SEO Link Pillowing: The Definitive Guide

In the modern SEO world, getting your site ranked is simply determined by your ability to send as many target anchor link as possible. After you have done this, the next is to relax and enjoy the benefit that comes therein.

Looking through history, you would have experienced ranking websites such as ergonomic chair review sites. How was it ranked?

There are about 30 articles posted on EzineArticles and each pointing to the website with the anchor “best ergonomic chair.”

Obviously, these tactics are outdated in the present SEO world. Currently, the SEO world has witnessed rapid development in the algorithm that is built to detected unnatural patterns. There are new and undiluted approaches to site’s ranking. And one of them is pillowing.

We need to dress up our SEO story to look less unnatural.

You would have seen several cases of unnatural patterns around anchor texts. However, striking a precise balance in the distribution of anchor text isn’t the only method of pillowing you should focus on.

Here, we will be discussing 4 highly overlooked forms of SEO pillowing that you should consider if you really plan to rank in 2019.



Whether you have been utilizing a white, black or grey hat, you need to be more focused while reading this article. Frankly, the algorithm doesn’t seem to care at the end of the day. Although, you might be getting natural links. However, if you can receive unrealistic patterns from the ones you see in this article, you’ll have cross a lot of hurdles to rank.



Generally, anchor text pillowing regarded as the most commonly understood form of pillowing that many intermediate, as well as advanced SEO masters, are quite interested in. But, let’s have a review

The penguin algorithm released the ergonomic chair review website ranking. You would begin to wonder what prompted this release. This is because100% of links going into the site were similar anchor text. Naturally, Google is a search engine platform that desires to help all website rank. They encourage you to provide amazing and captivating SEO content, and links would start coming in like magic.

If 30 different websites are linking to you, what are the chances that all of them are doing so with target anchor text?

However, if some of the naked URLs or “click here,” or maybe the brand name of your domain comes?

Here is a list of classified anchor types. A natural mix of each of them is required in order to look realistic and make it rank.

  • Target Anchors – “best ergonomic chair,” “ergonomic chair reviews.”
  • URLs Anchors –,
  • Brand Anchors – Sitting Straight
  • Topic Anchors – office furniture, solutions to back problems

So, how do you overcome these limitations?

Determine Your Specific Anchor Text Distribution

Now that you are aware that a natural distribution of anchors is required for your website’s URLS. What’s your own definition of the term “natural?”

Instead of a quick guess of the interpretation of the word “natural” in the algorithm dictionary, you can make judicious use of the available data and discover the exact thing that Google has approved on page 1

This can be done by checking the top 5 rankers on the list and try reversing the engineering of their anchor text with tools such as Ahrefs. After that, you need to determine the average and then recreate that same anchor distribution on your own website.

What Kind of Links Can you Use for Your Pillow Anchors?

A “pillow anchor” refers to an industry term used to describe anchor that is different from the target anchor. Examples include URL anchors, brand anchors and so forth. In SEO Link pillowing, you are expected to understand the fact that strongest links should be used for your target anchors. Then, the non-targeted anchors can use lower power links.

But here is a point people make mistakes.

People are often diverted from the primary goal. They tend to be more concerned with making money and eventually, they end up getting poor links for their pillow anchors, and in the long run, they tend to burn their sites.

Here are some lessons from history:

  • Penguin 2.0 saw the end of sites pillowed with automatic tools like GSA and SENuke.
  • Penguin 2.1 was the first time we saw people get hit that were using Web 2.0s for their pillow links, backed by a tier 2 of spam.

In the “always running” Penguin mode of nowadays, many people get their sites tanked at all times with pillow links specifically from fiverr gigs that are promoted through forum profiles and blog comments.

Instead of pillowing with low-quality links that can result in you being penalized, you can stick with Class A and Class B links.

Business directory citations are also significant for URL anchors especially when linking to a homepage. This is also applicable to social media profiles such as Facebook, Reddit, Blogger, Twitter and so forth.

