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Wed. Feb 24th, 2021
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If you resided in a best SEO world (or merely just 6-7 years ago), to get your website ranking, you just would require to send out as lots of target anchor links as possible and after that relax and take pleasure in the advantages.

In truth, this is precisely what I utilized to do.

The very first website I ever ranked was an ergonomic chair evaluation website. How did I rank it?

I published about 30 short articles on EzineArticles (R.I.P.) all indicating my cash website with the anchor “finest ergonomic chair”.

Now certainly this strategy would not work today. Presently, we’re up versus an algorithm that is developed to spot abnormal patterns.

So, while we understand what gets the needle moving with rankings …

We require to dress up our SEO story to look less abnormal.

This is what “pillowing” is.

In my example, the abnormal pattern was around anchor text. However stabilizing your anchor circulation isn’t the only kind of pillowing you must be worried about.

I’m going to go over 4 extremely ignored types of SEO pillowing that you require to consider if you prepare to rank in 2021.

Unique Note: Whether you’re white, grey, or black hat you require to take note of this post.

At the end of the day, the algorithm does not care.

Despite the fact that may be getting your links “naturally”, if you take place to get an impractical pattern on among the aspects you see below, you will discover yourself having a hard time to rank.

Let’s start.

# 1 Anchor Text Pillowing

anchor header

In the example above, I described anchor text pillowing.

This is one of the most frequently understood kind of pillowing that a lot of intermediate to innovative SEOs have a firm grasp on.

However let’s evaluation.

When the Penguin algorithm launched, my ergonomic chair evaluation site tanked … hard.


Since 100% of the links going to it were the specific very same anchor text.

Google desires sites to rank naturally. They desire you to compose remarkable material which’s so excellent, links amazingly begin can be found in.

Anyhow, more on this later on.

However in the circumstance above …

If 30 various sites are connecting to you, what are the possibilities that all of them are doing so with target anchor text?

Should not a minimum of a few of them be naked URLs, or a “click on this link”, or perhaps the trademark name of your domain?

Here’s a list of the standard classifications of anchor types. You require to have a natural mix of each in order to look reasonable and rank.

  • Target Anchors– “finest ergonomic chair”, “ergonomic chair evaluations”
  • URLs Anchors–,
  • Brand Name Anchors– Sitting Straight
  • Subject Anchors– workplace furnishings, options to back issues
  • Misc– found out more, click on this link

So, how do you exceed this constraint?

How to Go Away

Determine Your Niche-Specific Anchor Text Circulation

anchor text analysis

So now that you understand you require to produce a natural circulation of anchors going to your site’s URLs, what specifies “natural”?

Rather of just thinking what the algorithm believes “natural” is, utilize the information that is currently offered to you to discover precisely what Google has actually currently authorized on page 1.

You do this by taking a look at the leading 5 rankers and reverse engineering their anchor text with a tool like Ahrefs, take the average, and after that recreate that anchor circulation by yourself website (read the guide).

What Sort Of Hyperlinks to Utilize for Your Pillow Anchors

A “pillow anchor” is a market term utilized to specify any anchor that isn’t a target anchor; so URL anchors, brand name anchors, and so on

It’s a typical understanding that you must utilize your greatest links for your target anchors, and after that utilize lower power links for the non-target anchors.

However this is where individuals go really, really incorrect.

pillow anchors Individuals get brought away with conserving cash and wind up getting bad quality links for their pillow anchors and burning their websites.

History Lesson:

  • Penguin 2.0 saw completion of websites pillowed with automated tools like GSA and SENuke.
  • Penguin 2.1 was the very first time we saw individuals get struck that were utilizing Web 2.0 s for their pillow links, backed by a tier 2 of spam.

In today’s “constantly running” Penguin mode, I see individuals tank their websites all the time with pillow links from Fiverr gigs that utilize automated blog site remarks and online forum profiles.

So rather of pillowing with poor quality links that can trigger penalizations, I stay with what I call Class A and Class B links (learn more).

Company directory site citations are fantastic for URL anchors to the homepage. The very same chooses social profiles (Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Blog writer, etc).

Quality press releases can get you lots and even numerous anchors of your option to any page of your option. The keyword here is “quality”. Spammed out news release services will not do anything, at finest.

However what I utilize for pillow anchors is outreach and PBNs.

Sure … the theory above about just utilizing your most effective links (like PBNs) for your target anchors makes rational sense … however if I can constantly send out effective or reliable links to my website, even for non-target anchors, I rank with less links and require less pillowing.

Less is more.

This is my position on the matter.

# 2 Nofollow Pillowing

nofollow header

There’s dofollow links and nofollow links.

A dofollow is your typical link with no adjustments. They pass complete link juice.

<< a href=">Diggity Marketing<

Nofollow’s usage the nofollow characteristic and pass minimal juice.

