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**SERLists Tutorial: Optimizing Tiered Linking Campaigns**

edited September 2014 in GSA Search Engine Ranker

SERLists: Optimizing Tiered Linking Campaigns

@everyone - We normally provide our tutorials to just our subscribers and customers. However, this information is so critical to your linkbuilding, we didn't want to leave anyone out.

We estimate that 90%+ people on this forum do not use these tricks with SER. This will be a HUGE difference-maker for a lot of people, so please read this tutorial carefully!!

4 Ways To Optimize Tiered Linking Campaigns

A lot of people fail with SER because they just spray links about and don’t optimize their campaigns properly.

As I’m sure a lot of you already know, there’s obviously some skill involved, but for the most part, link building is all about resources and how you use them. By optimizing your campaigns properly, you can easily out rank someone who has the resources to build 10 times as many links as you, just because they lack focus and direction in the way they build links.

There’s lots of things that you can do, and everyone will have their own ways they like to do things. Assuming that you’ve set your projects up properly (see the SER & Tiers thread), here’s a few quick and easy ways to get ahead with your link building.

1.  Don’t build tiered links to no-follow properties

Your first tier of links should absolutely consist of some no-follow contextual properties, but you really don’t want to be wasting resources by building further links to them.

You could always set up a separate campaign for your no-follow contextuals, but you can get around the extra hassle by just using the feature to only build tiered links to do-follow properties. (Yes, we know there’s no such thing as do-follow properties, but for the sake of this guide we’ll run with it.)

First you need to open the ‘Edit Tier Filters’ pop-up in the project ‘data’ tab:


Then check the box to only build links to do-follow urls, as per the image below:


2.  Build links to tier 1 properties that link to your money site with anchor text

If you want to rank faster, then you need to build authority to your properties that contain the anchors you’re targeting first. All things being equal, the more juice you funnel through them, the quicker you will rank for those terms.

In order to achieve this, you need to check the box next to ‘Verified Url Must have anchor’ and then insert your anchor text into the field next to it. There’s a limit to the amount of anchors that you can add, but I like to add all of my main and secondary anchors from my tier 1 project if possible.

The correct format is (no spin brackets needed): Anchor1|Anchor2|Anchor3|Anchor4|Etc|Etc


3.  Don’t build links to tier 1 properties on domains not indexed in Google

(That is, provided you want to rank in Google any time soon.)

This one is pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people miss this. If you want to build a set of tier 1 properties to rank your site in Google, then you need to build these tier 1 properties on domains that are already indexed.

The best way to achieve this is to take your list of contextual URLs, trim them to root in Scrapebox (don’t worry SER will still post to 95% of them just fine), run an index check on them, discard any that fail, and load the rest into your tier 1 project(s) in SER.


Note: Domains that are not indexed in Google may still be useful for ranking in Yahoo or Bing.


4.  Avoid Broken Tiers

In order to avoid broken tiers it’s best to link to multiple tier 1 properties from each of your tier 2 articles. This is especially important if you are building a 3rd tier of links. If you don’t, you will waste a ton of resources if one of your tier 2's goes down.

It also helps to break up the link building footprint a bit. Think about it, each tier 2 only links to one tier 1 which then links directly to your money site – how un-natural is that? (Not to mention easy to sniff out with an anti spam algorithm!)

There’s at least two ways you can achieve this...

1. You can use Kontent Machine 3 (or similar) and utilize the %link% macros. (We like to use three tokens, but you can experiment a bit with this number, as there’s no real hard and fast rule.)


2. You can also add plain articles to SER, and use the internal settings in the ‘article manager’ tab. Again, you can play about with this setting and change it to whatever works for you:


So that’s it, you’re now armed with some new tricks to kill of your SEO competition.

Now go make some money!!!


The Team

@Ron, @Gooner, @2Take2, and @Satans_Apprentice


p.s. If you haven't already signed up to subscribe to our tutorials, what in the world are you waiting for??? They are free at :)



  • sagarpatilsagarpatil 1LinkList Ninja
    That was helpful. Thank guys!
  • @serlists Thanks for this, some things I never knew about.

