Manual link building is a set of techniques that an SEO department uses to get high-quality backlinks and improve a site's ranking. In manual link building, auxiliary tools and software can be utilized to construct custom link acquisition processes.
Even though some manual link building tactics are highly scalable, they cannot be completely automated.
Compared to other link-building methods, manual link building, though more time-consuming, is more efficient in the long run. Thus, creating quality manual backlinks is crucial for successful website promotion.
The work on manual link building is typically carried out by the SEO department, which includes an SEO specialist, a link builder, and, in some cases, hybrid roles depending on the strategy. Also, a marketer supervises the results of the SEO department's initiatives.
Unlike automated link building (hereinafter also "ALB"), which implies using various software tools, manual link building’s primary goal is to manually acquire the most powerful and effective links which is always achieved through creative approaches.
The main investments go into the team, with careful selection and training being crucial. And it works!
After all, Google favors quality backlinks, and we are sure that manual link building services will not lose their relevance anytime soon.
I've learned there's no need to avoid the complexities of manual link building. While acquiring high-quality links can't be completely automated, you can outsource this task to freelancers or agencies specializing in professional link building services.
On the other hand, ALB typically involves building links from forum profiles, public bulletin boards, and large sites like Reddit or Quora. These types of links are characterized by their general accessibility and are often used in broader LB strategies.
Below are a couple of examples of such links:
One more example
There are numerous examples to illustrate ALB which often involves links from link farms and practices associated with black hat SEO. The latter stands in stark contrast to white hat SEO strategies and can adversely affect your search engine rankings.
Manual link building gives you complete control over how and where links are built, as well as who gets credit for them.
Terms to know:
Key Principles of effective LB are as follows:
Link building is one of the two key steps in the SEO optimization of a website and is usually done after the site is created and prepared for further promotion in Google.
Placing links on an unoptimized or empty site is pointless.
Valuable links should be directed to high-quality content on a well-optimized site that can compete with those already occupying the top positions on the search engine results page.
“Links still matter. Traffic and ranking keywords were down after I disavowed the links and up after I removed the disavow file.” - Patrick Stox, Ahrefs.
Based on a study conducted by Ahrefs, it's evident that links play a crucial role in the ranking of web pages. The study involved disavowing links to certain pages and observing the impact.
The immediate effect was a significant drop in traffic and rankings, confirming the importance of links in SEO. This experiment demonstrates that links are essential for maintaining and improving a website's search engine rankings.
Removing links to the pages triggered a noticeable decrease in organic traffic. This decline continued as more linked pages were crawled by search engines.
However, when the disavow file was removed, restoring the links, there was an immediate increase in traffic.
This suggests that valuable links, especially those from high PageRank pages crawled frequently, have a substantial impact on a site's visibility and traffic.
All in all, without links, web pages struggle to compete effectively in search rankings. Quality backlinks from authoritative sources not only boost a page’s ranking but also enhance its visibility, making it more likely to be found by users.
Focusing on acquiring relevant and high-quality links, manual link building strategies remain a vital component of any effective SEO strategy and involves the following processes:
All these processes can help strengthen your manual link building efforts.
So high-quality links are essential for successful SEO. But what makes a link good? Here are some key features:
Additionally, it would be beneficial if:
Such links help generate traffic faster and enhance how users perceive your website.
Manual link building requires a significant investment of time and is quite a meticulous process. So if you have limited resources, you risk getting snowed under it.
However, you can turn to a professional link building agency that provides exceptional manual link building services.
Developing a manual link building strategy enables the use of affordable methods to initially boost traffic and profits, followed by advanced, costlier methods for further growth. Its success is anchored in a robust SEO strategy and thorough on-page optimization.
So, instead of endlessly sending requests for links, you can build them naturally, giving preference to white-hat SEO instead of black-hat SEO. In the end, you will know it’s a valuable investment.
Using automated software for link building is akin to delegating your relationship-building to a machine. It might seem like a time-saver but often results in a random and unpredictable assortment of links.
In contrast to manual link building, where you choose your link partners yourself, ALB means letting a computer system handle it all for you. This results in losing control over where your links end up and how they look.