Google motivates usage to utilize them for links that they do not desire us to back with link equity– such as affiliate links.

<< a href="" rel=" nofollow">> Purchase from these D-bags<

If we return to the principle that Google desires all the links that are developed to your website to come in naturally, then what are the possibilities that 100% of links going to your website are dofollow?

Let’s examine …

Here we’re taking a look at the nofollow/dofollow ratios of some approximate websites.

nofollow espn

nofollow wirecutter (Chiang Mai SEO Conference inside joke)

nofollow goatyoga

In between these 3 example websites, they have a nofollow average of about 13%.

Similar to with anchor text, you require to send out a natural ratio of nofollow vs dofollow links to your URLs.

How to Go Away

Identify the Appropriate Nofollow/Dofollow Ratio

Once Again, similar to anchor text, you take a look at the leading 5 ranking URLs in your specific niche, load them up in Ahrefs, search for their nofollow/dofollow ratios, and take the average.

Let’s state for instance you discover that the typical nofollow link portion going to the leading 5 is 8%, then approximately 8% of your links must be nofollow.

What Sort Of Hyperlinks to Utilize for Your Pillow Nofollows

This one is challenging.

Due to the fact that nofollow links generally pass minimal link juice you do not wish to invest a great deal of cash on links for pillow nofollowing.

I have an endless supply of PBNs, so I usually utilize them for nofollows, however I do it in a manner to not lose the link juice, by connecting out two times from the very same post.

The very first link will be a dofollow and will funnel the juice to one page of my cash website. The other will be nofollowed and go to a various page.

Double Linking

In this manner, the link juice is protected as it will continue to stream through the dofollow link.

For those that do not have their own PBN, you require to get a little innovative.

Citations are fantastic for nofollows as lots of directory sites immediately nofollow their links by default. However these are usually just helpful for pillowing your homepage.

You can likewise utilize visitor posts for nofollow pillowing.

When you land a visitor post, pre-negotiate with the website owner to get 2 links positioned in the visitor post, however among them will be nofollowed. Typically, I have actually satisfied little resistance on this and have actually never ever been asked to pay more for that 2nd link.

If you wish to dip into the more cost effective Class C links, online forum links and manual blog site remarks are an alternative (see Charles’ guide for finest practices).

# 3 Image Pillowing

image header

Simply as not all links are dofollow; not all links are textual.

One site can connect to another through images as such …

<< a href=""><> < img src=""><>

Individuals connect through graphics frequently through …

Depending upon the specific niche, the portion of links originating from images can be rather high or rather low.

Below, I utilize Ahrefs to compare the portion of image links pertaining to Star Design Guide vs Ahrefs themselves.

image comparison

Simulate the specific niche’s typical circulation of image vs textual links and you’ll not just look natural, however you’ll get a much better outcome.

How to Go Away

Identify the Appropriate Image vs Text Ratio

I believe you’re beginning to see a pattern by now …

First you reverse engineer your specific niche and after that you mimic.

Easy enough. However where do you get image links from?

What Sort Of Hyperlinks to Utilize for Your Image Pillowing

The fantastic aspect of PBNs is that you can utilize them nevertheless you please. Simply as you might quickly utilize them for nofollows, you can do the very same by connecting through an image.

You can likewise attempt to get link images in your visitor posts, however from experience, this is more inconvenience than its worth.

More frequently that not, web designers are particular about the images that are shown on their website, and frequently strip out your images.

Or … they may not be tech savvy enough to paste in the HTML variation of your post which would have made sure that your image link get positioned.

Option: Pinterest

pinterest logo Regardless of these difficulties, image links are really really simple to make it through Pinterest.

Google acknowledges, honors, and indexes image links on Pinterest quickly.

Simply ensure to get your numerous links put on different “boards” otherwise Google considers them to be originating from the very same source.

Simply as you would not send out lots of links from the very same referring domain without experiencing decreasing returns, the very same uses to sending out links from the very same Pinterest boards.

getting unstuck from page 2 Infographics

Infographics are a great, scalable method to get image links.

There’s a catch however.

Many infographics are hosted on your website on a standalone page installed just to publish that infographic. Like this infographic of mine here.

This page probably isn’t your cash page that you require image pillowing for.

You have 2 choices here:

  • Location that infographic on the cash page in a decreased format. It does not require to use up the complete screen, like mine. Then when you perform your outreach, you would ask your potential customers to connect to your cash page with that image.
  • Send your infographic to infographic directory sites however when you do so, rather of putting the infographic page URL into the submission, put in your cash page. Many infographic submission websites are automated, so they will not discover. Simply ensure to index the link as soon as authorized. They can be a discomfort.

