How to Curate a Tiered Link Building Strategy That Works?

Guides, Link Building
On April 17, 2024
tiered link building strategy

Subscribe for monthly updates

Link building strategies are widely available in the field of search engine optimization. Nonetheless, tiered link building strategy is one link building tactic that has (so far) stood the test of time. Although it’s not as popular as other tactics, tier link building can be highly productive when done well.

Building high-quality backlinks to your websites and increasing the number of links pointing to them are the main goals of this technique. 

Continue reading to find out how tiered link building strategy operates, what are tiered link building benefits, and what pitfalls to watch out for if you’re unsure if it’s a technique that will work for you.

What Is Tiered Link Building?

A tiered link building strategy is an amazing way of increasing the value of first tier backlinks. Backlinks placed on reliable sites will be appropriately crawled, but you can improve their performance even more. Although tier link building has been around for a while, not all website owners are aware of this strategy for website promotion

tiered backlinksMoreover, it allows for minimal investment to raise the link profile and does not impede natural links. Although link exchange schemes are frowned upon by search engines, the distribution of backlinks appears natural in the context of a tiered link building strategy. The likelihood of being fined is low if you manage their numbers at various stages. 

By generating more backlinks, tier based link building also contributes to an increase in site traffic. A portion of the audience will see the promoted page, but you shouldn’t anticipate a huge influx of the intended users.

How Does Tier Link Building Work?

Incoming links from one website to another are known as backlinks, and Google sees them as a sign of authority and reliability. Link building is a common tactic used by SEO strategists to increase authority signals for their websites, which raises traffic and ranks. 

We all know that, right?


But not every link in a tiered link plan goes directly to the website that the SEO is trying to sway in search results. Instead, one level of the linkages feeds into the next as they expand out into a pyramid. Either ethical or black hat methods can be used to implement this strategy. 

When black hat techniques are used for tiered link building, the resulting links are frequently either purchased, spammy, or both. 

In black hat SEO, the main purpose of tiered link development is to protect the site from penalties. Creating real, authoritative links for their first tier link, which leads to their landing or target page, is a good method that is typically included in black hat tiered link building. The links in tiers two and three, on the other hand, are of lesser quality or are spammy. 

what is tiered link buildingYOUR WEBSITE

Links pointing to your website pages such as product, service, category page and articles. 

It’s important to have proper internal linking structure to ensure the flow of PageRank/Link Juice across your website to boost your overall for all pages. 


Highest Quality Backlinks pointing to your website.

Guest posting, resource, broken, HARO, PR link building, directories, reviews, niche edits, social media profiles, etc. 


Low Quality Backlinks pointing to your tier 1 links.

PBN, Better web 2.0, social media backlinks, directory, profile, social media links, article directories, etc.


Trash Quality Backlinks pointing to your tier 2 links.

PBN, Better web 2.0, social media backlinks, directory, profile, social media links, article directories, etc. 

The concept behind this black hat technique is that your site won’t be penalized if the search engines identify the lower tier spammy links since the first tier link, which is the link most closely related with your site, will act as a buffer between the spammy connections and your site.

Although using tiers to build backlinks has always been considered unethical, there may be benefits if high-quality links are the focus of each tier. Tiered backlinks can effectively convey link equity if each tier’s links were obtained naturally; nevertheless, the effect will be less than if the links were passed directly.

In quality link building, a tiered link building strategy is typically avoided because it makes sense to connect directly to the page you wish to impact. It is not necessary to isolate your main page from the domains and pages where you can obtain links. 

Tiered link building strategy can be utilized in conjunction with white hat link building for the reason that, although you may occasionally be able to obtain a link, linking to the page you are trying to influence doesn’t make sense organically. 

 tier 1 backlinks

Then, linking to a page that is valuable to you and connects to your main page might make more sense. There are situations when the page may be on a different domain than yours; this could be referred to as tier link building.

