Case study: The link building strategy that screws you
This was the first part of my tiered link building series and in the next post you are going to learn how to create your first set of tiered one links. CLICK HERE
Links are the lifeblood of a site and every SEO strategy has building links at its core. With the Penguin 2.0 updates I have observed that many sites were washed out from rankings, one that ranked on the first page for a highly competitive keyword and lots of long tail keywords is not even on the 13th page of Google. I will share my finding with link building that works and link building that screws you in the end.
In this case study I will talk about
* A site that ranked first on Google for terms like Hostgator coupon, Bluehost review and made thousands each month.
* A site that ranks first for “ How to get rid of acne”( 4,50000 searches) and how
* The site that now ranks first for terms like hostgator coupon and makes thousands and why
First off, why do we need to build links? To rank for competitive keywords, we need to either pay for advertising or build links, there is no other way. For example money terms like payday loans, gold investment are all highly competitive and one needs a good SEO strategy to do well.
Bad Bad link building strategy, the kind which you should never build unless..
About 7 months ago I was trying to rank a site in the web hosting niche and I used to check Google almost daily for some particular keywords. Almost out of the blue one site started appearing on the first page for my term and all other terms in the web hosting niche, you name it they had it.
The site was- “a1websitehosting.com”, if you check now they are not even on the 13th page for any term and I say 13th page because I did not care to look further. I am pretty sure that it has completely gone!
For seven months it was on top and with the Penguin 2.0 its nowhere. I was so hooked to the strategy they used that I wanted to use it myself.
But.. I waited to see what Google would do?
Drupal sites allow you to register on their sites and once registered there is no particular moderation on what you post. The links become readily available.
The next thing they did was use the Google Keyword tool or scrapebox to scrape a huge huge list of long tail keywords. Every link had a different keyword but they did not care about the ideal anchor text variation.
Also even though the links were contextual the text around them never made sense. It was spun text that was absolute rubbish.
They did not have a single like, Google plus ones or retweets no social signal.
When linking, you need to be careful that you have only 30-35% of keywords directly related to what you are trying to rank.
You must use generic keywords like “click here”, see more or the naked url which also should be varied with and without http://, with and without www. etc.
Not only sites in the web hosting niche but lots of sites were trying this same magic trick like payday loan sites.
Building millions of links with little variation of anchor text and all from un related sites plus using sites of low PR will knock your site off SERPs.
If they are not penalised now then they will be penalised later.
But even now I can show you sites with millions of links that are ranking highly using the same strategy.
See this for example the site that ranks for how to get rid of acne
The link building strategy that you should use
Now what ranks now on Google for some keywords like hostgator coupon.
See the results
Now if you have a look at the links you can see that the links are around 3k.
If you check the backlinks of the site that is linking to it you will see that they have backlinks in the range of 100 to 3k links behind them. It means backlinks to backlinks!!
And see the anchor texts
Now lets look at the the site which ranks 2. Goodhosting companies has 3k links.The site shown below is a site that links to Goodhostingcompanies.com and it has another 2.3 k backlinks
See the link structure of the first site and the second site and you will find a similar pattern.
This is called tiered link building but they are not doing it to perfection.
In order to build a perfect tiered link pattern you need relevant sites at the top and there should be a variation in the type of sites that you use like web 2.0s, article directories, social bookmarks etc. If these sites are related to your niche then it would be perfect. You need to make sure that the articles that you use for the first tier make some sense, can be read. You cannot use crap for your first site.
How many- 100 to 200 in total!
These make your first tier which should next link to some other different sites like social bookmarks, comments etc. You can also use different blog platforms and social platforms like Drupal, Jcow etc.
How many- 1000 and more to each link on the first tier.
Now lets go back to the first example of a1websitehosting. If the person behind the site had made the Drupal sites the last tier of his linking tree then I am pretty sure that his site would have still ranked.
By building links in this way you are creating millions of paths through which search engines can find you.
A still better way to rank is
Buying 10 high PR sites PR 5, PR 4 etc. changing their content to make them sound like the niche in which you are trying to rank( change the meta keywords and tags) and link to your site from the homepage. Guest posting will not work because you are getting a link from the inner page which has PR 0.