Backlink Pyramid for SEO: What Is It and How Does It Work?
Published November 3, 2022
Even if you’re no SEO expert, you most likely know that backlinks are crucial to any SEO strategy. If you want to rank on Google these days, you need to have high-quality backlinks.
Ever since Google got wind of people buying and selling links for SEO, it revamped its algorithm. Now, search engines look at your backlink profile as a whole instead of counting your site’s total number of backlinks.
This is where backlink pyramids enter the picture. This SEO backlinking strategy focuses on the quality rather than the quantity of a site’s backlinks.
To help you understand this emerging SEO trend, here’s a quick guide on how a backlink pyramid works.
What is a Backlink Pyramid?
A backlink pyramid is a link-building strategy that structures a site’s backlinks into three tiers. The first tier links directly to pages on your site. The second tier, in turn, passes link juices to the first tier domains. While the third tier links to the second tier domains.
In short, a backlink pyramid is about creating backlinks for your backlinks.
For instance, the Correct Digital site has links from the company’s social media accounts and directory listings. These domains are considered tier 1 backlinks since they link directly to our website.
If a Wikipedia page links to our social media accounts or directory listings, that’s considered a tier 2 backlink. And if someone answers a question on Quora linking to that same Wikipedia page, it is considered a tier 3 backlink.
Since each backlink usually has 2 or more links pointing to it, there are fewer tier 1 backlinks than tier 2 and tier 3. In the same vein, there are lesser tier 2 backlinks than tier 3.
If you are to visualize it, you’ll see that it forms a pyramid – hence the name. Tier 1 backlinks are at the topmost layer since they are the least numerous. Tier 2 backlinks are in the middle and tier 3 links form the base.
The Importance of Tiered Link Building
In SEO, there’s a concept known as “link juice“. It’s a jargon used to describe how much power a domain passes to a site it links to.
For instance, if Correct Digital links to your site, we pass on some of our “authority” to your site. This is what we refer to as “link juice”. When Google sees this, it will trust your site a little bit more.
So for every backlink you have, your site gets more link juice. The more link juice you have, the more Google will trust your site and rank your content in the search engine result pages (SERPs).
When you build a backlink pyramid, the link juices from all those backlinks are eventually passed on to your site. Even if they aren’t all linking directly to your site, you’ll still benefit from their link juices.
You see, the link juice from your tier 3 backlinks are passed on to your tier 2 backlinks. This makes your tier 2 backlinks more authoritative which, in turn, strengthens your tier 1 backlinks. When the domains linking to your site are authoritative, it will also strengthen the authority of your site. Needless to say, the more authoritative your site is, the better your ranking in the SERPs will be.
How to Create a Backlink Pyramid for Your Site
Technically, there’s no need to “create” a backlink pyramid for your site. If you’re using white hat methods to boost your SEO, that pyramid will eventually build itself.
That said, you can fast-track the process by putting a structure to your backlinking process. Here are some of the backlinking strategies you can implement for each tier:
These links point directly to your site. So you should be careful when creating these links. Make sure to use the right anchor texts and the domains are highly authoritative.
- guest posts
- social media profiles
- directory listings
- press releases
- internal links
These links aren’t pointing directly to your site so it’s alright to prioritize quantity over quality. There’s no need to use specific anchor texts too.
- Web 2.0 sites (Medium, Hubpages, etc.)
- forum links
Tier 3 links aren’t likely to be indexed by Google. So, the sky is the limit. Create as many as you can. You can even use automation tools or a hoard of virtual assistants to farm out these links for you. Just make sure not to spam the web or your site will be affected too.
- blog comments
- index submission websites
- URL shorteners
Does Backlink Pyramid Work for SEO?
Like any SEO strategy, there are pros and cons to creating a backlink pyramid.
If done right, it can strengthen your site’s authority and boost your SEO. If not, Google may penalize your site for spammy links.
So make sure to only use white hat strategies and make it look as natural as possible. Remember that Google hates any type of search engine optimization (even though everyone’s doing it). Instead of helping your SEO, it may even cause your site to get permanently banned from the search results.
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About The Author
Judy Ponio is a professional writer and SEO specialist based in the Philippines. She works hard to cross check reputable sources to ensure her work uses accurate facts. She is the lead author for several prominent websites covering a variety of topics including law, health, nutrition, and more.