Tiered Link Building Techniques

Tier link building is used in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to raise the authority and rating of a website. It does that by building several levels or tiers of backlinks. 

 tier 3 backlinksHere is a good overview of the tiered link-building strategy for you: 

Tier 1 Backlinks

Your primary website is the one that is most affected by Tier 1 backlinks, which point directly to it. Creating quality links is the most crucial aspect of creating layered backlinks. This tier of backlinks contains only do-follow links with high authority and relevance ratings. They will therefore be tougher to find and fewer in number.

 tier 2 backlinks

Here are some excellent exhibits of tier 1 backlinks:


  • Citation link exchanges
  • Links originating from guest posts on well-known blogs (including contextual anchor text)
  • Editorial backlinks from high DA (Domain Authority) websites
  • Links pointing to colleges, universities, and other educational establishments (where the domain ends
  • Links to resource pages
  • Links to websites run by municipal, state, and federal governments (with domain)
  • Superior Web 2.0 backlinks


Keep in mind that creating tiered backlinks on higher tiers won’t be very helpful if your tier 1 links are of poor quality.

Tier 2 Backlinks

Tier 2 backlinks are, as their name implies, the links you construct above tier 1 backlinks. Their goal is to provide backlinks that point to your primary website more juice rather than to link to it directly. 

Thus, a combination of dofollow and no-follow links may be present. However, tilt your selection in favor of backlinks that are the former in order to maximize the benefits of this tier. For this tier, you can afford to loosen the requirements for link quality a little bit, but try not to drop the ball too much.

 best tier 2 backlinks

Here are some excellent examples of the best tier 2 backlinks:

  • Social media backlinks
  • Links to profiles
  • PR connections
  • Good-quality Web 2.0 backlinks
  • Links pointing back to directories
  • Social bookmarking website backlinks (Twitter, Pinterest, Dribble, etc.)
  • PBN-derived backlinks

Aim for a fair balance between quantity and quality when working on tier 2 backlinks.

Tier 3 Backlinks

The purpose of tier 3 backlinks is to boost tier 2 backlinks’ link juice. You are able to prioritize quantity above quality because there are two tiers below from your primary website. Here, even links that have the no-follow property make sense. 

 tier link building in seo

Here are some examples of tier 3 backlinks:

  • Links to profiles
  • Forum URLs
  • Links from comments on blogs
  • Links from article directories that don’t seem good
  • Links to Web 2.0 content of lower quality
  • Bulk PBN backlinks for sale

To stay out of the black hat zone, you can choose not to build this tier at all. As a matter of fact, this is preferable to using a lot of spammy links.

Tier 4 Backlinks

Some webmasters may be pushing their tiered link development into the fourth tier, above the third. 

Now, resist the urge to do the same. 

For white hat SEO practitioners, Tiers 1 through tier 3 are somewhat safe, but Tier 4 is exclusively black hat. Here is where insincere link spammers assemble low-quality backlinks in an attempt to aid Google in indexing third-tier links.

tiered link building typesLet’s take a look at some common examples of tier 4 backlinks:

  • Short URLs.
  • Link to websites like bookmarking websites
  • Links to sites where submissions are indexed.

Just keep in mind: Your time and effort are not worth it for any of them.

Tiered Link Building Benefits

With its structured framework and layered architecture, the tiered link building strategy offers a nuanced approach to enhancing website authority, boosting search engine rankings, and driving organic traffic. 

 tiered link building benefits

Here are some amazing tiered link building benefits that shed light on its transformative impact on online visibility and digital marketing success:

Multi-Layered Link Equity 

Each of your direct links delivers more juice to your target continent when there are multiple linking tiers present. 

But theoretically, additional backlinks could help you accomplish that, right? 

Not quite, though.

The first advantage of a tiered link building strategy is that you can make the most of each of your excellent backlinks and boost their authority even further by adding more links to them. 

However, tier 2 backlinks and tier 3 backlinks are frequently less related to your original link or have no relation at all, which allows you to transfer juice from sources you otherwise wouldn’t be allowed to use.

Risk Management

Primary backlinks have a big influence on the main website, but if Google detects any guidelines being broken, that could cause problems.

However, since they do not directly link to the primary website, tier 2 backlinks and tier 3 backlinks are a more safe choice. They also allow for experimentation, and novices frequently use them to pick up ethical link-building strategies.

Easy to Assess Backlink Profile

Tiered link building strategy also has the benefit of organizing your backlink profile. In this way, links appear healthier to Google engines and are simpler to examine. After all, having solely tier 1 backlinks is a sign of an artificial backlink profile, which can result in Google penalizing you. 

For this sole reason, even if you don’t have to do tier link building for every backlink you obtain, it’s a good idea to do so for some of them.

