Dominate More Rankings With Effective Online Site Hubs

First of all let me apologise for the lack of activity on here recently, life is pretty busy at the moment and despite having lots to say the blog has had to take a back seat, however over the last month a lot has happened in the world of search, therefore lots to talk about.

One thing we have been noticing recently is how effective hubs are at generating rankings for core keywords, hubs have always been used to increase relevance but very recently they seem to have been given a little more weight.

What Do I Mean By a Hub?

At one point in the not so distant past if you wanted to rank you would create a well optimised landing page and link build to it. Depending on how competitive the term was you could probably get a top 5 ranking within a few month.

A hub is creating the landing page but also creating 5 – 10 relevant pages linked to from the landing page all using variations of the main term. Creating hubs on your site needs to be a priority at the moment as sites that do it are benefiting from higher rankings and more traffic.


If you wanted to target the keyword ‘dog clippers’ fly over to the Google keyword tool and see what kind of hubs you can create:

dog keywords

In terms of structure it might look something like this;

dog clippers hub structure

You can create multiple hubs on your domain targeting any areas relevant to your niche.

Where to Target Links

Around a year ago when you only had one landing page you would have built links into the one page with variations of the keywords, however I personally feel the best way to link build is by targeting all pages within the hub with the most relevant anchor text to that particular page.

How Could This Work On An E Commerce Site?

E Commerce sites tend to have thousands of products under one category, do they really need to link build to thousands of pages?

Of course not, it wouldn’t be scalable, however you could break some of your main categories into sub categories and link build that way, just how I have set out above.

Creating more variation in your on page optimisation as well as the anchor text will produce better results across the full keyword range and assist in increasing relevant traffic.




is the CEO of Branded3 a Search Marketing Agency in the UK. Tim has over a decade of experience in Search and regularly speaks at key events and conferences.

20 thoughts on “Dominate More Rankings With Effective Online Site Hubs

  1. Cool post, at the start I thought you meant building link wheels, ie second teir links but I get what you mean.

    Im thinking though that this probably makes link graph analysis of your competitors a lot harder, ie you cant just plugin the homepage look at how many unique linking domains there are and work it out from that. Do you know any link analysis tools that could look at all the “hubs” on a site and give you the real picture?

    Thanks Paul

  2. Tim, thanks a lot for another article. One question I have though is do I link back to the main hub from every page linked from the hub and if so with same anchor? Thanks 🙂

  3. Hello Tim,

    This seems fairly straightforward but would you advocate cross linking between the internal pages or alternatively would you suggest posting the pages within silos?

    Thank you


  4. Thanks Tim, that’s very interesting. I’d never thought of using the ideas of hubs before, makes logical sense though

  5. Hi Tim,
    I agree the last few months have been very eventful in the world of search. I personally have been working on finishing up an eBook that I am writing and have also spent quite a bit of time discussing SEO. I think its quite obvious that google is going to continue to put more weight on social signals since they launched the google plus network. Luckily I have already been targeting hubs for a while now, so my sites should only benefit.


  6. Hi Paul,

    You’re spot on it does make it difficult to analyse as we have found out in some of our recent competitor analysis. There isn’t a tool the analyses a hub, the best way to do competitor analysis now is by finding out the top 5 pages on a site relating to a particular term and pull the links into excel from open site explorer or another link tool. As anchor text is now judged on a domain level rather than a page it’s always a good idea to look at the bigger picture.

  7. Yes each sub category with in the hub should link back up to the main page with the target anchor text, this is the best way to structure any part of your site as ensures high indexation.

  8. Hi Colin,

    I’d definitely interlink any relevant pages, the more widely a page is linked to the more important Google considers it.

  9. Hi Aaron,

    It certainly has and yes social signals are going to become a stronger signal, however I think it will be slow process, still a lot of social spam flying around, Google need to figure this out before giving too much weight, maybe it will simply contribute to their freshness algorithm and give only short term spikes.

  10. Hi Tim

    Talking about social signals and a lot of social spam flying around,i think google has taken a step by introducing “google plus”. As it is a google property they will be in better position to control the social spam.

  11. Hey Tim,

    are you saying that you have stopped varying the anchor text to the individual pages, because that is no longer needed as Google sees the link text from a “total site” view?


  12. Hi Mikael,

    You’re right to raise the point. I still like to vary anchor text to a particular page, if only to keep the site from tripping filters, however I firmly believe Google now views anchor text from a domain perspective rather than a page one. I also think internal anchor text holds much more weight. For example, if you have hundreds of ‘seo’ anchor text to your home page but internally you have an SEO page and all the internal anchor text point to it saying ‘seo’ then this page will rank even if it has zero backlinks.

    So still vary anchor text but think of it on a domain level rather than a page

  13. Interesting. Would you also say that you would prefer having all the external links pointing to the homepage (instead of the individual page), since the individual page would rank anyway based on the internal link structure or would you still build links to the individual pages and if so, why?


  14. Hi Mikael,

    I would still build links to a range of internal pages, however as I said in the post I would focus more on building links into the hub pages rather than just one page.

    I don’t think this necessarily changes the way I would place links but it would certainly make me think twice about link bombing a particular page with anchor text rich links,.

  15. This is very much what we have been doing over time with our website seo in the last few months. At one time, we did a lot of our keyword targetting from purely the home page. In the last few weeks though we have been making / developing more niche web pages to do just this and the results so far have been encouraging for sure!

  16. I am still a bit confused. I understand what you mean in a literal sense, but could you provide some real world examples of this in practice so I can take a look at the structure?


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