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Building a Link Wheel as an Effective Link Building Strategy

A very effective back link building strategy I have initiated for my niche websites is the creation of a link wheel targeting specific keywords that I want to rank high for on search engines.

A link wheel is exactly what it sounds like, a group of links that link to each other to form a wheel, or a circle.

This link building strategy has not only helped me propel my websites to page one of Google, but it has also helped in quickly getting new web pages and blog posts indexed in search engine search results.

Why is a Link Wheel an Effective Back Link Building Strategy?

The reason why link wheeling is such an effective back link building strategy is because the websites I use in forming the link wheel are highly reputable websites that have high Google page ranks (PR).

Including a link from those websites to mine gives my web properties a quick PR boost and more importantly immediate recognition by search engines when they crawl the original sources of the link.

Here are some of the websites I use in my link wheel building efforts:

  • WordPress
  • Squidoo
  • TypePad
  • BlogSpot
  • LiveJournal

There are others as well but these are some of the highest impact sites as they are all web 2.0 properties as opposed to a traditional article directory like GoArticles or Ezine Articles, many of which have suffered from Google’s lessening perception of these “article farms”.

Web 2.0 properties are also more effective because they contain less or no advertisement. The more ads a particular webpage contains, the less relevant the content on it is deemed by search engines.

In addition, from a PR perspective, webpages with heavy advertisement are likely leaking out page rank if the advertisements do not contain the “nofollow” tag. The more a webpage’s page rank leaks out, the less is left over for your back links within the article.

How Does a Link Wheel Work?

This is how the link wheeling strategy works in a nutshell.  Start out with one of the resources mentioned above and write an article.  Somewhere in the article, include a link to another article on another one of the websites mentioned above.

When linking from one to another, use a keyword that you would like your website to be ranked high for.  Typically, this is the main keyword of the entire website, or the keyword around which the website’s topic / content revolves around.

Make sure each article has a link pointing back to your website in addition to the link to another article.  When linking back to your website, use an anchor text (keyword) that also relates to your website’s main topic.  It is alright if you use the same keyword to link back to your website as the keyword to link to another article.

Let’s walk through an example of this effective link building strategy I initiated for my Sue the Airline website.

Start out by writing and submitting one article to an article directory or web 2.0 property.  In this case I submitted one to Squidoo. Click that link and notice there are at least two links with the underlying keyword “sue the airline” which is my target keyword for this link wheel.

Within the article, click on the links. Notice that one link leads back to my main website, while the other leads to Wordpress.  Visit the article and notice that this article does the same in terms of back links.  Click one of the links and it will take you to this article on Hub Pages.

Note: All articles were outsourced to various VA teams

With this, you are officially done building one full link wheel. Though it only involved four web properties, a link wheel can involve as many web properties as you wish. I have created a link wheel as large as involving 25 article directories and web 2.0 properties.  Yes that website is ranking on page one spot one on Google for a highly competitive keyword. This is a very powerful link building strategy.

Now there are also some advanced strategies you can apply once you have your link wheel built, such as leveraging social bookmark submissions and mass link building initiatives utilizing an effective article submitter tool.

Let me know in the comments section below if you are interested in reading more on the advanced strategies as it is beyond the scope of this discussion.

When creating your link wheel, I suggest keeping a spreadsheet to keep track of the URLs or web pages for each unique article you create on each of the websites mentioned above.  You will need the specific URLs so that you can link to them later.  You can also maintain your login credentials for each of the websites on this spreadsheet.

So what are we exactly doing when creating a link wheel? We are essentially transferring page popularity or page rank from one popular website to another.  Because each of these pages (where your articles are published) also contain a link back to your website utilizing a targeted keyword, you are basically building a strong network of back links to your website for that particular keyword.

Not only does this give your website more page rank power, but it also improves your search engine ranking for the target keyword. That is why this link building strategy has worked very well for me every single time.

Concluding Thoughts on Building Link Wheels

If you are wondering whether building a link wheel is a white hat strategy, it is! As long as you are publishing “unique” content on the websites mentioned above, you will benefit very nicely from creating a link wheel for your webpages without ending up in Google’s penalty box.

I recommend that you implement the link wheel strategy slowly over time. In other words, do not attempt to create ten link wheels for ten different target keywords all at once.   Executing a link wheel strategy slowly over time yields the best results as it appears natural to search engines. Do otherwise and you might find yourself in Google’s dog house.