Excellent Backlink Profile

According to common consensus, link building is seen as a difficult aspect of search engine optimization by SEO experts. On the other hand, the advantages might be significant if one understands exactly what has to be done and how to accomplish it. 

By implementing tiered link building techniques, SEO experts can optimize their tactics and achieve a well-balanced mix of do-follow, no-follow, and high-quality links. They may use this technique to create an extensive link-building strategy with excellent outcomes.

It Is Not Heavy on the Pocket

Although top-tier links must be of the greatest caliber, this need decreases as you move down the chain. This implies that at a lower cost, you can obtain the same quantity of link juice as you would with a traditional link-building technique.

By bolstering your current tier 1 backlinks rather than always obtaining new ones, you can get the same outcomes while spending a lot less on link building and utilizing the funds you save to fortify other aspects of your SEO approach. Tier 3 backlinks and tier 2 backlinks are less expensive than tier 1 backlinks.

Tiered Link Building Types

A good tiered link building strategy involves creating multiple layers or tiers of backlinks to improve a website’s authority and search engine rankings. 

tiered link building techniques

Here are some common types of tiered link building techniques:

High-Quality Tier 1 Backlinks

This tier consists of obtaining backlinks from authoritative and reputable sources directly to your website. These could include guest posts on well-established blogs, editorial mentions on news websites, links from industry-specific directories, and partnerships with influential websites in your niche.

Web 2.0 Properties

Tier 2 backlinks often include links from Web 2.0 properties such as Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, and Medium. These platforms allow users to create content and include backlinks to their main website. By creating high-quality content on these platforms and linking back to your Tier 1 links, you can strengthen your website’s authority.

Social Bookmarking Sites

Social bookmarking sites like Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon (now Mix), and Delicious can be used to create Tier 2 backlinks. Submitting your content or links to these platforms can generate additional traffic and backlinks to your Tier 1 backlinks, boosting their authority.

Forum Profiles and Signatures

Participating in forums related to your industry or niche allows you to create profiles with backlinks to your website in the signature section. By actively engaging in discussions and providing valuable contributions, you can attract clicks to your Tier 1 backlinks and improve their visibility.

Article Directories

While article directories have declined in popularity due to changes in search engine algorithms, they can still be used cautiously for Tier 2 link building. Submitting well-written articles with backlinks to your Tier 1 links on reputable article directories like EzineArticles or ArticlesBase can help diversify your link profile.

Blog Comments

Engaging in relevant and meaningful discussions on blogs within your industry can lead to opportunities for Tier 2 link building. By leaving thoughtful comments with links back to your Tier 1 content, you can attract both traffic and link equity.

Press Releases

Publishing press releases on reputable platforms can also serve as the best Tier 2 backlinks. While the primary purpose of press releases is to announce news or updates related to your business, including backlinks to your Tier 1 content can contribute to its visibility and authority.

Infographics and Visual Content

Creating and distributing infographics and other visual content can attract backlinks naturally. By including links to your Tier 1 content within these visuals, you can encourage other websites to embed them, resulting in additional backlinks.

Social Media Profiles and Shares

While social media links are often considered “nofollow” by search engines, they can still contribute to your overall online presence and indirectly impact your website’s authority. Sharing your Tier 1 content on social media platforms and optimizing your profiles with links to your website can help drive traffic and engagement.

The Risks of Tiered Link Building Strategy

While there are amazing tiered link building benefits that make a tiered link building strategy worth all the hard work, keep in mind that there are some risks and challenges involved as well.

tiered link building strategy

Let’s take a look at some main things you must watch out for when using tiered link building techniques:

Low-Quality Backlinks

Low-quality or spammy backlinks from the lower tiers of a tiered link building strategy can have a detrimental effect on the target website’s overall link profile. These links may be ignored or given less weight by search engines, which, in certain situations, could damage the website’s reputation. 

 best tiered link building strategy

Because of this, it’s critical that you have a very deliberate link-building approach and that you are aware of the implications and effects of each link that appears in your profile.

Over-Optimization Problems 

Keep in mind that you must maintain the naturalness of your tier link building in SEO efforts. If you need help with it, do not hesitate to reach out to a reputable link building company because many website owners need assistance to do this right.