Moreover, Google often views such automated tactics unfavorably, as they tend to exude a sense of spam and artificiality. An excessive presence of such links on your site can lead to penalties from Google.
That’s why you need patience and meticulousness. Don’t look for a shortcut - bots are better left to sci-fi movies.
🚨 By managing your link-building efforts personally or delegating the entire process to us at the Editorial.Link agency, you can earn Google's approval.
A Google Penalty is a sanction applied by the search engine to a website that breaks its guidelines, like having unnatural backlinks. Such penalties often result in lowered search rankings and other adverse effects on the site.
Google champions fair play and rewards sites that follow its ethical and optimized guidelines. To avoid losing traffic, credibility, and PageRank, it's crucial to stay updated with and adhere to these guidelines.
📌 Note: PageRank (PR) gauges a web page's importance or authority, determined by both the quantity and quality of links directed towards it. A page's value increases with links from other sites, especially if those sites have high authority.
Remember that Google favors manual links that are contextually relevant, of high quality, and pertinent to your content. Thus, steer clear of automated link-building to avoid potential setbacks and maintain your site's integrity.
Unless your goal is to quickly accumulate low-quality backlinks, stay away from automated link building. Choosing this path poses a risk of potentially negating all your efforts in improving your site and hurt its search engine rankings.
Moreover, ALB can seriously harm the reputation of your business, especially if you run a small business. There's a chance that your link could end up on unreliable sites or become part of spam.
Here's an example of a spam link found in blog comments:
Although both the website and article are on different topics:
However, we can observe numerous links related to spam topics. The outcomes from such sites can be seen in the screenshots provided below:
Below is another site example, with 3.8K of referring domains but zero traffic:
One more example:
On the other hand, manual link building, though more labor-intensive, is a safer and more reliable practice compared to its automated counterpart. This is particularly true for beginners in this field.
With manual link building, you can build links efficiently and positively impact your site's promotion.
Furthermore, by building relevant and high-quality links manually, you are more likely to improve your chances of getting your site (especially if new) noticed and approved by search engines, thereby achieving higher positions on the search engine results page.
Therefore, when deciding between automation and manual effort, focus on the long-term benefits of quality link building and choose manual link building services.
Establish connections with relevant and authoritative websites, and engage in mutually beneficial activities like social media interaction or insightful commenting to earn backlinks. Maintaining a friendly and patient attitude is crucial in nurturing professional relationships.
Here’s how Hunter.io uses this technique:
The results achieved:
Offer to write positive reviews on platforms like Trustpilot or Yelp for businesses, and in exchange, request a backlink to your site. This method helps in forming business connections and acquiring relevant backlinks, often leading to reciprocal benefits.
Guest blogging involves crafting articles for other reputable websites and embedding manual links to your site. Target relevant websites that create high-quality content, ensuring your contributions establish your expertise and enhance your brand's visibility.
Partner with social media influencers to amplify your brand's reach and engagement. Find influencers that resonate with your brand values and negotiate collaborations, often involving manual link placements in their content.
This link building strategy involves finding mentions of your brand on other websites that don’t include a link and reaching out to request they add one. It's an effective way to convert existing brand recognition into valuable backlinks.
Identify popular content in your niche, create a superior version, and then reach out to sites linking to the original content to replace it with yours. This method leverages the existing demand for certain content topics.
Search for broken links on relevant websites and offer your own content as a replacement. This link building strategy helps website owners fix their site while providing you with a valuable backlink.
This involves creating newsworthy stories and content about your brand and pitching them to media outlets and journalists for coverage, often resulting in high-quality backlinks.
Use the Help a Reporter Out (HARO) platform to respond to journalists' queries with expert insights, potentially earning high-quality backlinks from reputable news outlets when your contributions are included in their articles.
Reflecting on everything discussed, as an expert in the field, I firmly believe that incorporating manual link building services is essential for the long-term success of any site.
As I mentioned earlier, Google's criteria for desirable links are ever-evolving. What's effective today might not be tomorrow, so it's crucial to continually explore and experiment with new, efficient link-building methods.
At Editorial.Link, we had the opportunity to assist hundreds of clients with their manual link building, focusing on cultivating relationships through interactions and guest blogging.
If you're looking for a reliable link-building agency, feel free to get in touch with us!