    Just wanted to ask, should I just have a fixed set of tier 1 links or should I continuously build tier 1 and 2?

    Also should tier 1 be a certain PR on the domain?

  • @serlists this is great! hoping for some more tutorials from your team
  • ronron

    Thanks @Molex. We're working very hard. I hope people see this and learn. We didn't want to stick this on the sales thread as a lot of people might never see that thread. So hopefully this gets out there.

    @mooton - Generally speaking, you want the absolute best quality links on T1, and they should be from trusted domains. You can use PR as a barometer on what's a quality domain to use for a T1 link. Others (believe this or not) actually scan the potential domains for PA/DA to also meet whatever their thresholds are for those metrics - you can never have enough quality on T1. I would say building a T1 slowly as opposed to fast is a smart idea. I don't think you want a fixed amount on your T1 - then it looks like nothing is happening with that website, and Google yawns.

  • @ron Thanks! Also is there any general advice for exact match anchor %? I am using 60-70% now, too high?
  • ronron
    @mooton - Not getting into all the SEO tactical kind of stuff here, but yep, way too high, by at least 10X !!
  • This exact match anchor thing never ceases to puzzle me. Contrary to popular SEO belief, I've seen some sites rank for highly competitive keywords with 40-50% exact match anchors. Crazy stuff @-)
  • ronron
    Yeah, that's true, but not typically longer term. However, when I analyze certain niches in particular, I do see that kind of crazy stuff. Some guys did the churn and burn and got really lucky.
  • Could all depend on what niches they are doing Competing pages  etc. etc.    In the niches I do, and see  everyone is doing 30-50%   Varies for everyone.   Like always testing is key. :)
  • Hi guys - out of interest, what do you say to the theory that Google counts crawled links on unindexed domains? i.e using a LiveJournal blog (noindexed by robots.txt) as a tier 1 would have merit?

  • edited September 2014
    On the one I had success with I did 5% at first and it started going down instead of up, then I went up to 30% and it started ranking.

    I don't use EMDs or EM page titles.
  • 2Take22Take2 UK
    edited September 2014
    Hi @rastaboym, it's an interesting question. If you're talking about building text links on sites that aren't indexed in Google, then I've split tested it and the links from de-indexed domains made absolutely no difference to my rankings.

    Admittedly, I didn't use a very large sample size though...

    WRT Live journal, although it does have something funky going on with the robots.txt my subdomains and posts all seem to be indexed in google. :)

    @mooton - why don't you put your keyword(s) in your page title tag?
  • @2Take2 yeah, text links on sites that are crawled but not indexed by Google (due to the webmaster's choice). The rational being that Google still sees the link and it should still count as a vote even if the webmaster doesn't want that page being shown to the world. Would be interesting to test properly.

    Impressed you have your LJ blogs indexed. Most of mine get:
    User-Agent: *
    Disallow: /
    With only a handful being granted:
    User-Agent: Mediapartners-Google*
    I think they have some kind of  rep score which decides it.
  • 2Take2 I do put them in the title of the page (if thats what u mean). But I always put "title + something else".

    Is the title itself not the title tag on wordpress?
  • Agree with Ron.
  • Hi rastaboym - AFAICS mine are indexed in google, but the LJ robots.txt is preventing them from being cached. Interestingly enough, this opens up a whole different discussion as to the different SEO value of an indexed vs a cached link. As you say, would be interesting to test it properly.

    @mooton - thanks for the clarification, I misunderstood your previous post. Apologies. :)
  • I'm already using the suggestion n°3 (delete no-indexed), but recently I discovered that Scrapebox is not so accurate when detecting the no-index urls. Same for the index-checking of Ser, I think it doesn't work well.

    Last week I made some test with the same urls, checking by 1) Scrapebox, later 2) Ser, and finally 3) typing on google site:url. Everytime I get different results!!!

