Link Wheels: A New Approach To An Old SEO Practice

While it may be hard to imagine a world without Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other Web 2.0 sites, there was a time when having your own quality website was enough to establish a solid web presence. The internet has significantly evolved since then, however, and the concept of link wheels has transformed with it.

What was commonly thought to be a disreputable SEO practice has become an essential SEO tool for link building. Of course, with many SEO tactics, it all depends on how you approach them. If you truly expect link wheels to boost your page rank, you must employ them in ways that help rather than hinder your site.

Spam or Strategy? It’s Entirely Up To You

A link wheel is a collection of sites that point to a main site (the hub of the wheel) and one other microsite (a spoke). Traditionally, there are five to ten Web 2.0 sites, or spokes, in this arrangement. At their core, Web 2.0 sites are about interaction and collaboration.

It is an exchange we most frequently associate with social media. There is a plethora of Web 2.0 sites, but some popular ones are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, FourSquare, Flickr, Tumblr, Digg, Squidoo, Blogger, and WordPress. The trick is to select platforms that complement and augment your primary site. It is also important to keep in mind that not all Web 2.0 properties are created equal.

The link juice you receive from a highly ranked website will be more beneficial than the link juice you receive from one that is not. Choose carefully, and more importantly, start small. It is far better to take your time nurturing a couple of excellent 2.0 sites than haphazardly creating a bunch at once.

When constructing a link wheel, you need to be concerned with both quality and relevancy. Linking to unique content that adds value to a user’s experience is essential. Linking to duplicate content, low quality pages, or ones that do not have a clear correlation to the inbound and outbound links of your link wheel should be avoided entirely. That is how link wheels initially received a bad reputation.

Before you even beginning linking your sites together, however, focus on constructing premium sites with valuable content. Ultimately, your spoke sites should not only reflect the same care and attention you have devoted to your main site, but also have value as stand alone destinations.

One of the arguments against link wheels is that their traditional circular arrangement is a pattern that is easy to spot and regularly penalized by search engines. This is not an insurmountable obstacle, however, if you vary your linking structure and implement it over an extended period of time. Think of it this way, would you trust a network of sites that appeared overnight and referred you to each other?

No, of course not, and search engines will not either. By branching out gradually, however, you establish trust and ensure you are not spreading yourself too thin. Remember junk content and filler sites will undermine everything you are trying to achieve. The goal is to shape an engaging web presence by weaving together quality sites, not a network of inferior ones.

Truly, the key to constructing a link wheel that benefits your site is patience. It is not a quick fix, and if you treat it as such, your page rank will suffer the consequences. If you take your time, however, and treat your Web 2.0 properties as genuine and valuable extensions of your site, you will expand your reach and reap the rewards.

 

Article By Ryan Farrell, SEO Analyst at Wpromote. By Constructing Link Wheels With Care And Patience, You Can Transform An Unfairly Maligned SEO Practice Into An Essential Tool For Augmenting Your Web Presence.

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