What is Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 Backlinks

Backlinks play a important role in determining a authority and ranking potential of a website. However, not all backlinks are created equal. Understanding the concept of tiered backlinks—specifically Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3—can help you develop a more strategic and effective link building strategy. In this guide, we’ll explore what Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 backlinks are, their importance in SEO, and how to leverage them to enhance your website’s visibility and ranking.

Tiered link building involves the creation of links to external pages that subsequently link back to your website or page. This technique is structured in layers, similar to a pyramid, with each tier reinforcing the pages that directly link to your main page. The primary objective of this strategy is to strengthen the authority and impact of the initial backlinks to your website, ultimately enhancing your search engine ranking.

It’s important to note that tiered link building is often categorized as either black-hat or grey-hat SEO, as it may contravene Google’s guidelines.

Source: https://ahrefs.com/seo/glossary/tiered-link-building

Tier 1 backlinks refer to high-quality, authoritative links that are directly pointing to your website from reputable sources.

  • Characteristics:
    • Originating from well-established and trustworthy websites with high domain authority.
    • Contextually relevant to your website’s content and niche.
    • Often editorially placed, meaning they are naturally earned rather than acquired through spammy tactics.
  • Significance:
    • Tier 1 backlinks are considered the most valuable as they directly contribute to your website’s authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines.
    • They have a significant impact on improving your website’s ranking and visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Examples: Backlinks from authoritative domains such as Forbes, Huffington Post, or industry-leading publications within your niche.

Tier 2 backlinks are links that are built to support and reinforce Tier 1 backlinks, rather than directly pointing to your website.

  • Characteristics:
    • Typically generated from lower-tier websites or web 2.0 platforms.
    • Designed to boost the authority and credibility of Tier 1 backlinks by providing them with additional link juice.
    • May include social bookmarking sites, article directories, or niche-specific forums.
  • Significance:
    • Tier 2 backlinks help strengthen the link profile of Tier 1 backlinks, thereby enhancing their effectiveness in improving your website’s ranking.
    • They contribute to the overall authority and trustworthiness of your backlink profile, signaling to search engines that your website is a reliable source of information.
  • Examples: Links from social bookmarking sites like Reddit, article directories such as EzineArticles, or niche forums related to your industry.

Tier 3 backlinks are links that are built to support Tier 2 backlinks, rather than directly impacting your website.

  • Characteristics:
    • Typically generated from low-quality or spammy sources, such as link farms, automated directory submissions, or irrelevant blog comments.
    • Serve as a buffer layer between Tier 2 and Tier 1 backlinks, providing additional link juice to Tier 2 properties.
  • Significance:
    • Tier 3 backlinks play a supplementary role in strengthening the overall link profile of Tier 2 backlinks, further enhancing their impact on Tier 1 properties.
    • While they are of lower quality and relevance compared to Tier 1 and Tier 2 backlinks, they can still contribute to the overall authority and credibility of your backlink profile when used strategically.
  • Examples: Links from automated directory submissions, blog comments on irrelevant or low-quality websites, or forum profiles on spammy platforms.


Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 backlinks form the foundation of a comprehensive link building strategy. While Tier 1 backlinks are the most valuable and directly impact your website’s authority and ranking, Tier 2 and Tier 3 backlinks play a supportive role in reinforcing and amplifying the effectiveness of Tier 1 properties. By understanding the significance of each tier and employing a balanced approach to link building, you can enhance your website’s visibility, credibility, and ranking in search engine results.


Nandeshwar is a versatile professional skilled in digital marketing and App/Web development. With 5 years of experience and a Diploma in Computer Engineering, they excel in crafting effective marketing strategies and building dynamic websites. Specializing in content marketing, they drive results for clients while creating visually stunning websites using WordPress, Laravel, PHP and Flutter. Beyond work, they stay updated on industry trends and enjoy sharing insights.

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