How to Use Web 2.0 Properties for Free Backlinks

The following post was written by Doug Cunnington. Doug has had some incredible early success with niche sites, and he shares one of his strategies here. This is the very first ever guest post that I have allowed on Dumb Passive Income. Believe me, I would not be publishing it if I didn’t think it provided value for you – my readers. This post does exactly that. This is a complete and comprehensive explanation and guide for how you can use free web 2.0 properties to create backlinks for your niche sites that you have complete control of. Take it away Doug!
Doug blogs at

Do you want more backlinks to your website?

Sure, we all do. Backlinks form the backbone of ranking your website.

PageRank (PR) is based on the backlinks to your website and the authority of the websites that link to your site.

PageRank (PR) does not hold the same weight in ranking a website as it used to. However, it is still very important – after all PR is the first System Feature listed in the introduction to Google by Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page.

If you are in the niche site industry, then you are certainly interested in getting more backlinks. This post presents a classic way to create free links that you own and control.

There are some best practices to keep in mind for 2014 and beyond. For example, you shouldn’t be spinning unreadable content to link to your money sites – It’s not 2012 anymore!

What you will learn:

1. Definition of a Web 2.0 Blog.
2. Advantages of Web 2.0 Blogs.
3. General steps to create a blog.
4. Best practices for content.
5. Best practices for adding backlinks while keeping your footprint small.
6. Some tips to get your blog(s) indexed by Google.

*Disclaimer: One of my money sites took a hit in the rankings and Web 2.0s were part of the link building strategy. However, don’t let that fact discourage you from using Web 2.0 blogs! Services like the HOTH use this type of technique as a main pillar of their link building.*

*I am 99.9% sure that Web 2.0s played NO role in the rankings issue. The site is still ranked on the front page, gets natural traffic everyday, and earns a profit each month. – Doug Cunnington

Web 2.0 Blogs

When I was writing my book, Niche Site Project Management, my wife helped me a lot by proofreading the early drafts. She had no background in internet marketing or niche sites. (Well, she did hear me talk a LOT about the websites but I am pretty sure it sounded like the teacher from the Peanuts cartoons: “Wah Whah Whahhaa…”)

My wife asked about what these “Web 2.0s” were that I kept mentioning in the book. I heard the Web 2.0s mentioned a lot but I couldn’t provide a good definition.

“Web 2.0” was coined around 1999 and signified web sites that were not made up from static HTML pages. The content for Web 2.0 websites allow the users to interact, collaborate, and generate content. Web 2.0 page at Wikipedia.

What is a Web 2.0 Blog?

A Web 2.0 Blog is a blog style website that allows the user to create and post the content to the website. It is really a subset of Web 2.0 properties that caters to bloggers.

Here are some examples:

One of the other characteristics is that the vast majority of Web 2.0 Blogs are free. In fact, I haven’t seen a paid service that I have considered using.

There are countless other free blogs out there. I stick to the big root domains. That is just a personal preference. Feel free to check out others that have quality blogs.

Why are these blogs good for link building?

First, these blogs allow you to create, own, and control your backlinks. This is huge.

There may be a time when you need to alter the anchor text for your backlinks because of a Google algorithm update. Maybe you need to move to a new domain because you wish to expand your niche website to an authority website so you will want to alter the backlinks.

If you don’t own the backlinks, then you need to contact the webmaster to request for changes to be made. That is at least one extra step and you have to count on the other webmaster to follow through on the request.

Second, the backlinks can target specific anchor text, tailor made for you backlink profile. Yes, this is kind of related to the first point but it is worth breaking out as a separate benefit. For example, in 2014 it might be very smart to use the naked URL for your domain or the brand name of your website for these links.

Third, these backlinks are FREE. There are a lot of places that you can get backlinks by paying. It can get very expensive so anytime you can reduce your costs, it is a good thing. In most cases, the savings goes straight to the bottom line. (Saving $30 per month on links is just like making an additional $30 per month.)

