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What is an SEO Link Wheel? Are They Always Bad for SEO?

The goal of your SEO is to drive traffic to your site and to convert site visits into dollars. Link wheels are an SEO strategy that are meant to increase traffic specifically through link building.

But if you’ve done much research, you have probably found little substantial information about link wheels. It’s a bit of an SEO enigma. Here, we’ll explain the ins and outs of link wheels then work though whether it’s still an effective SEO technique.

Link Wheels Explained

Link Wheels are much more than your simple link-building technique. They’re actually a very advanced SEO strategy that creates a pattern of links from one site to the next, all leading to and finally culminating at the main site that you’re trying to drive traffic to.

Like the name suggest, the link wheel is in the shape of a wheel with the main site, or money-making site, in the middle of the wheel. Each accessory site is backlinked to the site before it, creating a circle of linked sites. Finally, all of those accessory sites are then linked to your main site. When done well, all of the backlinks to your main site will trigger Google’s web crawlers, and your site will climb up Google’s SERP rankings.

That was the case, at least, until Google became savvy to what link wheel builders were doing. The web crawlers viewed this basic link wheel structure as a cheap way to cheat the system, and sites were often penalized for it. Now the question must be asked: is creating link wheels still a viable SEO technique?

Please note, link wheels are not something we partake in, but we are always interested in link building techniques that go beyond those that are straight forward and popular among the white hat SEO community. – Bill Ross, CEO, Linchpin SEO

Do Link Wheels Still Work for SEO?

While the traditionally-structured link wheels are now a big no-no for site builders, we are happy to report that link wheels are still great SEO strategies—if you know how to build them correctly.

Advanced Link Wheels

The new and improved link wheel structure, known as an advanced link wheel, is based on the concept of randomization. Web designers utilize blog posts, social media, articles, and web 2.0 properties to create more intricate patterns of linking. This makes the wheels more appealing to Google and less “scammy.”

How to Build an Advanced Link Wheel

Creating an advanced link wheel is a very easy way to build your SEO. Simply create microsites or blogs focusing on a particular topic: the one your main site is built around.

The goal of advanced link wheels is the same as that of traditional link wheels, but the method is more thoughtful and meticulous—and less obvious to crawlers. The patterns vary, but the goal is to create a network of microsites or blogs that are still useful to visitors but whose main purpose is to drive traffic to your main site.

How to Get the Most out of Your Link Wheel Sites

When building sites for the purpose of linking, there are a few things to keep in mind. Use only high-quality content, don’t use automation, use diversified keywords, use social media platforms, and randomize your links. Neglecting these steps not only creates a less-than-ideal user experience, but it is basically asking Google to sniff you out and penalize your site.

Why Build Your Own Link Wheels?

Creating your own link wheel is incredibly efficient. Plus, it’s free! You can build all the links yourself, and it’s safe: unlike other paid SEO strategies, Google won’t punish you for building links to your own site. It’s also a great way to market your site if you’re short on time. You can rank high in just a few weeks, especially if you’re strategizing for a low-competition keyword.

Why Focus on Link Wheels

If you’re not going to put energy into standard link building, building your own link wheel is the way to go. It takes less time and, usually, less money. Link wheels bring in more targeted traffic and increase your rankings in the same breath.

Link Wheels Don’t Have to Be Penalized

Contrary to what you might have heard or assumed, link wheels themselves aren’t illegal, and they aren’t universally penalized by Google’s webmasters. Google’s goal is providing useful content and a great experience for its users. If your link wheel has good link diversity, and you’re using quality content, your method is not only legal, but it’s useful. And Google loves that. Read up on Google’s webmaster guidelines to make sure you’re doing everything you can to produce high-quality pages.

Conclusion

Link wheels can be tricky. If you’re not careful, you can put a target on your site, and Google will downrank you, making all of your site creation and link building in vain. But link wheels still work for SEO. Creating advanced link wheels is the ideal backlinking strategy that you’re looking for to drive traffic to your site organically and through Google’s SERPs.

Thanks for reading "What is an SEO Link Wheel? Are They Always Bad for SEO?", by the Linchpin Team in Chicago, Raleigh, and Wake Forest.

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