Furthermore, you can get dozens or even hundreds of anchors of your chose to any of your desired pages from Quality press releases. Spammed out press release services won’t do anything, but quality works ones work best.

But what I use for pillow anchors is outreach and PBNs.

Sure, there are lots of logical senses in the theory analyzed above about using the most powerful links for your target anchors. But the case is different based on strategies. Some people can find it very effective by sending powerful or authoritative links to your site, and even for non-targeted anchors. Some can also rank with fewer links that require less pillowing.



In SEO pillowing, there is a difference between do follow links and no follow links. A do follow link refers to your common link that requires no modification. They pass full link juice. 

On the other hand, no follow links utilize the no follow attributes and pass negligible juice. Google encourages SEO experts to use no follow links than the do follow link. Nofollow links are used in cases like affiliate links. 

Now, let’s recall the concept that Google prefers that all the links that are built to your site come in naturally. Then, let’s examine the chances that 100% of the links directing to your site are do follow links.

Here is a brief analysis of the no follow/do follow ratios of some arbitrary sites.

As you can see in the three examples displayed above, the no follow is estimated to an average of 13%. Just like with anchor texts, you are required to redirect a natural ratio of do follow vs no follow links to your URLs.

How to beat it?

Determine the Proper Nofollow/Dofollow Ratio

Whenever you want to determine proper nofollow/dofollow ratio, you just need to apply the same step as with anchor text. Take a look at the top 5 ranking URLs in your niche, load them up using Ahrefs. Then, look up to determine their nofollow/dofollow link and calculate the average.

For instance, the estimated average percentage of no follow link going to the top 5 is 8%. Then, you conclude that roughly 8% of your links should be a no follow.

What Kinds of Links to Use for Your Nofollows

This is quite tricky. This is because you won’t want to invest a lot of money on links for pillowing no follow knowing fully well that the no follows links won’t pass negligible link juice. In such cases, you can make use of your inexhaustible supply of PBNs. But it is advisable to do this without wasting the link juice by linking out at two intervals from the same article.

Typically, the first link will no doubt be a do follow and will funnel the juice to one of the pages of your money site. The other will be nofollowed and will be redirected to a different page.

With this, the link juice is preserved as it would keep flowing all through the do follow link. For those who do not have enough PBN, a little creativity is needed.

Citations are usually great for no follow as numerous directories will no follow their links automatically by default. But these are only great when it comes to pillowing your homepage.

You can also guest posts for no follow pillowing.

Whenever you approach a site owner for a guest post, ensure that you pre-negotiate with them. Ensure that you are able to get two links placed in the guest post. While one will be do follow and the other will be no follow. From experience, you won’t be requested to make any additional payment for the second link.

If you want to delve more into more affordable Class C links, then manual blog comments and forum posts are great options.



Just as not all links are do follow, not all links are also textual. A website can be linked to another through different ways, and one of them is through images. Commonly, people also link through graphics. Other ways of pillowed linking includes:

  • Banner Ads
  • Button Call-to-Actions (CTAs)
  • Infographics Etc

However, depending on your niche, you can experience a high or a low percentage of links from images. In the illustration below, Ahrefs was used to compare the percentage of image links coming from Ahrefs themselves and Celebrity Style Guide.

When you apply the same method in the average distribution vs textual links as seen above, you’ll not only look or feel natural, but you’ll achieve a better result.

So, how to beat it?

Determine the Proper Image vs Text Ratio

Firstly, you have to reverse engineer your niche, and then you imitate. This is quite easy, but you would begin to wonder where to get image links.

What Kinds of Links to Use for Your Image Pillowing

One of the great things about PBNs is their functionality when it comes to image pillowing. Just as they could be used for nofollows, you can also use them while linking through an image. Apart from that, you can also put some efforts into getting links images in your guest posts. However, from experience, you’ll expend more hassle than it actually worth.

