Link Building

What are Manual Link-Building Services?

What are Manual Link-Building Services?

Manual link building is what we live and breathe here at AgilePR. It is the foundation of our PR agency, therefore we can’t disregard this topic anymore.


Because even Google prefers manual link building over mass migrations from one site to another.

What is Link Building?

link building explained

Link building is acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. These links, known as backlinks, are critical for search engine optimization (SEO) because they signal to search engines that your content is valuable and authoritative.

The more high-quality backlinks your site has, the better it can rank in search engine results.

White-hat Link building strategies include creating compelling content that naturally attracts links, reaching out to other websites to request links, guest posting on relevant blogs, and engaging in various online marketing activities.

Effective link building enhances your website’s credibility, drives referral traffic, and improves its overall visibility and ranking in search engines.

What is Manual Link Building?

What is Manual Link Building?

Manual link building is a strategy where links are acquired through deliberate, hands-on efforts rather than automated processes or natural link earning. This approach involves contacting website owners, bloggers, and webmasters directly to request links, negotiate guest posting opportunities, or propose link exchanges.

The process typically includes identifying relevant and authoritative sites, crafting personalized outreach messages, and building relationships with key influencers in your industry.

Manual link building ensures higher quality and relevance of backlinks, as it allows for careful selection and customization of link placements.

This method is more labor-intensive but often results in stronger, more valuable backlinks that can significantly boost your website’s search engine rankings and overall SEO performance.

Manual vs Automated Link Building

manual vs automated link building

Manual link building involves direct, hands-on efforts to acquire backlinks through personalized outreach, relationship building, and tailored content creation.

This method allows for careful selection of high-quality, relevant websites, ensuring that the backlinks are valuable and compliant with search engine guidelines. 

This approach emphasizes quality over quantity, producing backlinks that enhance the user experience and provide genuine value.

Why is manual link building better?

In contrast, automated link building uses software and tools to generate backlinks quickly, often through methods like directory submissions, mass blog commenting, and other automated processes.

While automated link building can produce a high volume of links in a short time, it often sacrifices quality and relevance, leading to potential penalties from search engines. Automated links can appear spammy and artificial, lacking the contextual relevance and trustworthiness that manual links provide.

Google prefers manual link building because it aligns with their emphasis on high-quality, user-centric content and genuine, reputable backlinks, which are critical for maintaining the integrity of search engine results.

The dangers of Google Penalty

Ahrefs backlink check
backlink check on Ahrefs

Google penalizes websites that engage in manipulative or spammy link building practices, aiming to maintain the integrity and relevance of search results.

Such penalties can have severe consequences, including plummeting search rankings, decreased organic traffic, and even removal from search engine results altogether. Link building tactics participating in link schemes, or using automated tools to generate links are all red flags for Google. Many SEO scammers out there prey on online businesses who have little understanding of SEO hygiene

These practices violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can result in manual penalties or algorithmic downgrades.

Recovering from such penalties can be a long and arduous process, requiring extensive cleanup efforts and reestablishment of trust with search engines.

Examples of spammy link building to avoid with manual link building

referring domain spam

With manual link building you can monitor spammy backlinks better by having more control over where your backlinks are placed. If you yourself want to do manual link placements, here are a few things you need to be aware of:

  • Buying Links: Purchasing links from websites solely for the purpose of manipulating search engine rankings is against Google’s guidelines and can result in penalties.
  • Link Farms: Joining or participating in link farms, which are networks of websites created specifically to manipulate search engine rankings by exchanging links, is considered a spammy practice.
  • Irrelevant Directory Submissions: Submitting your website to low-quality, irrelevant directories solely for the purpose of gaining backlinks can be seen as spammy. Focus on directories that are relevant to your industry or niche.
  • Keyword-Stuffed Anchor Text: Using excessively optimized anchor text with exact-match keywords in your backlinks can be considered spammy. It’s important to use natural, varied anchor text that reflects the context of the linked content.
  • Automated Link Building Tools: Using automated tools or software to generate a large number of backlinks quickly, such as mass blog commenting or article spinning, is a spammy practice that can lead to penalties.
  • Link Exchanges: Participating in reciprocal link exchanges solely for the purpose of building backlinks can be seen as manipulative. Instead, focus on natural link acquisition through valuable content and genuine relationships.
  • Guest Blogging on Low-Quality Sites: Publishing guest posts on low-quality or spammy websites solely for the purpose of gaining backlinks can harm your site’s reputation and SEO. Focus on contributing to reputable, relevant websites with high editorial standards.

SEO Scams

Many spammy emails circulate your email if you go down the link building path.

The best course of action is to avoid them at all costs!

How does Manual Link Building Services Work?

Manual link building services work through a systematic process involving several key steps to ensure the acquisition of high-quality backlinks.

There are four steps we take at AgilePR, to give you a rough overview of effective manual link building strategies.

