Tiered Linking is something that Google may be looking to target. Many Seos believe that the recent Matt Cutts comment about removing link spammers ability to rank by going “upstream” might refer to tiered linking.
Many more Seos argue that policing such an algorithm change would be almost impossible and pointless.
We tend to agree that it would be a waste of energy and resources for Google to attempt to target tiered links when there are many other things they could focus on which would have a bigger effect on fighting spam.
Regardless of whether they can actually successfully identify tiered linking or not for the moment however tiered linking is still a very effective way of sending a ton of link juice “upstream” to your main money site via buffer sites so you should use it.
Tier 1 Links
The first set of links you ever build will point to the site or page that you are trying to rank. These are known as tier 1 links.
Tier 1 links should also be the best quality links that you can build.
You should always avoid using inferior, low quality content at this tiered level and try as much as possible to get relevant contextual links from authoritative sites with good PageRank on the page that hosts your link.
At this initial linking level you must be extremely careful with your anchor text ratios. Although it is always advisable to follow a solid anchor text plan with all links you build at the lower tiers you need to be less vigilant.
Tier 2 Links
Tier 3 Links
When you get to tier 3 links you can be less concerned with anchor text ratios and the quality of the actual links you are building.
Obviously if you can stick to the rules of quality link building at this level without too much hardship to yourself or your link building teams then by all means keep to them.
You can build your tier links as deep as you want. The deeper you go the more work will be involved but the more juice you will eventually be sending back to your main money site.
For most markets it is not really necessary to go this deep but for very competitive search terms it is a given that you must build your backlink profile as deep and as solidly as you can.
For this reason most Seos avoid such competitive search phrases unless they have a very healthy budget and big teams of link builders using the best automated tools available.
We will now have a quick look at the buffer sites used in tiered linking and how best to use them.