I learned, experimented and tweaked this strategy myself over a span of 6 months.  I now outsource this task to get the most “BANG” for my investment. After you master the process, you can develop detailed and concrete instructions that you can provide to your virtual assistant or other outsourcing partners.

I have trained individuals in building effective link wheels to the point where it is now routine task. I am very happy with the job my partners are doing for me, and because of the wage arbitrage between the US dollar and the local currency in which I compensate them, the shifting of resources works very well in all of our favors.

Here is another effective back link building strategy I use.

Readers: Do you have any experience building a link wheel? What do you think about this particular back link building strategy?

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55 Responses to “Building a Link Wheel as an Effective Link Building Strategy”

  1. The best thing that you can do for a good link building strategy is to do the minimalist theory.

  2. Robert says:

    Link Wheels are gaining in popularity because people are seeing their benefits. They offer diverse links that can really shoot up your rankings. I should use Link Wheels myself.

  3. Sunil

    link building is super important, I think a link wheel is a very clever way of going about building links

  4. Smarty says:

    Hi Sunil,
    You are right, the Linkwheel is a good strategy but it’s always nice to keep single links straight to the site. Google like the “bit of this, a bit of that”. It works with my blogs.

  5. James says:

    Thanks for the details Sunil.

    I’ve been creating link wheels now a bit and have seen a slow increase in my sites ranks.

    What do you suggest I do now that I have my link wheel to increase ranking even more that is FREE? Like how can I drive more links to my link wheel to in turn increase the rank of my niche site?

    Thanks.

    • Sunil says:

      James, read my earlier articles on link wheeling. You can apply the same methods to the various “spokes” of the wheel to build PR and pass it along to your main site and deep pages. how long have you been building niche sites and what kind of success are you seeing?

  6. ag says:

    I have a slightly off-topic question. Your Sue the Airlines site is a 1 page sales letter. Conventionally speaking don’t you need more pages to rank a site higher in the SE’s? How is traffic driven to this site?
    I ask this question because this strategy goes against the whole Tier 1,2 and 3 website architecture you discuss in your free e-report.

    • Sunil says:

      ag – if you scroll all the way down and click the “articles” link, you will see that the site employs the methods in the book full force :) a bit deceiving on first look isn’t it?

  7. Great info Sunil and free! Sadly not many will follow what you state even though I myself knows it works very well. You can even add some affiliate links in some like Squidoo and not only pick up some link juice for ranking but sales as well.

    • Sunil says:

      yes Sir. in fact, I used to track earnings coming from Adsenses sharing with both Squidoo and Hubpages. not a big advocate of these, but as you said it is one of the collateral benefits

  8. Berlin says:

    Link wheeling strategy works in a nutshell. Start out with one of the resources mentioned above and write an article. Somewhere in the article, include a link to another article on another one of the websites mentioned above.

  9. Hate to play devil’s advocate here, but when you build link wheels, you mentioned using “unique” content. Since I am nosy and wondered about that before I got to that point in your post, I copy and pasted your Squidoo article from the top to right before the video, and ran it through Copyscape. It shows duplicate content at HubPages and at your main site. Won’t that cause Google problems?

    • Sunil says:

      excellent point Denise and a worthwhile exercise :)

      no content is 100% unique. that said, the content on Squidoo is spun content. when you run it by Copyscape it may seem on the surface that it is duplicate content. however when you click the “compare text” button within Copyscape, you will see that the Squidoo article is only 10% similar to the article on my website, and only 5% similar to the article on hub pages. many SEOs will tell you that anything under 70% is “kosher”. in this case, I am well below that mark as I personally feel 70% is too aggressive. if you are copying more than half (50%), then the content is not “unique”

      does that help?

  10. That definitely helps, and I really appreciate you taking the time to explain it to me. Since the last few rounds of Google changes, I’ve been afraid to even publish blog posts to places like Ezines. Funny how things change– when I first started righting for the web about four years ago, I had so many clients that asked me to write a good article about their topic and then publish it on five or ten different article sites….with no changes at all. Just gotta keep rolling with those punches, I suppose:) Thanks again, Sunil

    • Sunil says:

      you are welcome Denise. the thing to remember with ezinearticles and many other similar sites is that they allow duplicate content as long as you have the rights to it. these are syndication services that distribute and from which people pull. by doing so, you are credited with backlinks and as long as the content is on your site first, you will not be penalized for duplicate content.

  11. sam says:

    I created my first link wheel this weekend and am starting to see results. I also build one way links through guest posting through blog networks, web 2.0 sites, and article directories.

