Link Wheels are a linking scheme that have been around for a little while now and I don’t believe I’ve ever discussed them publicly, so this is as good of a time as ever. Let me start by saying I have never attempted a “link wheel” and probably won’t be in the future (I’ll explain why later in the post.) This is simply my “outsider” thoughts on the scheme as a whole from someone who has been doing SEO for about 6 years now.
From what I’ve found in my own research there seem to be many different opinions as to what exactly constitutes a link wheel… there are many different “types” of them. But the most common is what is shown in the image above.
You have one “money site” which is your content site that you want to rank better in Search Engines for the keywords it targets. So you start a link wheel to do so, which basically consists of leveraging multiple web 2.0 sites like Squidoo, EzineArticles, Blogger etc. by creating pages on each of them, linking them all together to build up authority then link each of them to your site. You can see a good illustration in the image above.
DO THEY WORK? That’s the million dollar question. From an SEO perspective I can definitely say they should and probably DO work. I say they should because it makes sense to me and I say they probably do because in my research ALOT of people have said they do.
So WHY do they work?
It’s pretty basic SEO really. Let’s say there are 4 web 2.0 sites (a, b, c and d) and your money site. To simplify things we’ll say there are only two links on the entire page of each of the web 2.0 sites and we’ll give each of the 4 web 2.0 sites 10 authority “points”. This isn’t realistic, but to prove my point it doesn’t really matter… the same basic principles apply.
So, site A links to the money page and site B. Since authority is split up between links on the page, both pages receive half of the authority. Since our web 2.0 pages each have 10 authority “points” that means site B and the money page each receive 5 authority points. So now site B has 15 authority points instead of 10. So now site B links to the money page giving it 12 1/2 points and site C giving it 17 1/2. Now site C links to the money page giving it 21 1/4 points and site D giving it 18 3/4. Site D links to the money page giving it a total of 30.62 total authority points, which is about three times more authority than it had in the first place.
BUT if you only link to the money page and not to the other web 2.0 sites, each one of them will retain half of the authority points since they aren’t leaking it into the next web 2.0 site, meaning the same amount of authority will flow into the money page in the end.
So do they work? Yes. But I don’t see any reason why a link wheel would be any more effective than if you just link a bunch of web 2.0 sites to your money page, since that authority would be retained and would flow through to the money page.
Link Wheels direct authority around a wheel then into a hub site. That authority would snowball, but it’s the same authority… You can’t create authority out of thin air.
Why I Will Not Be Using Link Wheels
Aside from the primary point I just made (it just doesn’t make sense,) there is one other reason why I will not be doing any link wheels in the future. They are against Google’s TOS, so any “money site” that is the recipient of the link wheel authority is at risk of being flagged by Google. You can read how Google feels about “link schemes” for yourself.
I’m sure some will argue that it’s not a scheme, although to me it’s the epitome of a link scheme… a perfect example. So while a link wheel may very well help you rank your site higher in the SE’s it is risky and to me kind of pointless. I prefer to invest my time, money and resources into more stable and reliable link building techniques.
What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts on link wheels in the comment field below.