The Steps to Create a Blog

  1. Create a free email account to use for the accounts. I create a brand new email address to use for a set of Web 2.0 Blogs.
    I haven’t heard of someone getting their email address blacklisted for a free blog but I would like to keep my personal and business emails out of the profiles. Head over to gmail, yahoo mail, aol, or outlook for a free email account. It just takes a few minutes. I have no issue using one email address for several of these blog accounts.
  2. Create a new blog on your target platform (tumbler/wordpress/ blogger). The process is pretty straight forward for all the blogging platforms.
    You enter your email address and a password. Typically, you will need to confirm your email address by clicking a confirmation link.
  3. Name the blog something natural. Don’t target the niche with keywords in the url (in the subdomain).
    Adding your keywords in the title/subdomain is not a deal breaker but it seems more spammy than a legitimate blog. A more generic blog title can potentially be used for several of your money sites.
  4. Fill out all the account profile information. This makes the whole site seem more authentic. Fill out every field and try to create an online persona that seems real.
    You might have the opportunity to add a backlink to your money website in the profile. If so, then do it.
  5. Add 3 posts but don’t link to your site yet. More posts are better… The quality of the content should be dictated by the quality of your money website.
    So, if you are trying to build a long term, brandable website, the content on your Web 2.0 site should be of a similar quality. In 2014, it’s poor form to use spun content to link directly to your money site.
    Spun content was passable before and it might still provide some link juice but the shelf life will most likely be shorter.
    As a reference, Level 3 quality from Text Broker is sufficient and acceptable.
  6. Be sure to add pictures and videos from Youtube. These will add more authenticity to the blog. Don’t just use a google image search and risk a copyright issue. I like to use for free and royalty free images. flickr’s creative commons is another source I like to use, although, you do need to provide attribution by linking back to the flickr profile.
    Uniquely naming the image files is a great touch and you can use keywords in the filename, alt text, and description to add niche relevancy. You can embed videos from youtube if the user allow’s it. This is a great way to help google associate a keyword or topic to your blog.
  7. Each post should link to 2 – 4 authority websites that are not direct competitors, like Wikipedia, CNN, or other news sites.
    These kind of links help google understand what keywords or topics the blog is about. It also puts your website in good company with very high authority websites. Don’t link to your money site yet…
  8. Wait about a week. There is a period where your site could be marked as spam. By not linking to your money site, a manual review of your new blog will yield no red flags for spam.
  9. Now that you have waited about a week, add 1 – 2 backlinks to your money site in 1 – 2 articles. The backlinks should be natural and relevant to the article or post.
    Use your naked url, like “” or “” for these links. Save the exact match keyword anchor text for your strongest, highest authority backlinks, like from a PBN.
  10. Some of the backlinks should point to the main page and other links should point to specific posts. The variety is good and appears natural.
    If you research the backlink profile of a popular blog or website, you will most likely find most of the links pointing to a specific post or page.
  11. You can do a small amount of authentic blog commenting to help get your site indexed. This is a low risk way to get your blog indexed. Niche relevancy isn’t very important here, but if you can find a relevant website to comment on go for it.
    A slightly riskier way to get your site indexed would be to get a highly rated gig from fiverr to point to your new blog (NOT your money site). The risk is low since the link is not to your money site.
  12. Repeat for the other Free Web 2.0 blogging platforms.


Overall the process is simple.

  • Create a blog for free.
  • Make it look real and authentic.
  • Add some original content and link to authority websites.
  • Add links to your money website using naked URLs or some other generic anchor text.
  • Keep creating blogs until you are satisfied.

I would recommend a minimum of 3 Web 2.0 blogs and the maximum is limited by your time. The number of blogs you need is dependent on the competitiveness of your niche.

It’s really up to you. Most likely, you’ll see benefits by adding more blogs over time.

It is really important to keep the blogs and backlinks very organized. So, keep track of the blogs you create, the username, password, anchor text, and target URL. That way if you ever need to make an update, you can simply log in and make the needed change. Yes, it can be a bit of a pain to keep track of all the data. However, it will be a huge time saver if you find that you need to make changes to any of the backlinks. It will be even more valuable if you find that the links are very helpful and you want to use the blogs for more links in the future.

Advanced Indexing Technique

One advanced way to add authority to your Web 2.0 blogs while encouraging them to be indexed is to acquire high authority backlinks to them.

For example, you could find one of the several (*semi*-) Private Blog Networks (PBN) and purchase some links from there. (I am calling the PBNs “semi” private since they are sold to the public.) You would be able to build the authority of your Web 2.0 blogs to pass more link juice to your money sites.

