Web 2.0 sites are a great way to lay down some initial backlinks for your website. They offer a complete control over both context and anchor text for your backlinks. These types of backlinks are free to create but come with some important considerations to ensure longevity and overall power. This article will cover specific considerations that need to be made for building Web 2.0 backlinks as well as walking through the steps of creating some on specific platforms.
Getting Started: Roadmap To Creating Web 2.0 Sites
When creating Web 2.0 websites for backlinks there are several core considerations to keep in mind throughout the process. These considerations will ensure your Web 2.0 links are as powerful as they can possibly be and help safeguard them from being removed from the hosting site down the road. After all, creating a Web 2.0 link isn’t worth the time and effort if a hosting site is going to flag it as spam and remove it! For most of these considerations, there are two distinct perspectives one can approach them with—the perspective of someone creating large numbers of Web 2.0 links and the perspective of someone creating only a few. The process of creating many Web 2.0 websites, often for helping ranking several websites, involves some precautions to avoid being flagged as a spammer. Below are several considerations with a bit of detail on why they’re important when creating Web 2.0 websites.
Note: For those unfamiliar with Web 2.0 links read this article for some quick history
One of the quickest ways to get a Web 2.0 site flagged for removal is by creating lots of them from the same IP address. Platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger.com, Tumblr, and other similar platforms are great ways to host a free blog. Regular people use these sites all the time to create personal blogs or blogs for their businesses. While normal users may end up creating a couple of personal blogs, perhaps they have several different interests, the majority will not create lots of different websites. These platforms help maintain their integrity and quality by ensuring that spammers aren’t able to easily create many Web 2.0 sites. The easiest way for these platforms to flag such activity is by monitoring IP addresses.
Proxies are IP addresses that are registered to other computers that you can use to hide your computer’s digital identity online. Proxies allow users to give their computers a different social security number before going online so that websites don’t know their true identity—not unlike identity theft! Web 2.0 websites such as WordPress.com, as a single example, will monitor the IP address used during the creation of new websites. If you create multiple blogs from the same IP address you will eventually trigger their spam filters and likely get all your blogs removed. From my experience, it’s generally a good idea to limit 5 blogs per IP address to ensure longevity. However, I feel that approaching such use cases with a future-proofing mindset is beneficial and I recommend limiting each site to a single IP address. This might seem impractical at first glance, but services such as BuyProxies.org offer IP proxy services that provide a fresh set of IPs each month. That means, if you have created 100 Web 2.0 links using 100 IPs in January, you can do the same thing in February because you’ll have access to 100 new IP addresses!
Email addresses are required by most all Web 2.0 sites before you can start posting content. This can become burdensome in its own rite—most free email services require annoying levels of authentication these days. I like to use GMX accounts since they’re free and don’t require phone authentication to be used. Sometimes you’ll find that certain Web 2.0 sites don’t allow registrations from certain email addresses. In these cases, I recommend shopping around different free email services until you find one that works. This is one of the ever-changing variables in the equation of successfully creating Web 2.0 websites.
Always be prepared to scramble for a new solution. As a general rule though, use a unique email for the creation of each type of Web 2.0 website. For example, let’s say you’ve just created a new email account—email@example.com—and are preparing to create a WordPress.com, Tumblr, Kinja, Jimdo, Weebly, and LiveJournal Web 2.0 site. You can use this email for all of these websites. The key here is to not create any more websites on these platforms using the firstname.lastname@example.org email address—1 email address per platform.
When creating accounts you’ll find that you’re asked to provide names, addresses, security questions, and maybe even short bios. You should fill these out with unique values for each instance of a platform’s use. That’s to say, you can register with the same information on 5 different Web 2.0 sites but you need to register with new information when you create multiple sites on the same platform. After all, there’s not much point in using a unique IP address and email if you’re using the same street address, bio, and profile pictures!
Quality & Realism
Learn by Doing: Examples of Creating Web 2.0 Websites
The best way to start getting familiar with Web 2.0 sites is to just start creating them yourself. There are more Web 2.0 sites out there than I could ever list so I’ve restricted my examples to those that offer the best overall impact, at least in my experience. Be aware, these sites are constantly changing their interfaces as well as the process for posting. What you see here might not be reflective of the current experience and is meant only to illustrate the basics of the overall process. The first step is to create an email address that you can use for these websites. As mentioned earlier, I like to use GMX right now since it’s free, doesn’t require phone verification, and hasn’t been flagged by many of the popular Web 2.0 platforms yet.
WordPress.com is host to many free personal blogs and affords users their own personal subdomain such as webtwopower.wordpress.com. They also offer many premium plans, including those that allow the use of personalized domains, but we’ll only be using the free plans with branded domains.
Create a Site Name
WordPress has a long list of upsells to get you interested in premium domains. They do this primarily to get you excited about a premium (non .wordpress.com domain) which can only be used with their premium plans. For the type of sites, we’re creating you only ever want to select the free option. I like to create site names with non-numerical characters and no weird stuff like dashes. You’ll find this is easier said than done and many site names have already been registered. You may have to play around with several different name variations before you find one that’s available. As a general rule, three-word combinations are the sweet spot for availability and relevancy. Don’t spend too much time here—just create something semi-relevant sounding. In the screenshot above, I found WebsiteMoneyMadness.wordpress.com to be a suitable name for a site about affiliate marketing.
Select the Free Plan
The WordPress.com platform allows the creation of free accounts, although they are quick to advertise their premium plans first. The Free option used to be where the Personal option is now and my guess is that it may disappear altogether in the future. Web 2.0 sites are as useful as they are, largely, because they’re free. If you can find a free option on any Web 2.0 site then you probably don’t want to use it.
