How building up second tier websites can push your link exchanges to the next level.

LINKS ARE ONE of the most important ranking factors, but how do you achieve good links? One way of building up links is by exchanging them with others in the industry. Usually, it is a good idea to keep your main money site clean, as Google states in its webmasters guidelines that it does not allow “Excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging (‘Link to me and I’ll link to you.’)”

To avoid being tagged as an excessive link exchanger, you should have other websites to exchange links to. This gives you the opportunity to make non-reciprocal link exchanges.

Obviously, people are searching for links from a website that has some power on its own. Therefore, it would be a good start to get an expired domain that has some links already built into it. There are several market places:

• http://www.pool.com/
• http://godaddy.com/
• http://expireds.net/

You should try to get at least one domain for each of the bigger markets (casino, sportsbetting, poker and bingo), as well as one or two for your specific niche. Make sure that you use an anonymizer provider, like Go Daddy, to hide the ownerships of the domains when you register them.

Setting up the domains

The optimal (and most expensive) set-up would be to get a different C-Class IP for each of the domains. After getting your web space, you should set-up a CMS to manage the content. One of the most used and most practical is WordPress. The set-up is easy and there are tons of designs out there, nevertheless, it is recommended to use a theme provider, such as:

• http://www.elegantthemes.com/
• http://www.woothemes.com/
• http://www.mojo-themes.com/

If you want to track your statistics and you do not want to be related to your main websites you should not use the same Google Analytics account. There are alternatives, such as piwik.org, an open source web analytics tool.

Optional: central management software

For scaling and optimising the process of publishing content and links, it would be ideal to have a ‘one log-in to all your blogs’ solution. There are many different ways to do this; either you program your own management software using the XML-RSS API from WordPress or you get an existing solution, like the build-in ‘blog manager’ from Raven (http://raven-seo-tools.com/) or any other software managing multiple WordPress blogs.

Building up content

After finding the right set-up for you, you still have to fill your blogs with content. Make sure you get unique content, ideally with images or videos, something to attract real users. Try to avoid footprints like always having the same article size (250 words length should be avoided as it is a typical SEO text length), always linking out to other gambling domains, always linking, etc. From time to time, try to link to other pages you like, or where you got your information or images from. Build up your content regularly at least one per month (one per week is better), but the most important thing is that it is continuous.

Scaling content

The day only has 24 hours and when you reach a certain workload, you can no longer do everything by yourself. Let others write content for you, build up an authors network, use text platforms like Textbroker. com to order your article (hint, there is a WordPress plug-in from Textbroker). Some other options could be finding a personal author on odesk.com or some nice additional features on fiverr.com.

Social set-up

In the post-Panda world of Google updates, social signals are getting more attention. Very soon, exchanging likes, links, followers and so on will be daily business. That is why you want to make sure to create a separate social identity for each of your blogs, get your own Twitter, Facebook, email and G+ account.

Those accounts also need to be well cared for, as you want them to look as natural as possible, so start getting friends, follow people or even connect to foursquare. Be careful to not leave too many footprints, especially when using a G+ account. It might be a good idea to use a social aggregate tool to submit your status updates to your accounts.

Make sure to use your accounts to build up links to your webpage, as they are for free! Set up a page for your websites and ‘like’ it - do all that will make your profile look as natural as possible.

Building up links

To get better link exchanges you need to have a more powerful website. Getting more links is key to boosting your second tier websites, and you should use the common ways to acquire them:

• web directories
• forum signature links
• social media discussions (Twitter posts, Facebook posts, etc)
• link exchanges (some site-wide banner or blogroll links to get some popularity)
• article directories
• bookmarking services

Follow the common sense guidelines for link building:

• Not too many at once
• Continuously build links
• Get a good mix of different link types and qualities
• Vary anchor texts

It seems like a lot of work, and it is. Find ways to scale your link building and to make use of your website as soon as possible to get revenue back out of your investment.

Link exchange tracking

It is very important to keep tracking your link exchanges for multiple reasons. For example, you want to check regularly if the links are still live and valid, you want to know how many links you have already built up and the anchors you used for them. The easiest way to keep track of your links is manually using a table to manage your link exchanges and check them by opening your browser and seeking if they are still online and valid for search engines.

A less time consuming approach is, again, an automated tool that monitors your links for you. There is a range of software which solves the problems differently. It is recommended to find software with a good reputation as well as one that is local so your data is not shared on the web as it is something you want to keep private.

Start exchanging links

You have your domains, have set them up, put content on them and built up some links, now you are ready to start link exchanging for your main money site.

Where to go for trading links:

• Skype contacts
• Skype groups
• Forums (www.gpwa.org, forums. digitalpoint.com and many more)
• Personal contacts
• IGB events

If you follow the basic guidelines for building links as previously mentioned, this approach can be a high quality source of links for you.

When you are not sure of the quality of the link you are exchanging, let it be (or use one of your second tier websites as) the target. This way, you keep building up links from different sources for them, which leads to better real estate for exchanging on your side.

You joined several forums and contacted friends and other affiliates. Now start exchanging links!

If you need help or have any questions regarding building up a second tier set of websites, do not hesitate in contacting me.
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