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When it comes to ranking, leaders aren’t spawned overnight and they can’t just buy their spot. Those long-term top ranking sites get there by working smart. That’s the right price when it comes to achieving that goal. We’re here to talk to you about manual link building and where Google might draw the line between natural and unnatural and how feasible is this link building strategy in 2014.

Manual Link Builders at Work!

Manual Link Building Strategies That Should Always Work

For a long time, any kind of manual link building was a blooming link building strategy. When Google started penalizing sites for unnatural link profiles it was clear that manual link building, as it was known, is not going to work anymore. Even so there will always be manual link building techniques that do not try to directly influence the rankings of a search engine and Google may always work in your favor. That is only if you respect their guidelines.

1. Relevant Blog Comments

For example comments still harness a lot of power and value as a way of gaining links, as long as you place them on sites who have high authority. Your blog comment has to be pertinent and relevant to the content on that certain blog. If you’re just going on a site that doesn’t curate it’s comment section and has lots of links pointing to lots of random sites it is just not going to work .

Google won’t have any issues with your link if the comment is done manually, has proper grammar and spelling and it’s relevant to the content of the page. Your aim is to provide value to the reader of that blog.

2. Authority Guest Blogging

Another form of manual link building that will always to work if done properly is guest blogging. It’s been a hot topic for a while now given the fact that it transformed over time into a spammy strategy of creating links.  Matt Cutts, head of the web-spam department at Google, gave a public statement disapproving guest blogging abuse, and said that this tactic will be a violation against the guidelines and will be punished.

Guest Bloggers Welcome

After lots of talks and confusion, people became afraid of using guest posting as a way of developing links.

Guest Blogging will always be a successful strategy if applied smartly. Use guest blogging as a means of increasing your awareness in your niche. Obviously being relevant to the site’s topic and readers is a must.

Links are becoming a by-product of any growth hacking strategy that you might use in order to increase the awareness of your product!

3. Worthwhile Press Releases

Press releases can be both good and bad to your search engine ranking.

It’s ok to create press releases only with the purpose of announcing something important or newsworthy about your brand.

If you abuse this strategy by including commercial anchor text and do-follow links it will finally be condemned by Google, and you’ll get penalized.

The strategies that I’ve presented are great examples of manual link building strategies that still work in 2014.

Link Earning as an Organic Link Building Strategy

Organic link building seems to be the current path you should be interested on walking, if you want to have a long-term rankings site.

100% Organic Link Building

It’s important to keep in mind that this shift in strategy comes from a change in mentality – you don’t have to work to place those links where you want them to appear, they have to appear organically as a result of your actions. Your actions have to be as natural as possible when trying to develop links. Actually, you need to make an effort and create something to earn those links and not “build” them.

Simply put it is called Link Earning.

There are fewer and fewer ways of manually creating links that are solid and won’t be susceptible to being marked as unnatural in the near future:

  • One way would be to offer your knowledge to the community by creating “how to’s” and guides where you’ll share insights and shed some light on some topics that are relevant to the your target audience.
  • Engaging into discussions and answering people’s questions. On forum platforms you can easily treat users as patients and attend to their problems. If your answers will be remotely helpful, it will most certainly generate some kind of positive reaction from the online crowd.
  • Focus on building a community – this is a long time commitment that creates a lot of rewards not only from a SEO point of view. It’s a lot of work but it has the power to attract a lot of links from all kinds of users in the form of comments, forum topics and blog posts.

300: Rise of an Organic Link Empire

Rise of an Organic Link Empire

The fact is most manual link building strategies have become a way of manipulating Google’s search results and as a consequence they aren’t viable anymore. The ones that still exist are tolerated because they can still offer value if executed properly and selflessly. The internet is full of meaningless junk links that don’t serve anybody any good. And when we’re talking about shady manual link building we’re talking about time and effort put into creating those link profiles, which can go down the drain in an instant.

Long story short, manual link building is becoming more of an ancient way of massively altering a site’s rank in Google. It’s not an easy job, creating meaningful content and nitpicking everything to be at a high qualitative level without regarding any link building strategy. But at the end of the day, that’s what separates you from the others.

From now on it’s all about working smart and creating meaningful relationships, voided by SEO intent.

A handful of quality organic links will beat any manual link built profile.

What are your thoughts on the future of manual link building?

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4
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