The concept of manual link building has been multiple time reviewed and re-analyzed over time. Putting it simply, a manual link building campaign is a process of actively trying to increase links to a website.
When it comes to ranking and natural links, 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.
Below we are going to list the top manual link building strategies that will work in 2017 and should work in the future as well. The truth is that the SEO landscape has changed a lot in the past years. The ranking factors have changed along with the type of links; content marketing is becoming increasingly important, quality link building is a must and earned links are on the wave now.
With no further introduction, I invite you to take a look at the best quality link building techniques that should be a part of your digital marketing and should be of interest for any link builder interested in his website’s ranking and traffic.
Why Is Manual Link Building Important
By now you might be asking yourself what exactly is link building, how to do manual link building or you are already looking for link building tutorials; or maybe you already know what all of these mean and you are just looking for some automated link building services. And you wouldn’t be the only one. Creating links nowadays is harder than ever. Yet, is not impossible. Google keeps on flipping the coin and link building techniques that look Google approved today might be spammy strategies tomorrow. And yet, links are still important. They are still the main driving force that can take your search traffic and ranks up to the sky or back to the 99 position.
Google has its share of “blame” on this matter but business owners, webmasters or SEO pros need to be aware of their position as well. Take a look at the screenshot below. How many results are made on “build links” and how many are made on “buy links”? I have to admit that I thought things
would be the other way around.
The truth is that links are among the most important ranking signals. Link building and SEO go hand in hand and for any successful digital marketing campaign, natural link building is a must. Forget paid links, forget selling links, link request spam, negative SEO or any other black hat manual effort. We are now on the new edge of search engine optimization.
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.We might call it the fall of low quality links era and the rise of quality link acquisition.
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
Comments still harness a lot of power and value as a way of gaining links, as long as you place them on sites which 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 . Low quality links from sites with low domain authority is not something that you want.
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.
Google’s concept of link schemes includes forum comments with optimized links in the post or signature. No matter what you do keep in mind that natural links and quality content are a must not an option
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, former 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.
We are now talking about authoritative guest blogging, quality content creation as part of a solid content marketing strategy and not just short paragraphs of text which have no other intent than influencing search engines ranking page. There might be many manual link building services out there who would suggest to create content and post it anywhere you can, with the sole purpose of getting links. When you relate to guest blogging in these terms, your strategy might not be very different than the black hat ones based on links exchanges or link buying. If you focus on the quality of the content, if you write having the reader in mind, if you count comments and social shares to measure the content’s success and not just links, then you can use guest blogging as a safe manual link building technique to attract links.
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 mean of increasing your awareness in your niche. Obviously being relevant to the site’s topic and readers is a must. There is no such thing of 100% proof guide on how to do guest posting as there is no such thing of a guide for how to do link building. But if you keep in mind relevancy and you create content and links as if search engines wouldn’t exist, your digital marketing strategy should be on the right track.
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 link building strategy for 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.
This strategy can be a great example of manual link building strategy that still works in 2017. Only if used wisely, of course. The world’s largest search engine called links in press releases “unnatural” and is mandating nofollowing them. Just like in any other case, this can be a link building strategy that can cause you troubles only if you abuse it.
As Joe Laratro, SEO expert and PubCon lead moderator said , “in 2006 online press releases were amazing for SEO. Online press releases have had very little value in terms of links and content over the past few years – I would say it had been steadily declining. However, I still thought it was a good part of a large organic link building strategy until the new guideline changes.”
We need to keep in mind that press releases are not meant to be an SEO tactic or a link building strategy.
The purpose of press releases is to help writers, journalists, influencers, and readers to discover something new. Here is where press releases add value, in driving messages into audiences. And the clicks, visibility, reads, social shares or links will naturally follow.
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.
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. We’ve written an interesting piece of content on link earning where we’ve put together a list of 21 creatively techniques of earning links.
Simply put it is called Link Earning.
Are there link building tools out there? You bet! Are there link building services ready to automate the process for you? Yes, they are. Yet, your aim is to know how to do link building and not get penalized. 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 in 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
The truth is that 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 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 shady manual link built profile.
What are your thoughts on the future of manual link building?Photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4