.
You can buy a tier two link insertion package here.
You can do some outreach to build links to your tier-one guest post, but this is so much work that you’d probably want to blast that juice straight into your own website. Why spend all that time just to get one link to a tier-two?
Some SEOs add two links in their tier one guest post – one to their money page and one to another tier one guest post. I’m not sure if this is such a great idea, but it might be ok if the content and the links are super relevant.
You can sneak in a few tier-two links in your directory profiles or web 2.0 content. It takes time, because each directory and web 2.0 has its quirks, so you’ll have to sit with each one and wrestle the links out of them.
Pulling all of this together, tiered link-building is a powerful strategy for improving the authority and ranking of a website. No doubt.
By creating a hierarchy of links, each tier building upon the previous one, tiered link building allows for a more diverse and robust link profile that can lead to improved search engine rankings and increased traffic.
While tiered link-building can be a time-consuming and complex process (made very simple by our fantastic dashboard), the results are well worth the effort, as a well-executed tiered link-building strategy can significantly impact the visibility and success of a website.
As the digital landscape continues to evolve, staying informed and adapting to new developments in link building and search engine optimization is essential.
Stay competitive and keep building!