    I’m going to do some of your other link building strategies over this next month.

    When you say build link wheels over time, do you have a typical schedule you follow?

    • Sunil says:

      Sam – I typically engage in article marketing for a period of 30-60 days after launching the site. I space out the mass link building over time in the scheduler to drip feed over time. if you take the timeline into account I’d say the campaign continues on auto pilot over 3-4 months spaced out nicely (natural link building)

      • sam says:

        Thanks Sunil. I also do article marketing for the first 60 days. Two links a day for new content on the site, then also do the drip feed.

        I didn’t know what a link wheel was until I came to your site, but I’m excited to see what it can do. My main keyword has bumped up to spot #5 on the first page of it’s google search term after spending months sliding to the top of page 2.

        • Sunil says:

          congratulations Sam. can you share how specifically you execute building 2 links a day? any information on sites submitted to, anchor text structure, content length, etc would help?

          • sam says:

            I follow the keyword academy approach. Do one article one article on each of the mainstream article sites like ezinearticles, hubpages, squidoo, etc. From there, I use postrunner to publish 1 article with 2 links every other day for the next 2 months (links back to my main site). The anchor text varies in this stage. I’ll pick one main keyword and 5 cousin keywords to focus on in this stage to see which one gets traction first.

            Once I see which keywords are gaining traction, I use UAW to build mass links to the articles that contain the keywords I’m focusing on. I’ll continue publishing 1 article per day through postrunner for the next three months and see what other keywords get traction.

            Not very sophisticated, but I get pretty good results. After reading more of your posts, I’m going to concentrate on building more content on my main site and do more internal linking building. The Panda updates have my traffic going up and down on my main adsense site, so I want to see if this helps with the volatility.

            Quick note: I keep my main site articles anywhere from 450 to 800 words. I don’t have very good conversion on long posts. Could never figure out why, even the ones with really good content. Guess folks just want to get straight to the answer.

            For my article marketing content, I keep it at 300 to 400 words. For a UAW, I do 8 to 10 paragraphs for each submission.

            Thanks for all the information you provide.

            • Sunil says:

              Sam – sounds like a very methodical and logical approach. I am sure it has worked well in most cases? any changes to the trend / trajectory of success in recent times when search engines have cracked down hard? would love to hear more about the niches you are in as well and how you are generating / or plan to generate revenues outside advertising. I am sure you’ve heard of recent adsense account shut downs?

  12. sutha says:

    Dear

    thanks for the great post. Anyway i would like to ask you. what is the niche a beginner should start with . is that something like that or perhaps the most profitable niches. can i know which niches you are in? perhaps you can share some niches sites of yours like Pat is sharing.

    Thanks for the reply that u gonna write
    sutha

  13. sam says:

    This first panda update really beat up my rankings. Since then, they have steadily been going back to where they were before (at least first page placement). Fortunately, my adsense account has not been affected with all of these changes.

    Yes, I’m developing other ways to generate income. After reading your blog posts, I now realize there are so many other ways to diversity my income on my sites (info products, ebooks, live training, etc.). For my sports sites, I have gone to membership programs offering skill workouts for the major American team sports (football, basketball, baseball, etc.). Still figuring out what to do with the other sites, but I’m going to start with ebooks and go from there. I’m also going to approach picking my website topics a little different. Shift from focusing on how much niche keywords get, and really focus on whether I can develop some type of info product that market would actually buy. Because you’re right, with all of these changes, it’s time to really start diversifying my income streams if I want to do this long term.

    And also start responding to folks that want to direct advertising on the site. Do you have any experience with that? Most of the time, I think they’re not very serious.

    I’m in some pretty un-sexy markets that don’t do a whole lot of the “basic” internet marketing and seo techniques (home improvement niche sites, individualized sports training sites, and small business niche sites).

    This past Penguin update really boosted my rankings back into the positions I had before the first Panda update. I’m going to slow down on external link building and really focus on internal link building. My sites with more content have seen their rankings rise and the amount of keywords they get traffic from increase.

    • Sunil says:

      good to know that things are climbing back on the up and up Sam. diversification really is key in my experience. I recommend responding to private ad queries. you will find even not so sexy markets have their share of advertisers. i.e. home improvement sites make a good place for home depot to advertise. I have written about private ads as well as how much you can potentially charge in the past. I think you’ll find the article helpful.

