Back in 2016, Google confirmed that content and link building is what put your website in the SERPs. And unless you're brand new to the digital marketing and SEO world, you're probably not surprised. Link building is often the most used form of SEO because, for the most part, it's the easiest. Create ways to link back to your website and BOOM, instant traffic, right? Not so fast. It takes time to build a link building strategy, and there are a few ways you can boost traffic to your website.
This is where “second-tier links” come into play. You've probably used these types of links without even knowing what they're called, but it’s important to realize what SEO tactics you’re using so you can get more advanced in the future. Below shows you the less talked about type of link that can be an asset to your strategy.
When you think of link building, you most likely don't think of tiered links, but there are first- and second-tier links that build traffic to your website. Sound like black hat SEO tactics? It can be if done incorrectly.
Of course, second-tier links go a bit deeper than social posts. For example, you can find an authoritative site to link to the website where your guest post is housed. This doesn’t mean linking to your website (that would be an external link), it just means getting one authoritative site to link to another authoritative site that isn’t you, but does link to you.
Traffic is great, but what does that have to do with SEO? While second-tier link building is great for traffic, it's also super helpful for SEO. Traffic is one of the features that Google uses to rank websites. Google looks at the traffic going to and from a website to determine whether or not it's worth ranking. The use of second-tier links also allows search engines to determine the following:
These factors come together to help with your SEO strategy. It shouldn't be the only focus, but it does help boost rankings. You can learn more about other factors that affect rankings here.
Here's where things can turn from white hat to black hat quickly. If you're looking to build second-tier links, an easy way to do that would be to create a bunch of websites that link back to your website. But that's not a good look for your SEO strategy. Here are more effective (and legitimate) ways to secure second-tier links:
As any true digital marketer knows, there's more than one focus you should have when it comes to your SEO strategy (hint: automation can help!). As with anything else, link building shouldn't be your only SEO trick. Remember that Google and other search engines are constantly changing—one tactic won't work forever. Some things to consider when you're utilizing second-tier links:
Tiered link building doesn't have to be black hat—it is possible to use these types of links to boost traffic to your website. While it's not always the first tactic on every marketer's list, it's an effective one. Continuing to create quality content that's worthy of being linked to and from will set you up ahead of your competitors.
How to you earn second-tier links? Is this something you focus on, or let happen naturally? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.