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What is tiered link building and how will it further boost your SEO rankings in 2021

29th January 2021 Print
tiered link building

Tiered link building has a bad reputation; it’s the ugly duckling in SEO, and for good reason. For years it has been considered a black hat SEO technique as it can be used to artificially boost page rankings and to manipulate Google’s algorithms, but it doesn’t need to be this way!

Integrating tiered link building into your marketing strategy can be a fantastic boon to any SEO campaign, and you really ought to be considering it.

Many white hat link building services are already using tiered link building to boost their SEO efficacy, so why aren’t you?

Why is tiered link building considered black hat?

Google doesn’t take kindly to websites artificially creating large volumes of links to their own website. Links should be earned naturally, and using link schemes created through automated link building tools goes against this principle. If Google identifies a link scheme, they will hit the website with a manual action which can decimate a website’s rankings.

This makes sense, as Google wants their search engine to prioritise high-quality content and those following good SEO practises. 

How to use white hat tiered link building

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Savvy SEO marketers can and will use tiered link building to drive traffic organically through their website. 

Optimise your website

Before you can embark on a link building journey, you need to ensure that you have optimised your website. Make sure it’s functioning to the best of its ability and that it contains quality, interesting content. Your website needs to provide value before it will ever drive traffic. 

Once your website is in a good position, that’s when you can really get started.

Guest blogging


While writing content for others might initially seem fruitless, guest blogging can provide a great deal of SEO benefit for both your website and the host site. 

This is where the ‘tiered’ in tiered link building comes into play. Consider your website optimisation to be the first tier; you want to build up backlinks, create quality content and have a strong SEO base.

Once that’s done, we compound that success. When you form quality backlinks, you’re strengthening your website’s authority and creating roads for Google to discover your content.

Guest blogging is symbiotic, both you and your host benefit from engaging in the process. Here’s what you do:

- Write a blog post that’s relevant to your website’s niche.

- Make sure to include backlinks to your website in the blog post (make sure it links to a relevant page on your website).

- Now it’s social media time – share the newly published webpage far and wide on your social media channels, email lists; everywhere! The host site will likely do the same.

Driving traffic to the host website is clearly a benefit for them, but by backlinking to your website through the guest blog creates a strong backlink to your website, see where this is going? When you form strong, natural relationships with other websites, everybody wins!

More backlinking!

We need to go deeper! 

Websites’ SEO rankings are, in part, governed by their domain authority and their domain score. There are free tools that allow you to check a site’s authority and this can be key when choosing which sites you want to work with.

A high domain authority means a site is more likely to rank on SERPs. The more likely your host site is to rank on SERPs, the more likely that your guest blog is seen, and the more likely your backlinks pay dividends. 

As a result of this, it serves you well to link to the guest blog from your own website. This might not directly help your growth, but by helping your host to build up their domain authority, your website will benefit from extra clicks.

You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

Don’t lose momentum

One of the best ways to be successful with tiered link building is to guest blog as much as possible for a variety of authoritative blogs. Maintaining a frequent & consistent blog posts will establish you as a knowledgeable source of information in your field and people will want to hear what you have to say.

It is time consuming, but finding time to write 1-2 blog posts a month can hugely benefit you in the long run.

Link acquisition strategy

All this talk about tiered link building is all well and good, but it’s always worth making sure that you’ve got the basics covered, as well.

Having a strong link acquisition strategy in place is integral to laying the foundations of awesome SEO best practises. We talked earlier about having a strong domain authority, and this is one of the best ways of ensuring that your website scores well.

link building strategy

Being meticulous when choosing your backlinks is critical, as haphazardly linking to anyone, linking to irrelevant content or linking to low-ranking websites can actively damage your website’s SEO performance. Keep all of this in mind when you’re looking to build a link acquisition strategy.

How will tiered link building shape SEO in 2021?

Tiered link building has evolved into something far different from its origins. While it has a shady backstory, the key to modern tiered link building in 2021 lies in collaboration. 

Google’s algorithm is consistently being updated, and it’s learning to isolate and punish SEO black hat strategies.

Building strong relationships with a variety of other websites and building great, cyclical backlink avenues is the key to success in 2021. Tiered link building builds on foundational SEO principals and is a fantastic way to improve your website’s performance in the long run.

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