What is Tiered Link Building and Should You Use it?

Do you sometimes find yourself wondering just how many SEO tactics there are? If you’ve been into SEO for some time now, you must have heard and gone through hundreds of them. Often during research, you come upon some questionable tactics about which you must wonder if they’re useful or even legitimate. This certainly is one of those, and it shows since we get a lot of questions about it. So, we at Link Department have decided to answer all of your questions and explain what is tiered link building and should you use it.

There are many link building strategies about which you can be sure that they’ll work. However, this one is of another kind. There are many different viewpoints and opinions about it. We’ve gone through all of them, so you don’t have to. And in this article, you’ll learn what it is, what makes it questionable, and what are alternatives you could use.

What is Tiered Link Building?

To put it as simply as we can, tiered link building is the process of building backlinks for your backlinks. The idea behind it is that you can manufacture enough authority to pass PageRank to your page if you create these tiered links in bulk. Your webpage should, of course, be at the end of the chain.

At first glance, it is a strange tactic. And that’s pretty much why it’s considered to be one of the black hat link building tactics. However, before you start judging it, let us explain the theory by breaking down the tiers.

Woman explaining what is tiered link building.
It’s easy to explain what is tiered link building, but only you can decide if you should use it or not.

First Tier Links

First, you need to have a page on your site that you want to rank well. Then, you create a few links to it from other webpages. Usually, there are at least three of these. Normally, the goal here would be to get links from high-quality and relevant sites with lots of authority.

Now, it’s important to understand what kind of links we’re talking about here. These are usually Web 2.0 blog links. So, anything that has something to do with WordPress.com or Blogger.com. On the other hand, some authors decide to go with different kinds of article directories. Even other websites that you manage can be the source of these links.

The crucial thing to remember here is that all tier-one links need to come from relevant and legitimate sources. In other words, these need to be of the highest quality possible if you want this tactic to work.

Second Tier Links

The next thing you would have to deal with is a second tier. So, you would build at least 15-20 links to each of the three webpages we mentioned earlier.

The basic idea here is simple. The quantity of these links should boost the authority of your first tier links. Therefore, it also boosts the authority of your original content.

However, tier two links aren’t the same kind as tier one. Here, we’re talking about things like blog comments, forum comments, or other types of pages with lots of user-generated content. Relevance and context are still important here, but only to a certain degree. The focus is on trying to build as many links as possible.

WordPress site on a computer screen.
Second-tier links usually can be found in blog or forum comments.

Third Tier Links

The only thing left that we need to talk about in order to explain what is tiered link building is the third tier of links. And when it comes to these, they’re all about the quantity.

People who choose to utilize this tactic generally throw quality, relevance, and context out of the window at this stage. The goal is as simple as it can be. Build as many links as possible to your second-tier links. It doesn’t matter where they’re from or how good their quality is.

Since you wouldn’t worry about top link building mistakes and how to avoid them, this stage of the process usually involves automated link building tools. In fact, the workload gets a bit too much for a single person, so it’s basically the only way you can go.

So, to put it all together. Let’s say you have 300 links in your third tier. These are pointing to 50 or so links that you have in the second tier. Then, these 50 links are pointing to three webpages in your first tier. And those three are leading to the original content that you want to boost.

Anyone that has at least some experience in SEO will have to wonder, could this possibly work? And to explain it in the best possible manner, we’ll start with some of the benefits this can bring to you.

The Benefits of Tiered Link Building

As strange as it may sound, even white hat SEOs admit that this tactic can work some of the time. And if you think that it might look sketchy if you all of a sudden had hundreds of links pointing to a certain page, you might be surprised as this is where the real benefit of this tactic is laying.

The worst possible scenario you can find yourself in is that Google recognizes your link scheme. They notice that one of your tier one links has a lot of new not-so-legitimate links leading to it, so they hit it with a manual action. It’s not difficult to remove that one link from the equation completely. This leaves your original content unaffected, or does it?

Phone with analytics Google search.
Although it may seem that there are many benefits of this tactic, remember that Google’s algorithms are smarter than ever.

Should you use it?

There is a certain thing called Google’s definition of a natural backlink profile, and it’s one of the most important things when it comes to link building. Additionally, Google doesn’t tolerate automated link building tools, so if they figure out what you’re doing, your website can be excluded from indexing altogether.

So, if you ask us what is tiered link building and should you use it, we would recommend you not to. The risks are simply too big, even if it seems to you that there aren’t any. Google’s algorithms are becoming smarter every day, and there are many other ways to boost the authority of your website that don’t include any kind of manipulation of rankings.

Latest Posts