Essentially, you would be building a PBN of your own with free blogs. You could utilize the blogs for multiple projects. The added benefit is that your money site is one layer further away from the semi-PBN.

As a THANK YOU to Matt and his readers here at Dumb Passive Income, I’ve created a free worksheet that outlines the process of creating Web 2.0 blogs and helps you keep track of all the critical information. Head over to to access this FREE worksheet.

Sound like too much work? Rather pay somebody else to do this?

Consider one of the top services available – The HOTH – to build out tons of these types of links for you.


Thanks Doug for providing this excellent resource for the readers of Dumb Passive Income. I’ve personally dabbled with this strategy myself in the past, but certainly did not put enough time into it to do it right. After reading your post, I want to give it another shot to try to boost the rankings for some of my sites that aren’t ranking well yet. The beauty of this strategy that I foresee is the fact that it is so simple and would be really easy to outsource to a Virtual Assistant. I would only need to provide the content with links in place and then have a VA refer to THIS POST in order to create these properties for me! Can’t wait to give it a shot.

Readers: Make sure you check out some of the links within this post that lead over to Doug’s Niche Site Project site. I’ve been following his blog ever since he started it and he provides a ton of value and great information about niche sites. He’s had successes and failures, ups and downs – just like the rest of us who are creating niche websites. And he shares everything on his blog, just like I do here on mine.

Remember that there are several dumb ways to create passive income online, but only one site that is blogging about it! Dumb Passive Income… dot com.


Dumb Passive Income
Dumb Passive Income
The Dumb Passive Income blog... all things passive income or related to passive income or very loosely (can be) somewhat tied to passive income.
Dumb Passive Income
Dumb Passive Income
The Dumb Passive Income blog... all things passive income or related to passive income or very loosely (can be) somewhat tied to passive income.

87 thoughts on “How to Use Web 2.0 Properties for Free Backlinks”

  1. Wow that was awesome guys, I really enjoyed the post! I know some people are doing the same thing to rank Google Hangouts very quickly —–) with a similar structure.
    Do you guys know of any services that will do this for you for short money? Seems as though it would be pretty cheap to outsource assuming you maintain quality content standards……

  2. Doug, should the articles for these Web 2.0 blogs be related to your niche or more look like a blog from somebody, who just likes to write about EVERYTHING? And then you would just sneak in 1-2 articles more related to your money site’s niche with a backlink. Just making sure I’m following.

  3. Hey Scott – Thank you.

    There are several services…quality varies a lot. As you you know, I like the HOTH. It’s basic but they take care of a lot of the leg work. You get the login in so you can update the content and add more if you want.

  4. Hi Peter, I haven’t used article builder before…so I don’t have first hand experience.

    If you use lower quality content, then I would mix in some higher quality, hand written content too. It would be a good way to speed things up but still save some time.

    Does that help?

  5. Hi Daniel – I would suggest making the blog look natural, not directly related to you niche. The key is to make it look reasonably natural. And, yes, you can sneak in the niche specific articles to add your backlinks.

  6. Excellent write up Doug! It’s not only easy to follow but also very encouraging. I want to give it a try.

    Do you think that using one email address for all is okay? I’d think that you’d almost want a unique one for each new 2.0 property that you use.

    What kind of increase in search engine results have you noticed using this technique?

  7. Hey MMD – I think one email address is okay. If you had the time to use more addresses, that would be best and reduce the footprint even more.

    I think you can get a fiverr gig for a lot of emails accounts that are already created.

    I haven’t used web 2.0s exclusively so I can’t comment on that. I’ve always used these kind of blogs as a piece of the link building strategy. I would expect that a brand new blog will not have much authority to provide much link juice.

  8. The HOTH is a link building service. It is not like fiverr at all.

    I’ve been really happy with their service so far on two sites. I know several other people that use them too…people I trust.

    They have a video so check it out:

    That is Matt’s affiliate link… 🙂 I assume Matt would tell you to check it out too.

  9. wow nice one Doug,
    and free royalty images source are very useful in getting away with copyright…

  10. I’ve used the Hoth as well Scott. I am very impressed with how they deliver their service. I wouldn’t count on this type of service or even these types of web 2.0 backlinks though to get amazing results. They aren’t really powerful links. But they are worth something and they add diversity to the types of links pointing to your site. They certainly don’t hurt. Think of these as just a percentage of your overall link building strategy.

