After the Penguin 2.0 update link building changed dramatically, webmasters started to structure their links a lot more. This is called tiered link building; this is when you have backlinks pointing to backlinks which pass on link juice through the tiers and eventually onto your money site.
This form of link building has created a debate for quite some time whether it is grey hat or a white hat technique, it totally depends on how you carry out the process. If you were to create everything manually with unique content then this surely is white hat. Whilst the other side of SEO aka the spammers will use black hat methods such as spinning articles and various submitting tools to speed up the process.
Tiered link building explained
So in the midst of these tiers is your money site (the main website you want to rank), it is important that your many money website is optimised onsite first. This is crucial in creating an effective link building campaign without this it will make the campaign a lot slower and difficult to rank.
Tier 1: The first tier is the only tier which links to your website so links, anchor text content all need to be relevant and unique. It will also need to be a high authority site which links to your website as these carry more power. It is recommended that the first tier should consist of high authoritative web 2.0 sites such as .wordpress, blogger, squidoo, hubpages etc as these need to gain page rank to pass onto your website. Again fresh content needs to fill out these to create high quality backlinks pointing to your money site.
Tier 2: This is the tier in which you link to your first tier so here we will start to use the link building techniques that we are all associated with today such as blog comments, wiki submissions, press releases and social bookmarks. Your second tier is crucial in building the page rank to your high authoritative tier 1 links and there for increasing link power to your main website. They are lower quality than tier 1 but more quantity.
Tier 3: This consists of all the other forms of backlinking which some people consider to be spam and others thing otherwise. These consist of directories, blog comments, articles etc these will be built in large quantities.
In summary tiered link building should have the desired effect to rank well. The tiers create a protective outer layer of your main money site keeping it safe if any penalisation does occur.
Blog Post by Jordan Whitehead