# 4 Inner-Page Pillowing

inner page header

This is a huge one and if you’re a grey hat SEO (i.e.: PBN user) then you require to pay really attention.

This requirement began to come into play in late 2016, however in 2017 it’s obligatory that you take this into factor to consider.

Let’s state that you’re utilizing PBNs to rank.

In 2016, I composed a post called “The Reality about Link Variety” in which I discussed that you might totally utilize PBNs as your main backlink.

This is still real, however in lots of specific niches, PBNs will just get you up until now.

Consider this …

What is the typical page count of a site?

I have no concept, however let’s simply state, for instance’s sake, that its 65.

This implies that 1/65 th or 1.5% of the web is comprised of homepages.

The primary advantage of PBNs is that you can connect from their homepages and therefore use their remarkable link juice.

However does it make good sense that your site has 100% of its links originating from homepages when just 1.5% of the web is comprised of homepages?

When you begin to get more links pertaining to your website, you require to begin pillowing with links originating from inner pages.

How to Go Away

All you Required are Hyperlinks from ANY Inner Pages

home vs inner page

The issue isn’t with PBNs. You can really utilize PBN’s to provide these links from inner pages.

Think about the traffic chart listed below. This is for among my live cash websites that had actually been stuck in the rankings for a long time.

After correct analysis, I recognized that this specific website was a bit late in the video game when it pertained to pillowing with inner page links.

This is something I usually have actually timed extremely well and I discuss this in The Lab, however for some factor, it slipped my attention.

Sadly, this error became an excellent chance for a brand-new experiment.

I chose to utilize PBN inner-pages to provide these pillow links.

Keep in mind that these links supply absolutely no link juice. They’re put on brand name brand-new pages (not posts) that have absolutely no internal or external links going to them.

Nevertheless, traffic and rankings began to climb up due to the fact that the link profile began to look more natural.

inner page pillowing effect on traffic

The issue with using PBNs for inner-page links is that is exceptionally inefficient.

As stated above, PBNs do their magic due to the fact that they provide homepage juice, so if you’re not benefiting from that, you’re paying method excessive for a juiceless-link.

An option would be to utilize a PBN for several inner-page links to several cash websites, however this will quickly produce an outgoing link (OBL) footprint when done at scale.

Online forum and blog site remarks are an alternative here, however inner-page pillowing requires to be carried out in big quantities, and I choose not to send out lots of, if any, Class C links at my website.

So, what do I utilize for inner page pillowing rather?

Outreach: The Very Best Option for Inner-Page Pillowing

Hand’s down, the very best supply of links from inner pages originates from outreach.

Getting links from genuine websites, with genuine traffic is your best choice due to the fact that:

  • It’s really the least expensive “quality” alternative for inner-page links– PBNs run out the concern due to the fact that non-toxic ones are too pricey to utilize simply for inner page links. However outreach, when done right can get links at low expense, from quality. Hence, you ‘d rank with even less links, making the reliable expense decrease significantly.
  • Futureproofing– We have lots of methods to video game the algorithm now, however as artificial intelligence begins to get in the scene more formidably, then our list of allowable websites will boil down ultimately to genuine websites with genuine traffic. Get ahead of the video game.

Now do not get me incorrect, I’m not going white hat.

I’ll use whatever color hat gets me the very best outcome, and what I’m seeing today is that …

A mix of grey hat PBN links for link juice and power plus outreach links for authority, trust and inner-page pillowing is the mix to beat in 2021 and beyond.

Where to Get Outreach Hyperlinks

For those who have an internal group, outreach is best done in-house.

link building

A normal outreach group includes:

  • Link prospectors
  • Material authors
  • Outreacher
  • Task Supervisor

If you can setup this system correctly, you’ll have the ability to have the accuracy and care to have the ability to get hard links, along with conserve cash due to the internal staffing.

For around a year, I designed my internal outreach group around what Ryan Stewart and Ninja Outreach teach (have a look at their module in The Lab).

It works.

Authority Builders Co. (ABC)

abc logo This year I switched to outsourcing my outreach links to another business, generally due to the fact that I had the ability to scale a hell of a lot quicker.

They had the ability to get me as excellent of links (if not much better than I was getting on my own), on websites that were ranking and had traffic. And the expense was right.

I liked this business a lot, I purchased them, ended up being a partner, and we rebranded as Authority Builders.

Examine us out. We’ll position you on websites with a minimum of 1k traffic or more or you’ll get a complete refund.


While the golden days of link building for SEO were just about making yourself look effective and pertinent, today’s age is requesting those things plus validity and naturalness.

That’s where SEO pillowing enters play, however do not restrict yourself to simply anchor pillowing.

These 4 pillow types are what I’m presently dealing with today, however that’s not to state brand-new types will emerge in the coming months.

Feel confident, when I understand, you’ll understand.

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