  11. Personally, I would use a different email address for each one. Who knows what Google can see “behind the scenes.” If they see a bunch of free blogs registered with the same e-mail address and all pointing to the same site – that could raise some flags. Could just be me being paranoid, but I’d rather play it safe than sorry. I would suggest starting a spreadsheet or writing down all the login info by hand somewhere to keep track of it all.

  12. Interesting post Doug,
    I use to think that web2.0 backlinks are no longer valid but, you just cleared my doubts. Like Matt said, having a different email for each site to avoid footprints.
    Again, using free royalty images are very important to also avoid copyright issues. I use freedigitalphotos (dot) net and they have lots of awesome images too.
    Thanks for sharing and you both have a great weekend.

  13. Theodore – you may have been right about Web 2.0’s the way that some people were using them (myself included). But the way Doug explains how to build these out makes perfect sense and I really don’t see a down side. Hope you have a great weekend as well.

  14. Thanks for sharing with us Matthew. I am also familiar with the web 2.0 but I do also know that It is not as good as it was used to be in the past.
    I know some techniques that can help you pass Google’s check but you never know.
    I think the new web 2.0 properties will be social networks. Build real followers, likes, subscribers and whatever the social network wants from you. This is of course my opinion and where I am going to focus.

  15. You might be right about the value of building a social following StefanDo, except that most niche site builders probably won’t take the time to do that for a niche site. We tend to try to create “set it and forget it” type sites. Getting a few free Web 2.0 links fits this model perfectly. Sure, they don’t have as much value. But they still help you diversify your backlink profile a little bit.

    Building a social following for something like a blog or a site you plan to stay active on makes perfect sense, and I agree with you 100% on that.

  16. Thanks Matt and Doug.

    I will probably not use this on my main site but will certainly use this for future projects that i am less invested in personally.

    I may even try and find some expired web 2.0 profiles if i can find some time

    keep up the good work guys

  17. Good plan Tom. I would never build links either to a more personal site either, such as this blog. Only to sites that I am primarily trying to attract Google traffic. Building an audience and a brand is more important for sites like yours. This Web 2.0 thing is just a nifty way to get more backlinks.

  18. Thanks Doug, for sharing useful information about web 2.0 properties. It really works well to improve ranking.
    Keep it up sharing new ideas.

  19. thanks much for this post. I honestly been seeing this Web 2.0 over and over the net without understanding it 🙂 very informative. I’m excited to do it your way too. =) would let you know. 😀 will be subscribing too yehey!

  20. First time here and like the advice not to add your links too soon.. Thanks, will use this for all our clients.

  21. It is really a heavenly post for a beginner of Internet Marketing like me. I have a very basic question, if anybody can answer me then please do respond asap. That when I start creating an off-site blog using let say, so it asks me to choose a Profile wither Google+ or Blogger profile. My client says that you use our company name in Profile or Author’s bio. So would it sound natural if I create web 2.0 blogs with that company’s name? Does it have any impact on further aspects. Or should I use my own name while creating Profiles on Web 2.0 platforms. Please answer me asap.

  22. Nudrat – if you are creating these web 2.0’s just for backlinks to a company site, I would not use their name or your name in the profile. Use made up names. Create fake accounts using fake email addresses. Produce relevant content and link to the company website from within that content. If a company has their own stand-alone website, there would be no reason for them to create a bunch of free sites on free web 2.0 platforms. It wouldn’t look natural.

  23. Thanks Matthew for such a helpful response. Can you also please guide me that can I proceed with one email address for all web 2.0 platforms? Like I have one gmail account solely for this purpose, may I use only that id for all off-site blogs for the same link building purpose, or it is really important to use one email id for one platform?

  24. If your purpose is to create links back to a company site – they you’ll want to create and use separate emails and accounts for each. The purpose is to make it appear natural and make it look like a bunch of different people/sites are linking back to the company site. Google will know if you use one account/email address to create lots of profiles and link back to the same site.

    Although – it might be okay to use one email address on more than one platform. For example, use it on and and create sites that link back to your site. But don’t use the same address for every single one. That would look suspicious.