Unnatural Link Patterns

The ability of search engines to recognize unusual link patterns is growing. The link-building structure may be deemed manipulative if it is overly obvious or if it is not diverse enough. 

top tiered link building strategy

This is especially true if the backlinks don’t follow organic, natural growth patterns. Excessive optimization, particularly in the distribution of anchor text, may cause search engines to become concerned. It could be interpreted as an attempt to manipulate rankings if the anchor text is excessively keyword-rich and artificial.

Search Engine Penalties

To ensure that the quality of their search results is maintained, search engines follow strict rules. If a website finds out about artificial or manipulative link-building techniques, it might be penalized. Penalties could include being entirely removed from the search engine’s index or having rankings dropped.

Tactics to Avoid When Employing Tier Link Building

If you are interested in curating a tiered link building strategy for your website, then it is very important for you to know which tactics you must avoid. Always keep in mind that the lower you go on the tiered link building pyramid, the less important links are in terms of quality.

top tiered link building strategy

To build tiered backlinks, nonetheless, we do not advise employing black-hat SEO methods. Link-building strategies known as “black hat” approaches are those that violate Google policy. If you engage in these activities, Google may take manual action against you or penalize you, which would lower your rankings in the Search Engine Result Pages.

Here are all the link building strategies you need to stay away from when building your tiered link building strategy:

Employing Cloaking

What is cloaking? 

Cloaking is when content on a blog or website is shown to search engine crawlers differently than it is to human visitors. 

You must stay away from cloaking when working on a tiered link building strategy because cloaking deceives search engines and violates search engine guidelines. As a result, it risks severe penalties, including deindexing from search results.

Buying Low-Quality Backlinks

Purchasing a link on a pointless website that only posts subpar content in order to obtain a link is a big red flag. These links are a waste of money and are unlikely to improve your rankings.

Using Private Blog Networks (PBNs)

PBNs are networks of websites created specifically with the intention of profiting from backlink publishing. Never use these, no matter what, or you will get blacklisted very quickly.

Engaging with Spammy Blog Comments

Don’t add links to unrelated websites in comments under blogs. Spammy blog comments are ineffective and detrimental because they typically provide low-quality, irrelevant links that can harm your website’s reputation and SEO performance. 

Moreover, search engines increasingly recognize and penalize such manipulative tactics, rendering them counterproductive to your SEO efforts.

Substitutes for Tier Link Building

Substitutes for tier link building open the door to alternative strategies that can complement or even surpass traditional methods. 

While a tiered link building strategy has long been a staple in SEO campaigns, exploring substitutes unveils innovative approaches that cater to evolving search engine algorithms and user preferences. 

best tiered link building strategy

So, let’s delve into some alternatives that you can use to expand your repertoire:

Guest Posting

Let collaboration and cooperation come through. You can take advantage of guest posting to network inside your business instead of building tiered backlinks. Every guest post serves as a beacon, drawing new readers to your website.

Organic Link Building Strategies

You can also sow the seeds of excellent content all over your online space. This will allow you to let the foundations of natural link development deeply penetrate and become woven into the very structure of your web presence.

Influencer Partnerships

Lastly, you can also try your luck with influencer partnerships and collaborations. Instead of figuring out how to build the best tier 2 backlinks, use influencers’ influence to spread the word about your message. Building a symphony of influence is more important than simply making connections.

What Is the Future of Tier Link Building in SEO?

Google’s algorithm is getting more complex with every release. Consequently, low-quality links — especially those that are not nofollow links—that are employed in tier link building in SEO are becoming less valuable. 

The total number of links that may convey PageRank and increase page authority is declining, even with massive link building. While there may still be some positive tiered link building benefits, it is unlikely that Google will allow it to continue. 

best tiered link building strategyEven yet, SEO experts may still find the basic ideas of tier link building useful in situations where links are acquired organically. As a result, maintaining high rankings, avoiding dubious tactics, and remaining informed are crucial.

Backlink schemes (such as a tiered link building strategy) are always a risk for organic search rankings, but without backlinks, promoting a website is difficult, especially in low-competition niches. 

There are situations when using tiered link building types makes sense because it might be your only other alternative. Other link-building techniques, however, shouldn’t be disregarded if they are practical in your niche.

Should You Build Tiered Backlinks in 2024?