Create Account Info
WordPress will prompt you for your email, password, and username. Enter the newly-created GMX email address and whatever you’ve chosen your password to be. I recommend using the same password that was created for the new GMX email account that was created—just for simplicity. Don’t use the Continue with Google option, or any single sign-on method that may be available in the future. We’re creating unique WordPress accounts here—not leaving footprints by connecting them all to personal accounts is important! The username you choose here WILL NOT be the name of your website—you get to choose that later.
WordPress, as well as many other Web 2.0 sites, will require you to verify the email address used during signup. A WordPress.com website can be created without email verification but the posts can’t be made public without that verification. Find the email they’ve sent and clicked the link inside to activate the new WordPress.com website.
Using All The Features
WordPress.com allows for a greater degree of complexity than most other Web 2.0 websites. You can add your own HTML markup, create new pages, set publish dates, and even control the URL slug of your posts. This is an amazing set of features to create a truly unique and quality website but can be a bit time-consuming. My best advice is to use as many features as seems practical but to not obsess over the quality of choices. For example, I really like to use published date feature to backdate posts (1 per month usually) but don’t pull out your calculators to find some perfect spacing. Use featured images for all your posts but don’t worry if they aren’t 100% relevant to the topic that’s been written on. Doing a Google or Bing image search similar to “your keyword + stock” and setting the image size options to > 4 MP is generally a good way to find free stock images (purchased and used on another website in full resolution). An alternative would be to use sites like Pexels that offer free quality stock photography but I feel that may eventually be used to identify potential spam sites. Best case scenario—Google recognizes the site uses an image that thousands of other websites are using. Web 2.0 sites are free, but they still need to be high quality and original!
Privacy Policies, Contact Pages, and About Us Pages
Other Web 2.0 Sites
As a general rule, if you can pull off creating original content for a WordPress.com site then most other Web 2.0 sites will seem like a breeze. WordPress.com sites allow for a greater number of options than most all other Web 2.0 sites. A good philosophy to operate by is that all Web 2.0 sites should be created to be as close to the quality of WordPress.com Web 2.0 sites. That means, if you’re given the option to add a unique site icon—add it, if you’re given the option to add a profile banner—add one, if you’re given the option to set unique post URL slugs—set them, and if you’re allowed the option to backdate posts—backdate them! Each Web 2.0 site will come with its own unique nuances but, as a general rule, they are all pretty user-friendly. Below are some general thoughts regarding several other Web 2.0 sites that may help better understand how they can be utilized to their fullest potential.
Kinja is a great source of Web 2.0 links and is built on the notion of anonymity. It requires little registration, actually providing you a “burner” account complete with hashed-password, but can still provide the format of blog articles. There’s not much to explain here other than to reiterate the importance of using a unique profile image and fill out whatever information is allowed. Web 2.0 sites have to avoid having their front-end content (articles) flagged by Google as spam but also have to avoid having their backend content (user info) flagged by the hosting platform as spam. That’s why it’s so important to fill out the profiles with unique and quality information.
Minds is a gem of a website that has been around for several years and was designed to function like a self-hosted social network. As far as social network alternatives go we’d file it firmly into the C-class range—having mostly random blog posts from individuals of little public recognition. The content, as a whole, is pretty related to conspiracy theories, news, and alternative energy theories. Nonetheless, you can create a mini-blog website on there that will offer some serious SEO benefit.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably at least heard of Tumblr before. This platform was very popular at one point though its userbase has largely ebbed off in recent years. Many point the finger towards a lack of attention by Yahoo! after acquiring the user-generated content platform awhile back. The basic rules here are to create a site icon, add a site background, and also to do some random reblogs, follows, and likes to create the appearance of an active account. One caveat to note about Tumblr is the ability to register previously-active Tumblr accounts. Buying expired Tumblrs is a great hack to start out with a little extra PageRank!
Original Content & Tiered Linking
Web 2.0 sites have traditionally been host to spun content of a very low and rarely-unique form. In the past, this type of low-quality content was sufficient in providing a positive SEO benefit but is no longer a practical approach in my opinion. To create a Web 2.0 site that will offer SEO benefit you need to create ~2400 words of original content, spread out across 3 different posts (3 x 800-word articles), have them all interlinked, and only have a single article linking out to your website.
Web 2.0 sites offer the benefit of creating a lot of contextual relevancy for websites. In my experience, they help improve existing rankings, help rank for many additional long-tail keyword variations, and can get you on the map for new keywords. I haven’t seen them provide the type of benefit we’d attribute to pushing ranks to the top of page one for competitive keywords but, all things considered, they’re still very powerful when done correctly. One other way to make these types of backlinks more powerful is to create tiered backlinks to support them. That means for every Web 2.0 site you create, you’ll create many backlinks to that site and then create many backlinks to those many backlinks. For an in-depth discussion of this, check out our article on Tiered backlinking strategies and how to implement them.
Web 2.0 sites offer a powerful SEO benefit when done well and hardly zero when done wrong. Creating tons of single-page Web 2.0 sites with single pages with spun content won’t do anything but waste your time. Think of Web 2.0 sites like guest posting opportunities where you don’t have to follow any 3rd party guidelines. The guidelines I follow, which I have seen tremendous success with, have been outlined in this article. Using unique IP addresses, leveraging any available options native to a Web 2.0 platform, creating original and quality content, and posting multiple articles to each account are all ways to not only ensure SEO power but to also improve longevity. There is always a consideration to be made for ROI when it comes to Web 2.0 sites. The thought of creating three quality 800-word articles just for a .wordpress.com website seems crazy to many. For now, I still find they offer more than enough benefit to justify the man hours needed to do them right.