  25. Great advice! How do you feel about building GSA or SEnuke links to your Web 2.0s a couple weeks after they go live? The subdomains can take a lot of trash links without getting deindexed or deleted and it passes more “good juice” to your money site.
    The Web 2.0s should be quality tier 1 links, and then you can use spun content for the tier 2 links, and then create some spam tier 3 ones. Do you think this strategy could be successful long term or not? I’m currently in the process of building quality 2.0s to some of my money sites and so far the GSA blasts helped both of their rankings, but I don’t know if it will help long term or not.

  26. I honestly don’t know the answer to that. Building tiered links to 2.0’s is way too time consuming and complex for me. This is why I trust The Hoth to do all that for me. Hoth tiered links are very similar to what you described and I haven’t seen any negative effects yet.

  27. Matthew, Can you please guide me as I have created Web 2.0 properties for my target site’s link building purpose, but my those off-site blogs means Web 2.0 properties are still not getting indexed in search engines. Since I am a very beginner in this field so i am facing many problems as I am dealing with an e-commerce website and e’m really confused how to handle Web 2.0 properties for link buidling purpose. Your guidance in this regard would really a great source for me to sort out my issues. Ho9w to carry out this link building technique, and how to get my website to a proper rank through this?

  28. I’ve given all the help I can on this topic Nudrat. Remember, I am no expert at this. I didn’t even write this blog post – it was a guest post written by Doug Cunnington for my site. I’ve explained what I know to the best of my understanding in previous comments. I’ve only built a few of these sites manually myself and didn’t have much luck with them. I rely on The Hoth to build these types of links for me.

  29. Not sure what you mean Scott. 2 posts on your money site or 2 posts on your web 2.0 site?

    Keep in mind, this tutorial is over a year old. These types of links probably won’t hurt you at all – and at the same time, they don’t really do much good anymore either. I would be surprised if you saw any rankings increase as a result of building web 2.0 links. But they do add nice diversity to your backlink portfolio.

  30. Sir, You means that web 2.0 doesn’t give enough juice to our site now. If yes then what method should we use

  31. That’s right Mudasir. Web 2.0’s really don’t add very much juice. Other methods include getting links from other real sites (reach out to the site owners), building a private blog network (PBN) using high-powered expired domains, or buying high authority links from services like The Hoth.

  32. Hi Matt Nice in the article it is mention not to put your money site url for a week as not to look as a wordpress is also a web 2.0 blog..& there is a software called article buddy pro through which we can get unique article which also post your articles to wordpress blog within can we use this to create as many as web 2.0 blogs…Pls reply

  33. Sunny – I have no experience with article buddy pro. So I can’t really comment. If it’s some sort of automated article generator, I would stay away. I only use unique content, written by a human, for all of my sites. I honestly wouldn’t waste too much time these days on building out Web 2.0’s. This strategy worked somewhat well in the past. But links from these types of sites pass barely any link juice.

    Good Day!

    Matthew Allen
    Dumb Passive Income

  34. Thanks for sharing this information with us. I have an unused 6-month old Domain. How about installing WordPress on it and follow the procedure you have mentioned.

  35. Yeah – that would be fine. In fact, that would be even better than using a web 2.0 property. Just make sure your domain isn’t de-indexed by Google if you plan on using it for backlinking purposes.

  36. This article was published almost 2 years ago. I personally wouldn’t use this strategy anymore. I don’t think it’s very effective anymore. I also would never publish any spun content anywhere on the web for any reason. The only way to “get” content is to write it yourself or have somebody else write original content for you.

  37. You typically don’t have control of the IP address for the types of Web 2.0 properites discussed in this post. Use different services for each and you will get different IP’s.

  38. Create and publish great content on your site that is share worthy. Do outreach to sites that have content published on the same (or a similar) topic and ask them to share your content and/or link to it from their page.

  39. Useful article ! BTW , if your business is requiring to merge two PDF files , my business ran across announcement here

  40. Hi Matthew, thanks for clarifying about web 2.0s. It seems to be very popular amongst SEO’s. My qeustion is, how do you know if a Web 2.0 is indexable or not, I think someone should be testing which web 2.0s are indexable and which allow direct links or not. Maybe I’ll do these tests sometime in the next future.

  41. I honestly don’t know Yasser. I don’t build my own web 2.0’s. When/if I do use them for link building purposes – I pay The Hoth to build out these types of sites for me. Also… this was a guest post published on my blog over 3 years ago! Link building tactics and SEO in general have changed a bit since then…

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