Often times, webmasters are quite picky about the images that are displayed on their site, and they sometimes strip out your own images. On the other hand, they might not be tech-savvy enough to the extent of pasting in the HTML version of your article, but they’ll put everything in place to get your image link placed.



Despite the overwhelming challenges, you can easily get image links through Pinterest. Google easily recognizes honours and indexed image links on Pinterest. All you need is to ensure that the links placed on separate “boards” or Google mandate them to be coming from a similar source.


Infographics are also great ways of getting image links. Apparently, most infographics are hosted on your site on specialized pages that will only put up the infographic.

Typically, this page isn’t your money page that you need image pillowing for.

So, there are two alternatives:

  • Place the infographics on the money page in a minimized format. You are not required to make use of the full screen. After this, you can schedule outreach. Your prospect will link to your money page with that infographic.
  • Get your infographic featured with infographics directories. However, instead of leaving the URL of infographics page for submission, fix in the money page. Most of the infographics submission sites are programmed. So, they won’t notice easily. All you need to do is to index the link as soon as it is approved.



This is really a complex one. If you are a grey hat SEO, then you need to be more focused and pay rapt attention.

Consider this……

What is the average page count of the website?

Let’s assume its 65. This implies that about 1/65th or 1.5% of the internet is composed of homepages. The most significant benefit of PBNs is that you can be able to link from their respective homepages and thus, use their superior link juice.

But come to thinks about this. Is it logical to say that your website has 100% of its links coming from homepages while only about 1.5% of the internet is composed of homepages? Whenever you begin to get more links coming to your site, you also need to complement it with pillowing links coming from the other pages of your site.


All that is required are the Links from any of the inner pages.

There isn’t any problem with the PBNs. The PBNs can be very useful in supplying these links from the inner pages.

Here is a traffic graph below. It shows one of the live money sites that has since been stuck in the ranking for a while. After a comprehensive analysis, it was discovered that the particular site began pillowing with inner pages while it was a bit late in the game.

Alas, this mistake opened a new door of opportunities for an entirely new experiment. In the illustration below, the PBN inner pages were used to supply pillow links. However, it is essential to note that these links provide zero link juice. They are featured on brand new pages that have zero only about zero or no internal links attached to them. Nevertheless, the traffics and rankings began to increase because the links started to appear more natural.

The only problem associated with using PBNs for inner page links is that it will later be incredibly wasteful. As It was said earlier, PBNs do the magic because they give link juices to the homepages. So, if you are not benefitting from that, you’re spending remarkably higher just for juiceless links.

Furthermore, there would certainly be an alternative, and that is using PBNs for multiple inner pages in order to multiply the money sites. However, this is expected to create an outbound link (OBL) footprint when done at a particular scale.

So, what can be used for inner page pillowing?

Outreach: The Best Solution for Inner-Page Pillowing

Obviously, the perfect supply link is the ones that come from inner pages generated from outreach. Getting links with real traffic from real sites Is undoubtedly your best bet. This is because:

  • It is the most affordable alternative for inner page links. PBNs are out of context because of the non-toxic ones that are extremely expensive for usage as inner-page links. On the other hand, outreach can get links at a minimal cost especially when done with the right techniques. Thus, you’ll be able to rank higher even with fewer links thereby drastically reducing the effective value.
  • Futureproofing: There are numerous ways to tap into the algorithm, but as the scene continues to witness the advancement in machine learning, it would result in reducing your lists of the permissible website even to the barest real sites with real traffics. Find your way ahead of the game.

Now, get it right, we are not going the white hat. The goal is to get the best result.

A combination of grey hat PBN links for link juice and power plus outreach links for authority, trust and inner-page pillowing is the combination to beat in 2019 and beyond.

Where to Get Outreach Links

For those with an in-house team, outreach can be done best in-house. A typical example consists of

  • Link prospectors
  • Content writers
  • Outreacher
  • Project Manager

If you can successfully set-up the system, you’ll have the edge over precision and also cares more to get difficult links. More so, you’ll save some bucks from in-house staffing.