Link Wheels Explained

Creating a link wheel is a very effective SEO strategy that can be used by anyone to improve the rankings of their sites. Essentially, a link wheel leverages the power of highly ranked Web 2.0 sites to build targeted backlinks back to your sites. This works because certain Web 2.0 properties like Hubpages, Squidoo, WordPress, and others allow you to publish your own content on these sites AND allow you to add your own backlinks to this content as well. Google loves these sites and often times your posted content can rank very well on their own. Getting links to your own site from 5-10 of these types of sites is very powerful, and forms the basis of the link wheel strategy.

Here is the classic Link Wheel diagram:

Link Wheel Classic

In this Link wheel scenario, every Web 2.0 property links to your main site in the middle, as well as to one other Web 2.0 site in the wheel to form a closed loop. This way, link juice is passed to both your main site and each web 2.0 property enhancing the power of each. I’m personally not too fond of this link wheel configuration because I think it leaves an obvious footprint.

Instead, I like to introduce some randomness to my link wheels like this:

Link Wheel Random

This makes the footprint a little more non-obvious, while still being quite effective. The more properties you can add to your link wheel, the more creative you can be with your linking structure.

What About Content?

To get the most power from this link wheel technique, you want to post articles on these web 2.0 sites that relate to your main site. So if you are promoting Market Samurai for example, you would want to post Market Samurai or keyword research related articles. It’s pretty time consuming to write unique articles to post on all these sites, so usually what I do is post spun articles. You spin your own articles using an article spinner like The Best Spinner. Or if you are quite lazy like myself, you could use a service like The Leading Articles which will give you a daily spun article to use. All you need is one spun seed article from which you can post each unique variation to each site in your link wheel.

Enhancing Your Link Wheels

Most Web 2.0 properties also include their own RSS feeds. Make sure to figure out what they are and then submit these feeds to RSS aggregators like Feedage, Feedagg, and Zimbio. This will help get your content on the Web 2.0 properties indexed faster, and improve their linking power as well. Another thing to try is to incorporate article directories to your link wheel as well. EzineArticles, GoArticles and ArticlesBase are some of my favorite article directories to use. Finally, take advantage of social bookmarking sites to bookmark your Web 2.0 properties. You can use a site like Social Marker or a bookmarking tool like Bookmarking Demon which automates the social bookmarking process for you.

Automating Your Link Wheels

When starting out, I encourage you to create your link wheels by hand initially to verify that it works for you. However this is not very scalable and if you have many sites you want to improve your rankings for, you should invest in a more automated solution. My favorite programs to create link wheels right now are SENuke and Magic Submitter. Both these programs automate the process of creating accounts, verifying emails, and submitting your content. They also have their own database of Web 2.0 sites so you don’t have to look around and find these sites yourself. Both programs are very powerful, and well worth the investment.

I hope you can see that creating link wheels is a very powerful technique for boosting your sites rankings. Try it out for yourself and let me know how they work for you.

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  1. says

    With the latest Panda and Penguin updates old link wheel tactics will no longer work. I mean they will but there’s a huge risk when using automated software to build a linkwheel. Basically, from now on, google will treat most linkwheel as un-natural and will penalize your website.
    However, if link wheels are done right (relevant and unique content, proper indexing, a mix of do follow and no follow links and more) the link wheel will be treated as white hat and have an incredible effect. A few weeks ago we’ve just completed a complex link wheel for a client and results were seen in just 3 days and the rank keeps increasing for the given keyword.
    So even with the panda and penguin, link wheels are still very efficient, however, hire a professional link wheel builder, otherwise you might get your website penalized or even sandboxed.
    Jeremy Smith recently posted..ffesfdarticleMy Profile

    • says

      Excellent post written to explain link wheels, however as Jeremy stated link wheels are now considered “black hat” because they are associated with spam and manipulation of search results. To stay on the safe side you will need to:

      1. Always use the highest quality targeted content, images and video with your link wheels. Content that is unique and actually adds value to the internet. Never use spun content.

      2. Always use the highest quality web properties such as WordPress, Blogger, and Squidoo.

      3. Always use an advanced link wheel strategy to create a natural link building profile. A natural link profile contains multiple anchors and a mixture of no-follow and do-follow links.

      If you follow these 3 steps you will always be in Google’s good books.

  2. says

    Excellent post and well structures information. I have one question which has been bugging me for a few days. As you explained each web property should be linking to the other property and to the site. However I found that in Squidoo (and also Scribd) you cannot place more than one link on the profile page.

    How can you go about this?

    Feedback appreciated.


  3. says

    Nice article! You’re obviously doing something right as you’re ranked top for ‘how to make a link wheel’.

    Although I find it very time consuming to make link wheels it really does help boost your rankings for search terms and it will pay dividends. I’ve sometimes found that automating link wheel building using SENuke X is great initially but the links can soon become dead depending on the articles submitted and also how well the articles are spun.

    I think a mix of both is great and I always try and make at least 1 or 2 wheels a month mixed in with my SENuke X efforts.

  4. says

    Great article. I’ve been looking to link wheels lately and they’ve been increasing value of a lot of my sites. They do require quite a bit of working to get going but the results are brilliant. I also agree that traditional link wheels can leave a footprint and look a little “obvious” to the engines.

    • Josh says

      Hi Mike. My testing has shown that link wheels still work great. Panda is more about the content on your own site.

  5. says

    Seems as if I have built a link wheel over the past 2 years and it seems to work. Yes, it’s very tedious to do by hand, but then again it’s never too late to automate something which is what computers are for! Will look further into the concept! Thanks!

  6. says

    @Jon- Never submit to any search engines. It’s like “waving and shouting”, look at me I have a brand new site. Not much chance of getting indexed with any respect. Haha

  7. Jon says

    Thanks for posting. Two quick questions:
    1. Do you submit each site in the linkwheel to Google? If so, do you build the link structure first and then submit, or vice versa?

    2. What kind of anchor text should you use for linking to the next spoke? The same keywords you want your main site to rank for? Does it matter?

    • Josh says

      Hi Jon,

      No I don’t submit any sites to Google. I let them get found naturally. I don’t normally use the same keywords to link to the next spoke as I’m not trying to rank the hubs.

  8. says

    Totally agree with you and Rob that link wheels should be constructed with the element of randomness, but I have also found that if you have at least 1 web 2.0 site that is a no follow this helps with your rankings even more.

  9. says

    This article is really helpful for people who want to understand and experiment with SEO. Understanding fundamentals of link building and building quality links is not easy. Thanks again.

  10. says

    Thanks – and when I searched for linkwheel – you came up as number one. :)
    Also, add a social bookmarking feature man – I would have passed this on.

  11. says

    Nice! I’ve got 20 WordPress blogs online now, and I’m ready to roll! Looks like it will have to be automation for me, though, so I’m gonna have to dig in deep in the pockets for this one. :(

    I hope they are both as good as you say. Great share, mate.

  12. says

    Very informative post, thank you. It’s about time someone came up with a proper auto-link-wheel creator. I’m sure there is a market for it, the exisiting well known ones that you mention need a monthy fee which is just not on for most people.

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