A tiered link building strategy is only useful if you apply the technique properly. Google’s webmaster rules state that these kinds of links might be regarded as artificial. However, if you exercise caution, the resource that is pushed won’t be penalized. Even with a large number of first-tier donor sites, it is still advantageous to have multi-tiered links, and backlinks shouldn’t be indexed more quickly. 

Every link has its own link juice, which more mentions might increase. It’s not necessary to use a tiered link building strategy as your main method for obtaining links. For instance, the plan will fail if you neglect the first-tier donor selection process and lose linkages, which would prevent you from being linked to the advertised resource. 

Using tiered link building techniques to promote every page of the website is pointless. Selecting and utilizing the primary URLs that have the ability to generate organic traffic is preferable. It makes up, on average, between 30 and 50 percent of the total pages.

Tiered Link Building Strategy FAQs

Here are some most frequently asked questions about tiered link building strategy answered by our team: 

Is tiered link building safe and effective for SEO?

When done correctly and with caution, tiered link building can be both safe and effective for SEO. It helps to diversify your backlink profile and distribute link equity more evenly throughout your site. However, it’s essential to avoid black hat tactics, such as spammy link farms or over-optimized anchor text, as these can lead to penalties from search engines.

What are the key components of a successful tiered link building campaign?

A successful tiered link building campaign requires careful planning and execution. Key components include thorough keyword research, identifying high-quality link sources for each tier, creating compelling content for link acquisition, monitoring and adjusting your strategy based on performance metrics, and maintaining a natural link profile.

How do I choose anchor text for tiered link building?

When choosing anchor text for tiered link building, it’s essential to maintain a natural and diverse link profile. Use a combination of branded anchors, partial match anchors (containing keywords), generic anchors (such as “click here” or “learn more”), and naked URLs. Avoid over-optimized anchor text, as this can raise red flags with search engines.

What are some common mistakes to avoid in tiered link building?

Some common mistakes to avoid in tiered link building include using low-quality or irrelevant link sources, over-optimizing anchor text, neglecting to diversify your link profile, building links too quickly or in an unnatural pattern, and not regularly monitoring and adjusting your strategy based on performance.

How long does it take to see results from tiered link building?

The time it can take for you to start seeing results from a tiered link building strategy can vary based on different factors, such as the competitiveness of your vertical, the quality of your content and backlinks, and the effectiveness of your Search Engine Optimization strategy. Generally, you may start to see improvements in search engine rankings within a few weeks to several months after implementing a tiered link building campaign.

Are there any risks or potential downsides to tiered link building?

While tiered link building can be an effective SEO strategy, there are some potential risks and downsides to be aware of. These include the possibility of penalties from search engines for using manipulative tactics, the time and effort required to research and acquire high-quality backlinks, and the ongoing maintenance needed to keep your link profile natural and relevant. It’s essential to approach tiered link building with caution and adhere to best practices to minimize these risks.

How does tiered link building differ from traditional link building methods?

Tiered link building differs from traditional link building methods in its approach to distributing link equity throughout multiple layers or tiers. Traditional link building often focuses on acquiring backlinks directly to your website’s main pages, while tiered link building involves creating a pyramid-like structure of backlinks, with multiple tiers supporting each other to pass link juice to your site. This strategic approach helps to strengthen your overall link profile and improve your website’s authority and rankings over time.

Concluding Remarks on Tiered Link Building Strategy

Not every website owner is familiar with tiered link building strategy or tier 1 backlinks, tier 2 backlinks, and tier 3 backlinks. However, the method is frequently overestimated. But if you use it properly, it will significantly boost the link profile’s efficacy.

In conclusion, a tiered link building strategy offers a structured and effective approach to improving your website’s authority and search engine rankings. By strategically distributing link equity across multiple tiers, you can diversify your backlink profile, enhance the relevance and credibility of your site, and ultimately, drive organic traffic and engagement. 

However, it’s crucial to approach tier link building with caution, adhering to best practices, avoiding black hat tactics, and regularly monitoring and adjusting your strategy to ensure long-term success. With careful planning and execution, a tiered link building strategy can be a powerful tool in your SEO arsenal, contributing to sustained growth and visibility in the competitive online landscape.

You just need to keep in mind that backlinks with several tiers help the advertised resource’s link juice, enhance page crawling, and provide you with an advantage over your rivals. However, developing a thorough plan for collaborating with them is crucial. 

Best of luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *