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Link wheels

Link wheel

What are link wheels?

Link wheels were a popular link building tactic some 10+ years ago.

It is a tactic that got seriously abused at the time because it worked.

Link wheels led to higher rankings in a short period after being implemented.

The basic idea of a link wheel is that you can use high ranking Web 2.0 (see parasite hosting) sites to create a set of targeted backlinks to your webpage.

This was accomplished by taking advantage of Hubpages, Blogger, WordPress, and several others to post content which was then interlinked then backlinks were added to your site from the properties created.

Google and other major search engines viewed the content on these sites as being highly authoritative, they ranked quick due to the sheer amount of backlinks to the domain and when you had links to your site from several of these sites, your page would rank very easily.

If you imagine a wagon wheel, with your site in the middle of the wheel. For each site, you link to your page and one other Web 2.0 page.

The more Web 2.0 sites that you were able to take advantage of and the bigger the link wheels the easier it was to rank your own pages.

The structure of a link wheel is shown in the image below.

Link wheels

Some webmasters felt that this strategy was a little too obvious and they chose to move the links around a little to make the links between your site and others a little more random. So there were lots of crazy variations of link wheels popping up all over.

Most webmasters found it very time consuming to create a large number of unique articles for this purpose, so they used other options.

Many webmasters used article spinners to create multiple variations of the same article, These tools allowed you to change content enough so that it didn’t appear to be duplicate content.

This led to an explosion of “SEO Tools” that automated the process of creating accounts, spinning articles and posting to web 2.0 properties online. Many of those software products have died but some are still in existence today. You just need to look at freelancer sites and search backlinks to know that these types of tools are still around as people are selling services building these types of links today.

This led to Google panda, this was Google taking action on spammy websites and the use of crappy tools to build backlinks to gain rankings.

Would link wheels work today?

Would link wheels work today

I honestly don’t know if link wheels would work today or if you would get penalised for using them.

As with any other search engine optimization technique involving content, this could be a very time-consuming experiment, and I don’t have the time or inclination to try it.

I would much rather try to create engaging content for visitors than to try and game search engines and recommend you do the same.

I do know that Google’s algorithm has not changed that much over the years (other SEOs will highly dispute this) they have just gotten better at finding and penalising popular tactics that spammers use to rank sites.

The algorithm is still at heart a popularity engine where links to your site count as votes and the more votes (not all votes are created equally, see Link juice) you get the higher you will rank.

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Dave (Designed by)

I’m Dave and I’ve been building websites and online marketing for over a decade.

This is my home a place where I cover Design, SEO and all the other things that interest me.


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