Link Wheels – The Complete Guide to Creating a Killer Link Wheel

by on January 12, 2012

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):

Open Ended Link Wheel

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.

Key Takeaways:

- 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:

Web2.0 Link Wheel

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

  • Typepad
  • Blog
  • ShutterFly
  • LiveJournal
  • 350.com
  • Blurty.com
  • BlinkWeb.com
  • Beep.com
  • Devhub.com
  • Terapad.com
  • Bravehost.com
  • Springnote.com
  • OpenWiki
  • Yolasite
  • Tripod
  • Webs.com
  • Weebly.com
  • BraveJournal
  • PicoWiki
  • Vivity.com
  • Live.com
  • Quizilla
  • Zoomblog
  • Jimbo
  • Squidoo
  • Multiply
  • SosBlogs.com
  • Webnode
  • Terapad
  • Angelfire.com
  • Buzznet
  • Podbean.com
  • Springnote.com
  • Sixent.com

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.

Article Spinner

To get articles spun, you can use the following:

Further Reading

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:

http://www.magentocommerce.com/boards/member/25976189/

Profile Link Wheel

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:

Cannot add link to Guest Post until it's live

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:

  • Forums
  • 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:

Best Link Wheel Strategy

Adding More Unique Content to your Web2.0 Site

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

3. Desgin

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:

Using Blog Network / Micro Workers for Quick Links

Of course you need to imagine this a lot bigger to get any value from it.

Where to get quick links?

  • ArticleRanks
  • Authority Link Network
  • Traffic Kaboom
  • MicroWorkers

5. Indexing

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.

Best Link Wheel Strategy + Indexing

What are the best tools to use for Indexing?

  • SENuke
  • 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.

 

Related posts:

  1. How to Get Started with Your Link Building Campaign
  2. What are my Link Builders Doing? Stay away from Snakes and Ladders
  3. Buying High PR Sites to Get Some Link Juice
  4. Reverse Engineer Spam to create some great Link Opportunities
  5. Is Your Link Building The Dreaded Christmas Socks ?

Share

  • http://www.gowebbaby.com/ WordPress Design

    Hey i really loved your post..the information about link wheel is really good.

  • http://www.michaelwall.co.uk/ Michael

    Hello Kieran,

    I’ve been tracking a couple of basic Web 2.0 Link Wheels over the last couple of years that used many of the sites you mentioned and they’ve been simply wiped out recently.
    They had been effective in fairly competitive markets, but have now been devalued.

    When you say ‘articles at a good price’, I’d say you get what you pay for and buyer beware. Articles at $4 a pop might just be spun rubbish.

     

  • http://www.webdesignbizz.com/categories-wordpress PSD To Wordpress

    I’m really impressed with your presentation of this  content and provided information. It’s really helpful
    for me and I’m sure for others as well. Keep it up.

  • http://twitter.com/ultramodalex Alex Mason

    I’m not knocking that this sort of tactic can work well, and in
    recent months, I’ve sat back on the fence when it comes to some of the
    grey hat stuff (I blame google for that!)

    But do you not think that all the effort and planning that goes into complicated link wheels like this wouldn’t have been better spent actually making the target site better in the first place? Spend all that time creating some link worthy content that achieves genuine links over the long term.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Alex

    I agree, I wouldn’t spend time on link wheels in today’s SERPs. There are still people using link wheels in really small niches, do I think this is a good use of their time? Probably not anymore, but on the other hand, developing really great content is a lot more time consuming than creating a link wheel (if you are outsourcing it at a low cost). This is what most SEO boils down to, trying to do just enough to rank well, but not over spending so you keep your margins as high as possible.

    Thanks for the comment

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