Typing “Link Wheel” as a search query into Google returns 381,000 results. Search in web hosting forums for keywords “Link Wheel” and you’d get lots of varied opinions. So what is a link wheel and how does it relate to seo? And is it a white hat or black hat seo tactic? Could it lead to search engine penalties?
To a lot of webmasters and seo experts, link wheels are a valid seo strategy (white hat). Link wheels are essentially a wheel of linked websites (all yours), designed to improve the SERPS (search engine results pages) of your main site. In this multiple sites are developed with each linking back (one-way) to the main site, and linking to another related site (within the same niche).
To take this even further, some SEO experts recommend using IP addresses from different class C IP allocations for each site. My take on the IP’s? This seems to be a black hat strategy to avoid Google penalties. Why? Because a lot of link wheels are composed of one-post blogs that offer little or no relevance to a search query. Their intent? To trick Google into seeing multiple links back to their main site. Many say this works, but only until you get caught, and then all that effort goes to waste.
Relevance is the key
I don’t think I’m all that different from most folks searching for information on the Internet. When I search for colocation, I expect to find sites with great content related to colocation. It’s frustrating to find sites with no real content, or simply links to other websites. The same applies for Google. They have a ton of advertising dollars at risk, and have developed very sophisticated search algorithms to emphasize and reward relevance.
Steve is an Inside Sales Manager at Hostirian in Saint Louis, MO. He began his writing career many moons ago while stationed in Pensacola, Florida, writing for the Cory Log. Today, Steve writes about business, marketing, search engine optimization, and web design & hosting. You can read or RSS his articles from http://www.WDTalk.com.