What is Manual Link Buiding?

Manual Link Building

For a lot of crappy link builders they hate “manual” link building.  Personally, I love it! I think when you are a great manual link builder you can secure the best links and these are usually the links your competitors never get.  Many SEO’ers refer this type of link building as a Eric Ward strategy.  It’s considered by most as a safe way to build links.  It does take a little critical thinking and the desire to search out legitimate backlinks to be successful with this strategy.

Manual Link Building Strategy

The first step to being great with this task is to be familiar with Google’s search operators.  Often knowing how to search Google well will give a good link builder all the tools they need to find solid link opportunities.  Once you feel confident with searching Google well, then it’s all pretty easy as long as you can spot the linking opportunities AND then follow through to acquire the “link”.  It’s one thing to spot the opportunity and it’s another thing to acquire the link.  As they say, actions speak louder then words/ideas.

What you want to do is search for the keyword term you want to rank for and then look at ALL the listings on the 1st three pages and try to figure a way you can get a link from each of those sites.   The premise of this type of link building is you are getting links from sites that Google already likes and is ranking for keyword phrases that are the same or similar to what it is you’d like you content page to rank for.  It only makes sense (assuming you did the on-page SEO correct) that you would rank well for that term too.

Now it doesn’t always need to be that exact phrase.  You can use Google Suggest and Google Related terms to find other terms related to the keyword phrase you want to rank for.  Watch the video above to learn how we go about doing it at SBOC.   It can be time consuming so you got get good at spotting realistic opportunities that you can acquire quickly.  With practice you will get better at seeing them and know what works.   The great thing about partnering with a good SEO is they usually have a data base of great manual linking opportunities to start most companies off in the right direction.

Linkable Assets

Now sometimes you need to be willing to create content to acquire these links.  If you are not willing to create resources of content then this strategy can be tough.  Not that there is NOT still opportunities, but when a small business is willing to invest in creating linkable assets it’s makes life a lot easier.

This is just one of many, many, many, many link building ideas, but we find sticking with something this basic still brings in the best results.   There is no quick fix to the manual link building, but not much of value ever comes from things that are easy. 😉


Tags: Link Building, manual, SEO

6 Responses to “What is Manual Link Buiding?”

  1. Nice post Matthew, for a new manual link builder like me this is something useful. Also can you tell me what tools do you use for link building?

    Thanks for the post!
    Dave B

  2. @dave, thanks. We use a ton of tools… here is a few in no particular order. Keyword Spy, Link Research Tools, Opensiteexplorer, SEOMoz, Majestic SEO, ahrefs, market samurai, keyword researcher, and the list goes on and on. those are some off the top of my head.

  3. Matt:

    I appreciate the spirit of your post but it’s lacking in details. Everyone knows that manual link building is the best way to build links. I was hoping you’d have more specifics. Perhaps in future posts you can show a few of your link building techniques:)

    Travis Van Slooten

  4. Travis – Tough crowd. 😉

  5. Slow, steady, and relevant link earning is the best way to go. One of my favorite lesser known operators is using the ~ symbol to find related topics that Google believes are contextual to the industry you’re optimizing for.

  6. great tip, Dev.

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