Manual link building is more important than ever in 2024

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The March 2024 updates have hit hard search engine results pages (SERPS). A few days after the updates were released, Google issued manual actions that caused the websites to be de-indexed. Google said it will remove 40% of low-quality and unoriginal content, shaping a new era in SERPs.

However, link building remains relevant and has become more crucial than ever.

The best way for search engines to discover new websites is to get natural backlinks, according to Gary Illyes in a Search for the Off the Record podcast episode. Therefore, engaging in link building is not only essential, but also necessary invest in manual link building to achieve success.

Manual link building involves acquiring links through outreach efforts, strategic content creation, and building relationships. Unlike automated or spammy link acquisition tactics, manual link building prioritizes getting high-quality, relevant links from authoritative sources.

These authoritative sources prioritize their target audience by providing valuable and useful content, so an inbound link from this site would be considered high quality. And, following the March 2024 updates, these types of backlinks are more important than ever.

Purchase links it is considered a spam practice that violates Google’s guidelines. Google’s algorithm is designed to evaluate a website’s relevance to a query based on the quality of its backlink profile.

When websites buy links primarily for ranking purposes, they manipulate the algorithm, turning those links into spam. The only exception to this rule is if the paid links are labeled as “sponsored”, but even so, those links must still be relevant to your site.

While buying links may seem like a great way to cut down on time-consuming tasks, these gains are usually short-lived. Once Google detects unnatural link patterns, it will likely penalize the website, resulting in a drop in rankings. Other issues include:

Google ignores links. Decrease in credibility and reputation. Difficulty in recovery. Wasted resources (wasted money).

The SpamBrain AI system can recognize link spam patterns and devalue the corresponding links. In 2021, Google revised its spam policies to limit link spam, which helped clean up the SERPs.

Also, cheap links tend to lead users to irrelevant sites low quality content, resulting in a poor user experience (UX). Google aims to prioritize websites that provide valuable and relevant information to users. If users are no longer clicking on your site due to poor UX, Google takes this as a sign that your website should not appear in the SERPs.

So what should sites do? Focus on quality backlinks.

Ultimately, manual link building is about earning links, not buying them produce content that attracts links. This approach is a sustainable way to support algorithm changes.

While no two link building strategies are the same (nor should they be), there are some fundamental practices that every strategy should follow in order to be successful.

Relevance, relevance, relevance

Relevant links tell the search engines that your site has authority within its niche.


Take, for example, a research paper. A research paper cites relevant sources to let the reader know that they understand the topic.

Entry links work in the same way. By attracting links from relevant sources within the same niche, the website can demonstrate its authority to search engines and users interested in that topic.

Relevant backlinks also help drive targeted traffic to your site. These visitors are more likely to engage with your content, which can lead to more conversion rates. Relevant links can also enhance the user experience by providing valuable additional resources for their reference.

Getting relevant links can also help build partnerships within an industry. Building these relationships with authoritative sources helps support a long-term link building strategy by providing opportunities for collaboration, which can further enhance a website’s online presence.

Useful and original content

Useful and original content is the cornerstone of manual link building. Brings value to an audience by responding to their needs, answering questions, or solving problems.

Users who find content useful are more likely to engage and return to the site for more information. This helps improve user satisfaction and builds trust and credibility for your brand, aspects that must be met in order to appear in the SERPs.

High-quality content gets crawled more often, according to Illyes:

“To get more URLs, that’s basically how your content gets found in search, because if we see that people are looking for your content and linking to your content, that will naturally increase the amount of search that they want to crawl from of your content. site.”

Original content also sets you apart from your competitors and establishes you as a leader in your industry.

Offering unique knowledge demonstrates authority and expertise, characteristics that Google prioritizes in search. Websites are more likely to link to this type of content because it provides valuable information for the audience’s needs, creating a foundation for building relationships and gaining relevant backlinks.

Unfortunately, the rise of AI writers and automated content tools has created challenges in maintaining the quality and originality of content online. While these tools offer efficiency and scalability, they often produce shallow and thin content that lacks originality.

Google values ​​content that shows deep knowledge of a topic. Creating thin content doesn’t show a deep understanding of the current situation.

Manual link building focuses heavily on creating and promoting truly valuable content that stands out from the noise of automated content.

A bit of strategy

Finding relevant links and creating original content can only get you so far.

Developing a strategy for your manual link building campaign is vital to success as it ensures that you don’t waste any resources while searching the web for links.

For example, a well-thought-out strategy can help with:

Clear objectives: A strategy helps define clear goals for your link building campaign, such as increasing website traffic, improving search engine rankings, or establishing authority in a particular niche.

Identification of the target audience: This information helps tailor your link building efforts resonate with the target audienceincreasing the likelihood of acquiring relevant and high-quality backlinks.

Competitive Analysis: understanding competitive strategies it can inform decision-making and help differentiate your link building approach for competitive advantage.

Content planning: High-quality, valuable content is essential to attracting natural backlinks and establishing credibility within the industry.

Building relationships: Building genuine relationships with key industry players can lead to natural link acquisition opportunities through collaborations, guest posts, interviews and content partnerships.

Diversification of link sources: Diversification reduces the risk of search engine penalties and improves the overall resilience of link building efforts.

Measurement and analysis: Regular monitoring and analysis of performance data helps identify what is working well and what needs to be adjusted, enabling continuous optimization and improvement.

By taking a comprehensive and personalized approach to link building, incorporating competitor analysis, backlink analysis and other tactics, you can develop a strategic plan that maximizes your chances of success and generates tangible results for on your website.

Digital PR: the next frontier

With a renewed focus on manual link building, getting high quality backlinks will be harder than ever. As more people try to claim these links, the competition will be fierce.

How can brands stand out?

Digital PR represents the next frontier for manual link building. Their focus on building relationships, generating brand exposure and creating content that capitalizes EAT guidelines make it one of the safest and most valuable link building tactics going forward.

This strategy involves building relationships with key people in your industry, effectively increasing the ability to secure valuable backlinks from reputable sources. These key people include journalists, bloggers and relevant influencers.

In addition, digital PR assets can help increase brand visibility, reaching a wider audience and resulting in more backlinks from interested parties.

Ultimately, digital PR offers a comprehensive approach to manual link building, combining relationship building, brand exposure, content collaboration, and long-term branding efforts to generate sustained link building opportunities and improve a website’s visibility, credibility and search engine ranking.

To achieve success, websites must focus on building relevant links through outreach and relationship building efforts.

By following these fundamental practices, websites can demonstrate their authority to search engines and establish associations within their industry.

Ultimately, manual link building is a sustainable way to withstand algorithm changes and drive targeted traffic to your site.

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About the Author: Ted Simmons

I follow and report the current news trends on Google news.

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