Tiered Link Building Strategy in The Highly Competitive Niches

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    Before we start discussing the high-competitive niches, I’d like to ask you – how many low-competitive niches do you know?

    Based on my experience, if the niche is low-competitive, it is just non-profitable. Do you remember the joke?

    – Who was that?
    – It was Joe The Uncatchable.
    – Is it really that difficult to catch him?
    – Oh, not at all. Just nobody wants to.

    However, if it is possible to make some money on this product, you’ll never stay alone in the niche.

    Thousands of your competitors look for new goods to earn, and no one can hide from them.

    So, let us assume every profitable niche is high-competitive. If you find the latest market niche with a few players, reject the hope it will stay uninhabited for long.

    Is it so bad? I don’t think so.

    I can find many positive sides in active competition.

    When you consider promotion under competitive pressure, you know that all possible strategies and solutions are already tested.

    Before you invent something principally new (if you are lucky enough), you can just copy the most effective methods.

    You can learn what works and what does not without wasting time and budget for testing hypotheses.

    Of course, there are some minuses.

    All prospective channels are occupied with other players.

    The conversion is minimal, and the PPC budget or traffic acquisition price is skyrocketing.

    So, you have a little choice: you either search for new channels and opportunities or increase brand awareness and build a loyal community.

    The task goes more complicated if you work in grey or black niches – pharmaceutical industry, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, food supplements and diet products…

    You do not need to be a criminal to face the sanctions on the Internet.

    Facebook and Instagram can close eyes on many suspicious activities – once I saw false banknotes’ advertising! – but they ban any effort to promote food supplements, pharma, or cryptocurrency.

    Google follows the trend.

    I have already mentioned in earlier blogs that Google transforms into a global censor.

    The work of SEO professionals looks like astrology: they try to calculate the regularities in the chaotic environment that continually changes.

    The promotion of high-competitive niches is still possible.

    Again, we turn to organic traffic and crowd marketing solutions. It takes time – but it creates human capital, a value that can hardly be overvalued.

    One of the strategies is the tiered link building.

    Tiered link building strategy, how to build it

    Tiered link building is a process of building the link profile based on various sites that are tied with the target site.

    Many SEO professionals consider tiered link building as the Black Hat practice.

    Really, tiered link building can quickly boost the page rank, but Google does not praise the sudden growth.

    A well-thought tiered linking strategy that supports the link profile’s smooth growth can be incorporated into the white link building strategy.

    Tiered Link Building Scheme Picture

    Tiered Link Building Scheme

    1 Tier

    The first level of the tiered network includes the donor sites that provide outbound links to your target site.

    This level should consist of relevant, contextual, non-aggressive links: sites on the domains .edu and .gov, blogs on blogspot.com and wordpress.com, you’ve got the idea.

    You can place the quality content, like guest articles, on high-ranking sites, add the links from wikis and social networks related to your niche in the first tier.

    2 Tier

    The second tier supports the sites of the first tier.

    It can also include social networks, articles, but also directories, forums, etcetera.

    It works as follows: you post a guest article on the high-ranking site and add the outbound link for the first tier.

    To increase your article’s engagement, you repost and advertise it on the forums and social networks.

    On the second level, you care about the quantity but still maintain some degree of relevance and context.

    The inbound links increase the weight of a high-ranking site, and it passes the part of its ranking to your target.

    3 Tier

    After you developed the second tier of links, you can go deeper and build the third tier.

    This level is mostly for quantity.

    Here you can use the aggressive links from blog comments, forum posts, reviews, guestbooks, image comments, and so on.

    Effective tiered link building

    In SEO, we can measure the effectiveness with the metrics: the number of visitors, new and returning, average time on the page, the number of inbound links, etcetera.

    The smooth growth is optimal for all metrics.

    If we register it, it is possible to conclude the strategy is successful.

    Let us discuss how we build success.

    Here is what you can do on the upper level.

    • Put the link building process under your own control. You can manage the process by yourself or hire a reliable contractor – in any case, do not forget to check the reports and compare the metrics.
    • Tie your target site with the quality and relevant sites only. In Tier 1, the weight of donor sites influences the positions of the acceptor.
    • Use contextual backlinking – support your backlink with a good piece of relevant content. It will live longer and have a more positive impact.
    • Avoid search engine penalties at your tier network. The penalties from Google Zoo – Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird – can annihilate most of your efforts.

    Tier one. White hat only.

    Let us start from the target site and tier one, the sites directly tied with your target site by the backlinks.

