For those unfamiliar with the concept of link wheels as a viable SEO tactic, it basically involves creating several layers of reciprocity between multiple web 2.0 properties, blogs, pages or social media sites which ultimately link to a preferred URL and / or domain.
- You create a post and publish it on your blog.
- Then the blog pings 10 social media sites.
- Next, instead of building links to your blog directly, each of the first 10 web properties would be linked from other social media sites, new aggregators, social media and one way links to effectively establish each one of those sites as a topical node of relevance (to increase the on way links to the target site/URL).
Essentially, the webmaster scales the link wheel to a vast array of links to and from web 2.0 properties to effectively obfuscate a pattern and the target URL prospers as a result of the citation from diverse IP addresses and web properties.
This is where spikes and similarity in submissions could dampen the various wheels, if the signal lacked variance. Keep in mind, everything leaves a trail online (from the initial appearance of a page, post, shingle (group of words), or outbound link).
The only problem with mass automation is (a) if proportions reach unprecedented levels of unusual likelihood (such as a post being circulated in 2 minutes to 1000 social media sites) or the same old new same URL, title or “footprint” inundate search engines – there is a high degree of that cluster of “social proof” tripping a filter and creating a null set (effectively making the links moot or suppressed).
Instances of a new twitter account with 5 tweets and 7,000 followers creating spoofed conversations only to act as the savior to the masses “and embed an affiliate link” is an example of automation taken too far out of context.
Link wheels can be effective if executed properly, but as a long term viable promotion strategy, you will need to think past using the same seed set on a given domain or cluster of domains, as everything leaves a trail and typically after X amount of inbound links from website B to website A, those links effectively decline in passing link flow or citation.
The distinct benefit of using tactics to round-robbin “rinse and repeat” content syndication and reverberation by using a random chain of social media, video sites, news and RSS aggregators is rooted in another modality which is equally as important as SEO – traffic building and click through engagement.
Why is SEO important? Because without visitors your website cannot flourish, hence SEO targets a very specific type of visitor who is actively seeking a product, service or solution; but traffic generation entices readers who may just be randomly surfing who read your post, syndicated content, etc. click your link and end up on targeted landing pages you created based on tangential happenstance.
Which is more important? Let split testing decide by tracking referrer data and using conversion data aggregated from split testing. In one sample set, use URL (a) in search based URL/promotion, use sample set (b) to determine the winner.
There is no need to index your test pages or have them compete with your SEO friendly counterparts,
Who is to say that you cannot have both SEO traffic and tangential traffic from link wheels, social media or paid traffic via CPA or CPM offers, as long as you segment the sources and deliver relevant content based on the needs of the user?
The web is bigger than search engines and despite Google being the largest search engine with a 70% plus strangle hold on search engine market share, there are still alternatives which can be just as lucrative for website monetization for businesses of all sizes aside from search engine optimization or search engine traffic alone.