linkwheel

Building A WikiWheel For Links

3 Comments
April 13  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

Link building using Wikipedia is a great idea but it’s really hard to do; the good news is, there’s a new way to build wiki-style links. Wikipedia has spawned a crop of smaller wiki sites (wikihost, wikizoho, wikispaces, etc.;) if you creating enough of these wikis with original, high quality content, you can start to link them to each other and back to your website. This is a new link building strategy that I call building a WikiWheel.

The difficult part about building a WikiWheel is finding the best wiki pages to use. Some have “nofollow” tags on embedded links, while others don’t. A lot of them are primitive, with poor user interface designs and application bugs that present a major obstacle for users. Then there’s the devil that lurks on some wiki pages: the overbearing, self-righteous mediator who will delete your wiki (and all your hard work) at the slightest inkling that you may be building links or promoting a brand (ahem, wikispot.) With so many potential roadblocks, WikiWheel novices may struggle; this is why I created this list of wikis for all of you link builders, which includes my personal reviews and advice on a slew of wikipages.

Most eligible wiki sites for building a WikiWheel:

My Favorite “Do Follow” Wiki Sites:

Wiki.zoho.com – Wiki.zoho.com is a great wiki site to use. Each user account on wiki.zoho is allotted two wiki pages for free, and it has a WYSIWYG editor (which makes adding content and links easy.) I found that the software was reliable and bug-free; plus, there are comprehensive permissions settings that allow you to restrict who can edit your page, while still allowing the public to view it. Embedded links are indeed followed, so be sure insert a link to your website. Keep in mind when using this wiki that your user name will be used as your URL— so don’t forget to use keywords in your account name when you sign up.

Wikidot – Wikidot is another wiki site where embedded links are followed. Like wiki.zoho, this site lets you choose your wiki site url and has a WYSIWYG editor format. It allows you to add tags so that your wiki may be more easily found by searches according to related keywords of your choice. Permissions let you restrict editing access without restricting viewing access to maximize public visibility. The user interface works but can be a little tricky to maneuver at first; tip: the “edit” button that allows you to add new content is on the bottom of your wiki page; the call to action here is quite subtle.

Pbworks – PBworks is another “do follow” wiki site. It allows you to choose your url and has a WYSIWYG editor. Adding images is slightly more challenging on this wiki, though, because there is no WYSIWYG icon that facilitates it. Permissions options are the same as wikidot and wiki.zoho—great! The user interface design is well done and makes it fast and easy to build a wiki. You can also add tags to categorize your wiki.

Metadot.net – This wiki is a beta version, but I’ve not encountered any problems or bugs when using it. The interface isn’t difficult to maneuver but also isn’t as clear and simple as some of the other wiki sites like PBworks. The WYSIWYG editor allows you to add images via a site URL, so you don’t have to go through downloading and uploading. It’s easy to place pictures to make the page look how you want it to. It also gives you the option of using H1-H6 which yields added SEO power if you use keywords in content headings. Again, this wiki follows embedded links, so be sure to link it to your homepage when you link up your wikiwheel.

My Favorite “NoFollow” Wiki Sites:

Wikispaces – Though this wiki site does not follow embedded links, it’s one of my favorites to use because of its great interface and reliable functionality; it is super-intuitive and user-friendly. Wikispaces auto-saves your work as you add content, lets you pick the site URL, provides a free 30 day trial for each registered account, and has a quick sign up process. It has a WYSIWYG editor, and the permissions let you keep the page public for viewing but locked for edits.

Wetpaint – Wetpaint is completely free to the public, but the permissions settings leaves page edits open to other Wetpaint writers. I love how fast and easy the sign up process is; you can sign in via your twitter, MSN live ID, or Facebook account. The modern interface design features a really simple toolbar for adding content and a great selection of built-in templates to style the appearance of your page. You can create your own URL and import images from anywhere on the web without worrying about copyright issues because it lets you insert the source URL.

Intodit – Intodit dubs itself the “easy wiki,” and it couldn’t be more true; the usability factor is top-notch, right up there alongside Wetpaint. When you select your URL you can use hyphens, which many wikis don’t permit. It allows you to enter tags for wiki pages and pictures, specify H1-H6 headings in the WYSIWYG editor, and insert all different types of media with the click of a button. Sign up is really fast and easy,– it doesn’t even require an email address confirmation. There’s a lock icon that you can select in the content section of your wiki , but I’m not certain if it prevents others from editing it.

Some other “nofollow” wiki sites that get indexed and are visible to everyone on the net are wikia, wikihost (uses its own markup language,) and wiki-site. If you want to find more wiki sites, check out wikimatrix.com, a huge online index of wikis where you can search based on desired features.

Finally, be sure the wiki sites you use to build your wikiwheel always have the following characteristics:
- Choose your own URL, especially with hyphens

- WYSIWYG editor/simple way to add content

- Add a link to the wiki; HTML is permitted if there’s no WYSIWYG editor; at the very least, a simple mark up language to permit easy link insertion.