    I believe most of my readers know this but declare it once again: only white technologies on the upper level!

    Invest your time and efforts in the well-thought site architecture, create or order the unique content, place anchors and links in the right places – do all your best for this level.

    Only one mistake can kill the campaign, so act carefully and do not be in a rush.

    Tier two. Still unique content.

    The networks of second-level sites should be more extensive, so the entry-level is lower.

    Of course, it is better to avoid the sites under Google penalties and post your backlinks on relevant resources.

    I also recommend using unique content for Tier two.

    Search engines increase the copyright violation control: you’d better prevent the problem than later remove it.

    The good news is you can use low-quality content.

    Tier three. Fruitful Soil.

    On the lower level, you should create a broad field that will nurture the sites on Tier 2.

    Moving forward with my agricultural metaphor, you should add some nutrients for better productivity.

    Some of them smell bad like organic manure – in terms of backlinks, I mean forums with weak moderation and free blogs.

    You can use it or switch to more effective mineral fertilizer; I mean natural crown links. It costs a little more, but you need less of it.

    Anyway, it works; it is practical and safe.

    Tips for Getting More Backlinks

    • Create shareable content – viral videos, funny jokes, reviews, expert articles can bring a substantial volume of new backlinks legally and for free! Do not undervalue this tool.
    • Go to the influencers – even nano bloggers with an audience of fewer than 10k subscribers can add value to the backlink profile. Influencers with an audience of 100k and more can make your site a star, but it will cost a budget.
    • Contribute as a guest author – posting the articles on third-party resources is one of the white link building methods. Besides, you can attract organic traffic to the target site.
    • Commit to social networks. People in social networks love to open interesting sites if they find a good lead and attractive pictures.
    • Use communities and forums. The quality of backlinks from forums and communities is lower than for outreach links from influencers or viral content. However, they add value to the link profile and work well in combination with types of links.

    Crowd links as a part of Tiered link building

    Crowd marketing is another technique of link building; the links to the target resource appear in the forum posts, reviews, Q&A sites, and other resources.

    To distinguish crowd links and spam links, remember that crowd links are placed on the relevant resources together with a piece of useful content.

    That is why my business’s name is Natural Links: we put many efforts to make them natural.

    Let us review two main crowd marketing benefits.

    Healthy profile diversification

    When you build the link profile for your target resource, Google and other search engines can put sanctions on it because of the inbound links’ homogeneous nature.

    The natural crowd links dilute and diversify the backlink profile and make it healthy.

    Safe growth of the backlink profile

    Natural links in the topics tailored to the target resource attract additional traffic and support the steady and safe profile growth.

    Sharp peaks can be suspicious for the search engines, and crowd links help smooth the growth tempo.

    Crown marketing can be effectively used in combination with tier link building, especially in the high-competitive niches.

    Natural links improve Tier strategy and make the structure looking more natural for search engines.

    This statement is not just words: I can prove it with the cases.

    Use cases with tiered link building and crowd marketing

    CASE 1. Dating agency Overview

    The dating portal started working with Natural Links in September 2019.

    The brand developed the following strategy of tier linking: the multiple non-commercial sites supply traffic for one target resource, the commercial site that generates the income.


    Tier 3 (low level) links – strengthen third-party websites linked to the client’s non-commercial sites.

    Tier 2 (middle level) links – backlink profile growth and positions of the non-commercial sites managed by the client.

    Tier 1 (high level) links – increase and diversify the backlinks profile of the commercial site.


    • Organic traffic multiplied x2.5 within one year.
    • No significant impact of the May 2020 Google update on the client’s business.
    • Traffic indicators keep showing stable gradual growth.

    Case 1: Tiered link building and crowd marketing for Dating niche

    CASE 2. CBD Shop Overview

    The client addressed Natural Links in December 2019.
    At that moment, the client registered 15,598 organic visitors per month and 864 backlinks.


    Tier 3 (low level) links – find the third-party websites, create the Tier network to improve the profile for Tier 2 sites
    Tier 2 (middle level) links – create the network of the tied sites to improve the link weight of each one.
    Tier 1 (high level) links – a combination of the outreach links and natural links.
    Also: additional work on the site content, creation of new useful pieces of content.


    • Smooth link profile growth from 100 per month to 800-1000 per month
    • Up to 29k backlinks in profile at a moment
    • A well-balanced link profile consisted of outreach links and tier links.

    Case 2: Tiered link building and crowd marketing for CBD niche


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