    The strange part is that also Scrapebox sometimes give me false results, saying some urls were no-indexed but when I tipe site:url on google I see them indexed.

    So maybe it's better, for the most important T1 urls, to double check by scrapebox/google if they are indexed or not before to delete them.

    But maybe the explanation of that is that when scrapebox says a group of urls are not indexed, if some of that is cached but not indexed, I find them with the command site:url. That means, in conclusion, that the google command "site:url" give as results websites that are indexed and/or cached, not only indexed as commonly known.

  • Thanks Ron and I love the lists!

    A couple of questions:
    1) You say to only build dofollow links for your contextual link tiers (not kitchen sink) and then create a seperate project to add nofollow contextuals. I'm guessing this won't leave a footprint?

    2)You say for tier 2s build links using anchor text to connect to tier1s. Should this be done with Tier1 links to your moneysite as well? Wouldn't this get a google slap for overoptimization of anchor text? Or do you try to add more general and naked url links from a seperate project to balance it out?

    3)When building contectual tier 1s and tier 2s , I know that most people click the article,document,social network and web2.0 engine but what do you choose for "Type of links to create" under the "options" tab? All the links that say "contextual"?
  • Hi @bokeboke

    1. In the short term no, if won't leave a discernible footprint, but it would probably be a good idea to point a few links at them if you've got the resources. The point was, that you don't want to go mad tiering them in order to rank.

    2. Set your tier 1 up to build anchor text links in the correct ratios (the ratio will vary from niche to niche), and then *start* by building tiers to the properties that contain the anchors you want to rank for. I say 'start' as you will probably want to build some tiers to the branded, and possibly naked anchors as well (especially if you're using an EMD), but just not right away.

    3. Just choose the top 3 in the list, un-check the rest.

    Hope it helps.
  • Has always seem to me that building only with do follow leaves a footprint and is unnatural. (If someone from a no follow site links to you do you hunt them down and ask for the link to be removed?)
    Anyway in GSA you will still get both follow and no follow even with the disabling all no follow engines.

    Thanks Ron I always get a great tip that helps me in my link building using GSA,  thats another reason why I am a serlist buyer.
  • ronron
    edited October 2014

    @fastmen - Thanks for the compliment - and your business!

    The truth is that no software can really nail down a site as being 'dofollow' with 100% accuracy. It is based on a scan of the outbound links, and well, there can be mixed signals. So you end up with a mix of nofollow links no matter what you do.

    The larger point is not about creating a strict dofollow link profile. The bigger point is to only tier under the dofollow links to conserve your link juice for only those properties - don't waste it on less valuable links.

  • @ron you basically mean is T1= solid profile = context, do follow, anchor
    T2= mixed?
  • ronron
    @Molex, you want your best properties to be the ones that are dofollow, exact or partial match anchor text. Any other links would be naked URL, LSI, generic, etc. (on the less important properties).
  • @ron, got it =))
  • ronron
  • bellathecat78bellathecat78 Cardiff, Wales
    I found the best pointer was the one about avoiding broken tiers. This is has been a problem I have not known how to fix until now and I know id gonna save me A LOT of wasted work. Thanks @Ron and co   :D
  • ronron
    edited October 2014
    @bellathecat78 - You weren't the only one haha   :-SS
  • if i put in "Verified Url Must have anchor" : {girl|children}

    GSA wil post on tiers one with anchor like : "girl beds" or "chidrens bedroom"

    if not can we use REGEX in : "Verified Url Must have anchor"
  • Sven or Ron, when I insert additional links (1-2 links) under Article Manager, I notice SER repeats the first link. Is there any way to fix it? If I set 2 additional links, 2 out 3 links will be pointing to the same url with the same anchor text.
  • ronron
    edited October 2014
    @zuluranger - I have no idea as I only embed one link per article. Sorry mate.

    @seomorph - I am pretty positive it has to be an exact match. When you start talking regex, my eyes glass over, I'm sorry, I'm not a programmer lol.
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