Link Wheels have been around for quite some time. It probably seems odd for anyone to do a post about something as old hat as link wheels when Google have just announced the next stage of social search, Search Plus your World. But there are some markets where the old ways still work. This post is a comprehensive overview of link wheels for anyone who wants to know more and the different variations of how they can be implemented, improved upon or simply bought.
What is a Link Wheel?
A link wheel is a pretty simple concept to explain. It’s basically a process where by you link from an article, profile, blog post, PR release etc to a piece of content on another website and to the page you are trying to rank for a specific keyword. For example, a very basic diagram may look as follows:
Each site (or to be exact, web page on that site) links to the next and to the page you are trying to rank (money page). A closed loop link wheel is one that’s in a perfect circle. Most people using link wheels moved away from closed looped link wheels a number of years back as they felt it was a pattern that could be easily detected by Google and discounted. This is when people started to advocate building open ended link wheels (having to move to my mind map for this):
The above gives a quick overview of what an open ended link wheel may look like. The core point being there is no close. I should note, although I have included a variety of content types linking to each other, in reality it’s difficult to build a link wheel like this, which will be explained a little later.
- Link wheel is a process where by you link from one piece of content to another, with each piece of content also linking to your money page.
- Most links wheels are built as open ended wheels these days
Common Types of Link Wheel
Two of the easiest link wheels to implement are as follows (it’s amazing people will may over $200 for a link wheel service to provide these):
1. Web2.0 Link Wheel (Simple)
The simple Web2.0 link wheel is just 1 article spun out across a number of Web2.0 properties that all link to each other and the money page just as we described above in the open ended version:
Not very Google Panda friendly as I mentioned in my post on SEO and Inbound Marketing strategies for 2012, but a lot of link wheel services still offer this type of wheel.
There a lot of Web2.0 sites you can use to build this, here are just a few:
Web2.0 Sites for Link Wheel
And so on. The good thing about the list above is they have been pulled from link wheels that are owned by a couple of successful affiliate marketers who appear to be having some success with these. It should be noted, some of these sites may have implemented processes to clean up any sites that appear to have been created for link purposes.
To get articles spun, you can use the following:
- The Best Spinner (best software on the market for article spinning)
- Odesk / Elance
- Warrior Forum Products / Services
- To understand more about proper article spinning read this great post from Rishi Lakhani
2. Profile Link Wheel (Simple)
The profile link wheel is the exact same concept as above but you are using profiles on forums. Links from forums is still one of the most popular tactics for acquiring anchor text links really quickly. They look as follows:
In the above example, all links point through to money pages. To create a profile link wheel you simply link across to another profile as well. There are a LOT of seo companies that are doing this as their core link building tactic. These kind of links can still provide results.
Profile Sites for Link Wheel
5 Ways to build a great Link Wheel
There are some additional steps you can take to build a really strong Link Wheel. You may not have all the resources to implement each of these steps. But even adding a couple to your strategy may improve your results:
1. Variety of Properties
If you are thinking of building a link wheel, it’s good practice to use a number of different content types. If you want to use high quality article directories or guest blog posts, you will need to build your wheel over time. Often these pieces of content will not go live for a couple of days so you are left with the problem of going back over your wheel and adding links. This can make it complex to keep track off:
In the above image, we cannot add a link to the guest post until it’s set live. This doesn’t mean you cannot use these sources, you just need to ensure you are tracking it.
Properties for Link Wheels:
- Profile Links
- Web 2.0 Sites
- Article Directories Instant (there is no lag between adding article and setting live)
- Posts on your own dropped domains (see this post on building a link network)
- Guest Blog Posts
- Quality Article Directories e.g. Ezine, GoArticles
2. Content – Unique and More than One
If using Web2.0 properties you can theme them around your money site and purchase multiple (unique) articles for each property. This will make them a little more valuable than a spun article sitting on the home page with nothing more than 2 links. For example:
An important point about the above graph (obviously there would be a lot more sites in your link wheel) is I am targeting a semi competitive keyword “car insurance quotes online”. Link wheels are best left to target high value, long tail keywords. They are not going to move the needle on really competitive keywords.
Where to get Articles at a Good Price
- Warrior Forum Products / Services
- MyGuestBlog - (great place to pick up articles, but you will need to have a proper looking site to post them on).
If making the effort to purchase unique content for the Web2.0 properties within your link wheel (keep in mind these will be used in conjunction with your other properties listed above), it’s worth getting some cheap design/customization done for each site. This can really make the difference when attempting to get articles from sites like MyGuestBlog.
Where to get Cheap Design?
4. Build Links to your Link Wheel
This is the one step that could really give your link wheel that extra bit of power. Building links to links is a good tactic no matter what strategy you are implementing. For link wheels it can be an easy way to get a lot of external links pointing to all properties in your link wheel. For example:
Of course you need to imagine this a lot bigger to get any value from it.
Where to get quick links?
- Authority Link Network
- Traffic Kaboom
The step is to get all your link wheel properties indexed and also the links you point to them. If you are sending a lot of content through blog networks, it’s difficult to find where your links appear. These links are not given to you by default. You can enter a unique string in the content being used and pick it up via Google Alerts.
What are the best tools to use for Indexing?
- Bookmarking Demon
- Social Bot
Where to buy a Link Wheel?
The best two services for purchasing link wheels are:
So there you have it, a comprehensive guide to link wheels. If you liked this, make sure you add this blog to your RSS feed as I will be providing a lot more guides on link building tactics in 2012.