The following link building  tip may or may not sit well with all SEOs, and when deciding on a link building strategy  that will suit your business, it's important to weight all the pros and cons before making a choice. Now, with that said, let's talk a little about tiered link building.
Tiered link building allows you to drive some extra juice to your quality links and keep the more aggressive link building tactics aimed at buffers in between the more questionable links and your website. The below is a very quick overview of what this may look like.
Getting Quality Links
Quality links in the above diagram are those you are proud of. They are the kids in the frame on your living room wall, with happy faces having just graduated from college. There are a number of ways to get quality links:
1) Create Great Content: You can create market-relevant content for a target group of users, and even with limited time you can still attract links with content .
2) Guest Blog Posts: This is perhaps one of the easiest way of acquiring quality links. It can be difficult to scale, but one suggestion would be to look for bloggers who are willing to a) look for guest blogging opportunities and b) write the actual content. You can arm them with a list of queries relevant to find these opportunities, for example:
- “Submit a guest post” / “Submit post” / “Submit blog post”
- “Add blog post”
- “Submit an article”
- “Suggest a guest post”
- “Send a guest post”
- “Write for us”
- “Become an author”
- “Guest bloggers wanted”
- “Contribute to our site”
- “Become a contributor”
- “Become guest writer”
- “(Write for our) guest column”
There are dozens more commands that can be used for this. If you are lucky enough to have a tool like Ontolo , it can do all the work for you.
3) Articles / Web2.0 Sites: No doubt the Google farmer/panda  update has caused big issues for article and web 2.0 sites. But if you create quality content on sites like Squidoo, Tumblr, and EzineArticles, it can still lead to quality links that can act as buffers. The important words here are “quality content.”
4) Satellite Sites: Buying aged domains  and rebuilding them with content relevant to your market is definitely something that can help you rank for competitive keywords. Just ensure you choose a domain that has some relevance to the space you are in (by checking on Archive.org to see what content the site used to have).
Boosting Your Links
There are a number of ways to build link layers to boost your quality links:
1) Social Forum Profiles: Obviously something that a lot of people will not agree with, but creating hundreds or thousands of social profile links can help boost your quality links. This can be done extremely cheaply; just look over on the WarriorForum  and there are dozens of people offering these services.
2) Article Spinning: Not something that fared too well during the recent Google update, but sites like ArticleRanks allow you to spin an article and distribute across a wide range of article sites and blogs. All of these are extremely low-value, but can create thousands of links. WordStream no longers recommends this strategy as it is against Google policy (duplicate content) and can heavily penalize your website.
3) Blog Networks: This is something Google must despise, but networks like LinkVana, SEONitro and BuildMyRank allow you to distribute posts across their own private network. WordStream no longers recommends this strategy as it is against Google policy (link networks) and can heavily penalize your website.
4) Auto Social Factors: There are a lot of services like Synnd that will auto-tweet, bookmark and like your content. Again, this can be a means of getting a little extra juice to your quality links (although, I would see this as something that may be at layer 3 of your tiered pyramid).
The above is a quick overview of how tiered link building can be used to boost your quality links and ensure you are getting the max juice from them.
Kieran Flanagan is a European SEO manager with a large international company. Kieran offers SEO services at Searchbrat.com . He also builds affiliate sites in competitive markets.