- Permissions settings, preferably ones that allow you to lock page content so others can’t edit it but everyone can still view it; public visibility is really important

- Tags that let you label the content of the page with key terms are a nice bonus

- Don’t require you to download any application software; wiki page has its own server

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This guest blog post is written by Alexandra Stetson; Alex is an online marketing specialist at Fresh Tilled Soil, a Boston SEO company. You can follow her on Twitter for more link building and SEO related tips @marisol1986.

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Link Wheel Link Building Thoughts & Strategies

29 Comments
October 12  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

linkwheel

I’m sure by now most of you have either seen, heard or put in to action a “link wheel” of sorts into your SEO gameplan. Now some of you might be starting to worry about me and wonder why I’m bringing up this topic. Afterall, it is usually kept in black/greyhat arena’s but I don’t think it needs to be. As usual I’m hoping to get a ton of good feedback from you folks in the comments to dig into the topic, but I’ll try my best to bring up the pro’s and con’s.

The term link wheel has only been used for a year or two now but in reality any good blackhat affiliate marketer has been doing something similar since links have been king. Linkwheeling is just the nice term used to sell to the endless amounts of clueless noobs on Digital Point and any similar forum. There’s nothing too secret about the method and it can be extremely successful if implemented correctly. 99% of the webmasters I see on forums asking questions about it just think that paying $250 for a link wheel service will boost them into the top 10, or do something magical.

Before I get some nasty comments about that last comment, I will state that I’ve seen top 10 results from a simple link wheel, just not for any difficult search term. And no, I won’t out anyone’s link wheel on here and please don’t in the comments. If you’re constantly snooping your competitions link profile like I do, you’ll easily be able to spot one in action.

What Is A Link Wheel?

For those of you who have been hiding under a rock or just don’t frequent the tubes as much as most of us do then let me explain a little bit beyond the diagram. The idea here is to create mini sites across a whole host of free social media and blogging platforms. Specifically you want to minimize the linking amongst each other, obviously for the one way links, and in the end push all the link juice to the money making website.

We all know that one way links are the key here but 3/4′s of the people implementing the technique are so god damn lazy it isn’t working 100%. I say this because from what I mostly see myself are people paying for the service and then letting it just sit there. They might occasionally update the link wheel with new content, but for the most part this doesn’t happen. Despite all the the content put on the link wheel sites are usually spun or just straight up copied. We all know how Google’s “dupe content” filter is near worthless.

Con’s Of A Link Wheel:

I figure I’d start with the bad stuff because it is the most important afterall. A link wheel system is a link scheme and we all know what Google thinks about that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a link builder my profession so I don’t think I’m all high and mighty with my techniques. Although I do not waste my client’s time with endless directory/social bookmarking/blog commenting “packages”, I’m still building links to influence their ranking.

Like I mentioned earlier that for the most part people are lazy or don’t have the time to build a network like this up. Paying someone from a forum is usually the route I see taken and this is where it all goes wrong(with the exception of a handful of skilled people who do high quality content and link building – an example being Red_Virus). A lot of link wheelers don’t care about your site, and if you’re a company they won’t really care about your brand.

The big issue is you want links in content from sites that are related to your topic and have some weight. So while the free blog hosts may have some authority, your fresh subdomain blog does not. And 3 measly spun articles that are bookmarked isn’t going to do much for you. You’ll get indexed but your link wheel is going to passing link juice that’s not from concentrate :) If you’re trying to target difficult keywords you’re going to have to spend a lot of time making those wheel sites to have some authority.

So if the content quality is bad how long will those wheel sites stay indexed? Well that could really go either way but my money is on they’ll be filtered out eventually, thus ruining little juice you had coming to you. Another aspect you have to think about is how diverse is this going to make your link profile look? If you’re a big brand or somewhat established company, and not an affiliate flog, you’re going to want to be cautious in your link building efforts.

Google can potentially pick up on what’s going on here and with the amount it’s being done poorly I’d suspect it could be problematic in the future. But all in all, after all my yapping, the moral of the story is to keep the quality high.

Pro’s Of A Link Wheel:

Since the opportunity presents itself to build super high quality content and get links it could potentially be a killer method. I use similar techniques for clients from time to time, especially if there is a lack of quality places to put content. If they’ve got the time and money to invest in a long term strategy then makin a link wheel that’s;

a) based on high quality content that isn’t spun or copied from any other web source

b) updated frequently with good content to keep the indexing and eventually bring some authority to those hub sites

From what I’ve seen by developing content for certain social media sites is that you open yourself up to more exposure, and hopefully clients. Some of the sites used by link wheel’s your content actually gets viewed, and if it’s good it could get passed around. I’ll even do “micro linkbait” articles to make sure the reader is enjoying his or herself.

I know this sounds like a lot of work, and it is so be prepared to get someone writing full time or make sure you have the funds to “get’er done”. From what I’ve seen it takes a couple months to get a 7-10 site link wheel going where it has enough content and authority to start pushing some weight.

So enough with my blabbing on and on….lets hear what you folks have to say about all this, and if anything at least get the flaming out of the way :)

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