A couple of weeks ago I defined what is a link wheel. Now let’s go one step further and define what is a link pyramid. A link pyramid can double as or resemble a normal SEO strategy in many ways, and the reason it’s so effective is because it looks so natural even now in 2011.
In the link pyramid model, you’re doing a lot of link building, but these links are all pointing to your main domain. Take a look at this link pyramid diagram:
As you can see, we’re building links to web pages which ultimately link to our main URL as opposed to directing every link to the top level all at once. Here you’re building links to Web 2.0 properties using a number of other traffic sources.
In terms of the diagram, your level 3 links are your weakest links in terms of link juice. These links are easy to get and these properties should direct to more authoritative web 2.0 properties to build their authority and link juice strength.
Finally those level 2 pages link to your main URL. You can use additional levels if you like; there is no exact format which you are confined to when it comes to building a link pyramid beyond the one way upward linking structure.
By using a link pyramid, you are essentially building on the strength of the links which point to your site and the strength of the links which point to those links and so on as you head down the pyramid.
Ultimately, a link pyramid gives the appearance that authoritative pages are linking to your main URL, thus helping your main URL and its included pages rank as opposed to pointing the lowest level links to the main URL which looks much less natural in the eyes of the search engines.
Note that you’re NOT linking to your main URL you’re ranking for with these smaller links but solely to the Web 2.0 properties. THEN you go ahead and link from these Web 2.0 properties which you’re optimizing to your MAIN URL which you’re promoting. It’s much more involved and encourages link/traffic diversity.
I’ve gotten questions concerning whether or not a link pyramid is considered black hat seo. The reason this term gets mixed up with black hat is that oftentimes webmasters will use some black hat seo practices such as purchasing links and even linking from link farms at the lowest levels.
A little bit of this is unnecessary but actually okay to do in terms of there being no consequences when using a link pyramid because the structure is so complex and these spammy or bought links are typically at least one degree removed from any pages linking to your main URL.