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29 Mar 2010

Manual Link Building Tips

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build linksDo you have an interest in getting more exposure online? Ultimately, being found in Google is the surest way to get traffic to your website and turn prospective clients into current clients. There are many schools of thought on how to get found on Google, but one surefire way to increase your rankings is through manual link building. Link building is one of the basics of search engine optimization. The hard part is, however, how to accomplish this task. 

Manual link building is often a preferred method of achieving links. You can pay a service to get you a ton of cheap links, but likely they are not going to create a stellar backlink profile for your site. The links you need, rather, should have the following things in common:
 
·         link buildingHave similar, but not exactly the same, anchor text. Vary your anchor text on the links you achieve.
·         Make sure the domain on which the link resides is of like content to your own site. Try to stay in the same niche ‘neighborhood’.
·         Check the backlinks of the domain or page on which you are trying to get links. This is a huge factor in determining the overall value of the link you hope to attain.
·         The page on which your link resides has a high page rank. This doesn’t mean that every single link you place out there should be a PR 5 or above.
·         Your link should be correct. This might be an obvious statement, but make sure the link isn’t broken, or else your work will be for nothing.
 
So now that you know a few of the basics you should start researching. 25 x 25 twitter iconThere are several ways to find places to put a link. Try looking at the backlink profile of your competitors. What are they doing that you aren’t? If you find a few domains in their backlink profile that you want to get a link on that should prompt you to research a bit more. Is it a profile site that you can easily set up for free? Is it in a comment on a blog post? If it’s something more advanced, such as a contextual link, try asking for your own from the webmaster. You’d be surprised how many websites out there actually want to link to you because they know that their readers/visitors will find value in your site.
 
25 x 25 twitter iconA few backlink resources you can check out are: iWebTools backlink checker, Backlink Watch, SEO Pro’s backlink checker, Yahoo Site Explorer, and many others. The important part about using backlink checkers is to remember: they aren’t going to give you 100% of the backlinks for your site or competitors, but they certainly will provide you with information to get started on analyzing your competitors. Use free tools, and sign up for paid ones. Try them out and see what works best for you.
 
As mentioned above you can also place a link in a comment. Do more research and find a blog post, article, or other valuable piece of content online. There are several resources for this: Google Blog Search, Do Follow Diver, Radpixels, Blog Search Engine, and more. Once you find a valuable piece of content place a link on that page. Make sure to format your comment in a way that will get approved. Provide something valuable and interesting in the comment.
 
25 x 25 twitter iconLook to place your link on a high PR page, but don’t just look for high PR. You’ll waste a lot of time searching for these pages, as they are few and far between. Piece of advice: A PR 0 page today can work up to being a great PR 5 page, so look for content online that you think will become popular. Staying on top of what’s ‘hot’ may yield you a very juicy link ahead of the rest of those looking for the same thing.
 
Another part of manual link building, in my opinion, is link reclamation. Looking for links you’ve already attained that are now broken, or are going to the wrong page. There are a few tools that can help you with this, but the manual way is to analyze your backlinks by anchor text and destination URL to see if there are any issues. 
 
The important thing to remember about manual link building is that it takes a lot of time and research….thus its value. Experts will be able to find you the best links, worry about all the details, and ensure that they are getting you what you really want: high PR links, in good neighborhoods, and with varying anchor text. Reputable link building services utilize a variety of techniques to help you get the links you want, but if you have the time and the skill you can do exactly the same.