  14. Matt says:

    Hi Sunil,

    I’m a long time reader of yours and have now started to build a website. I have about 20 pages thus far and given the recent Google updates, while wanting to be as effective as I possibly can with my time, what would you recommend to do at this stage?

    My site is a little over 2 months old, I still have a ton of more content to add, but I’m also wanting to start building links that are effective and not just from anywhere I can get them.

    Would you recommend I outsource some social bookmarking to get some links or go straight into the link wheel strategy that you have outlined above?

    I’ve built other websites in the past and the blog commenting links, forum profile links, etc have given me quite the boost in rankings but they were Never long term. I plan to do things the right way with this new site.

    Thanks for your time and any information you can provide me with.
    Matt

    • Sunil says:

      Matt, congratulations on your new project. I would focus on cranking out the content until your site is “finished”. I would then focus on slow and steady link building. the key post Panda and Penguin is content relevancy (from where you link from to where you link to), link building velocity and anchor text variation. also make sure your site links out to other relevant sites occasionally (do follow links). why don’t you let me know where you stand when you get there and we can take it from there? social bookmarking is safe however but do it in moderation.

  15. Justin says:

    Hi, Sunil.

    What you are doing here is totally awesome. The knowledge you have and the way you presents how it work, are really helpful. I was trying to find information like this but only found your blog that has a solid explanation of link building.

    Only one question I wanna ask: If I want to rank for my post pages rather than home page (about 80 posts, I didn’t start link building since the beginning..), does that mean I will perform this strategy for each keyword of each post? Heck that’s a lot of work… Do you have any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

    Best Regards,
    Justin

    • Sunil says:

      thanks Justin. yes, that’s what I have done for all the sub pages of my websites which I feel are “money pages” – or have a high potential to generate revenue (i.e. a high paying keyword / one that has a hot affiliate lead). each page, in many ways, is treated independently. that said, the strength of your underlying pages all contribute to the success of your home page. think about it as a pyramid, with the bottom layers pushing the top (home page) up as they gain momentum.

      another route you can take: focus on the home page and observe how the rest follow. in many cases the rest pick up as the home page picks up

  16. Judson says:

    These are truly fantastic ideas in on the topic of blogging.
    You have touched some fastidious things here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  17. Mariana says:

    I absolutely love your blog.. Great colors & theme.
    Did you build this site yourself? Please reply back
    as I’m attempting to create my own personal website and would love to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Kudos!

  18. Gilberto says:

    Hi there, all the time i used to check blog posts here in the early hours in the break of
    day, because i like to learn more and more.

  19. Christi says:

    Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you could be a great author.
    I will make sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back sometime soon.
    I want to encourage continue your great posts, have a
    nice day!

  20. Leonie says:

    I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later on. Many thanks

  21. Henrique says:

    Hi,

    This my first time here, and my first attempting at building a link wheel.

    My intention is to use 6 blogs with articles related to the main site, what I would like to know is, once I am finished with that wheel can I use the same 2.0 sites to create another wheel for a different set of key words.

    Thank you
    Henrique

  22. Harshada says:

    Hi Sunil,
    I am thinking to start with this same link wheel strategy, but have some doubts which I need to make clear first.
    1. How many links per article?
    2. Whether first link should be given to homepage or the next web2.0 site?
    3. How many spokes(web2.0 sites) needs to be included for effective link building?

    Thanks
    Harshada

    • Sunil says:

      link wheeling has lost its effectiveness over the recent SE updates, or at least not as effective anymore. if you were to proceed I suggest broken link wheels with no pattern. more so, be careful with anchor text. I’d try not to use the main keyword or a close variation of it. keep it to a single link per article. I’d include a mix of web 2.0 and article sites

  23. Homer says:

    Magnificent web site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to several buddies
    ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you for your sweat!

  24. Khandu says:

    Hi Nice article.

    I tried Link Wheel of 35+ sites a month ago. It was showing my page on 1st page on search results. but then some of sites removed my article and few other sites just removed my account. I posted 2 links per article. do you think my choice of sites went wrong or approach was wrong pls guide me.

    Thanks
    Khandu

    • Sunil says:

      did your site drop after the sites removed your link? how far down did you drop? the only solution is to build more links, but please focus on quality and slow down the velocity. please also ensure a large mix of anchor texts

  25. santosh says:

    Is there any visual creation of link wheel ,Please suggest me that link .
    Thanks

    • Sunil says:

      can you be more clear? are you looking for a diagram showing how articles are linked/connected? there are plenty of these if you simply do a google image search for a linkwheel

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