Target Keyword Research

AgilePR client excel sheet

The first is researching targeted keywords that are relevant for us our our clients. This step involves identifying relevant keywords that align with your SEO goals and target audience interests.

Effective keyword research helps pinpoint the most effective sites for backlink opportunities, ensuring that the links acquired will be relevant and beneficial for your site’s search engine rankings.

Normally look for high volume, low difficulty keywords. Secondly, the keyword intent. There are a dozen low ranking keywords that are explained in a snippet, and therefore the user will not look further for more information.

We also look at our competitors in similar niches to see how they rank. And we also look at the top 10 search results to see what kind of content Google favours.

This is important because of the search term ranks “top 20 best shoes” we don’t want to cover an article on “why shoes are the best” since it is not a user’s and search algorithms intent to show.

Content Creation

AgilePR promo content

A lot of times, you will hear “high-quality content creation is a crucial aspect of manual link building.” The truth of the matter is, that content quality is defined by how much it explains to the user.”

People use search engine to seek answers. If you provide them with sufficient information, you’re set to rank better. But what if many people answer the same search intent? Then what? This is where manual link building is crucial for guest blogging content.

With content creation, you must be aware of the following to maximize link building for your own content and demonstrate your authority and credibility in a certain topic.

1, Use Natural Anchor Text

Contextual and Varied Anchor Text: Incorporate your backlinks naturally within the content using varied anchor text. Avoid over-optimizing with exact-match keywords, as this can appear spammy to search engines like “buy” “click here” “check out.” Use branded anchors or text referring to the keyword you wish to rank for.

2, Include Internal Links

Link to Your Best Content: When appropriate, link to relevant, high-value pages on your own site. This not only drives traffic but also helps search engines understand the importance of those pages.

3, Prioritize Relevance

Industry-Specific Blogs: Select blogs that are relevant to your industry or niche. This ensures that your backlinks are contextually appropriate, which search engines favor for ranking.

4, Choose Reputable Sites

Target High-Authority Blogs: Focus on guest blogging for reputable sites with high domain authority and a strong, engaged audience. This is the main beauty of manual link building since you take more time personalizing email campaigns to reach high authority site relevant to your niche.

Personalized Outreach

Personalization is the key for great outreach and relationship building!

The service crafts customized outreach messages to contact webmasters, bloggers, and influencers.

These messages highlight the mutual benefits of linking to your site, such as providing valuable resources to their audience.

Building genuine relationships and engaging with potential link partners through social media and consistent follow-ups are key to successful outreach.

Monitoring and Reporting Results

Website growth

After securing backlinks, the service monitors their status and performance using SEO tools. They track metrics such as referral traffic, changes in search engine rankings, and the overall impact on your backlink profile.

Regular reports are provided to clients, detailing the progress of the link building campaign, including the number and quality of acquired backlinks, outreach efforts, and performance analysis.

Google Analytics

This continuous monitoring and reporting ensure transparency and allow for ongoing optimization of the link building strategy.

What are the Benefits of Manual Link Building?

Manual link building offers numerous advantages that can significantly enhance your website’s SEO performance and online presence.

Result Analysis

GSC analytics of website traffic

One of the key benefits of manual link building is the ability to perform detailed result analysis. By closely monitoring the performance of acquired backlinks, you can track improvements in search engine rankings, referral traffic, and overall website authority.

This data-driven approach allows for continuous optimization and strategic adjustments to maximize the impact of your link building efforts.

Link Quality Maintenance

site authority Ahrefs

Manual link building ensures that the quality of backlinks is maintained at a high standard. Since each link is acquired through deliberate and hands-on efforts, there is a focus on securing links from reputable and relevant sites.

This careful curation helps avoid low-quality or spammy backlinks, which can harm your site’s SEO rather than improve it.

Partnership Building

Ahrefs referring domains

Above you can see AgilePR’s network of sites we have worked with when we tried manual link building for our site.

This has been done through long-term partnerships where we allowed ABC link exchanges or provided insight into guest posts into digital PR strategies.

What did it take to get there?

Our Manual link building strategies involved personalized outreach emails and relationship-building with webmasters, bloggers, and influencers.

These relationships can lead to ongoing collaboration opportunities, guest posting, and other forms of mutual support that extend beyond a single backlink.

Niche Orientation

You need to stick with what you know and who you know. Niche-relevant content is the key!

Manual link building allows for a focused approach on niche-specific sites, ensuring that the backlinks acquired are highly relevant to your industry.

This relevance not only improves SEO but also enhances the credibility and authority of your website within your specific market.


In conclusion, manual link building services work through a comprehensive process involving target keyword research, high-quality content creation, personalized outreach, and continuous monitoring and reporting of results.

The benefits of manual link building include detailed result analysis, maintaining high link quality, building valuable partnerships, and ensuring niche orientation.

These advantages make manual link building a strategic choice for improving your website’s SEO performance and achieving long-term success in search engine rankings.

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