Link building expert Eric Ward explains why manual link building will stand the test of time, although there are many claims it will soon become obsolete.
In spite of some popular opinions, SEO through link building will never get old. In such spheres as plumbing, locksmith, law and real estate services, the competition is very high. So in case that you start a small business, such as plumbing or a locksmith company, it will take time until your name gets spread far and wide and satisfied clients start to leave you positive feedback comments and mention links to your website.
Just imagine how many people are searching for services such as “emergency car lockout” or “rent a house“. With all that competition, it’s impossible to promote a company’s website without purposely building links.
Nevertheless, there are different ways to conduct link building, and lately there are people who claim that manual link building will fade away. Those predictions are wrong, explains Ward. He makes mention of an article – “SEO Practices That Will Become Obsolete by The End of 2016” which highlighted that manual link building will become one of these practices. Interestingly enough, the author has since edited the content, replacing “manual link building” with “bulk-link building”.
He believes that this minor edit is at the root of a much larger movement that has been rocking the SEO community. That movement is based on the belief that doing anything manually, or one by one, is a waste of time, since link graph and the sheer mass of the internet makes it impossible to impact it without turning to mass tactics or automation.
The Truth about Manual Link Building
Obviously, there are other ways to build links. Ward agrees that it is possible to conduct mass outreach, from a technical point. Nonetheless, mass outreach will have a negative impact on quality, unlike manual link building.
It’s like spam— a more sophisticated mail-merge with just enough information and personalization to make one feel special. People get spam emails which are written in such a way, almost as if the author knows them, yet, the email is sent in bulk—to many other email addresses. That’s called lying, he says, and that’s not a great way to start a relationship with someone—by lying.
The Human Connection is Still There
People still need people, Ward says. Certain aspects of link building will never become irrelevant. The human connection will never change—the desire to connect with other humans, to cultivate, share, and collect valuable, useful and helpful posts, pages, app, or any other digital content, with each other. Otherwise, there would be no need for Twitter, which was made specifically for link sharing.
Based on a conducted research, Ward concluded that automation will never find that precise contact that makes the final decisions. It can never fool someone into thinking an email was sent specifically for them only. Automation can find business email addresses, like @info, @webmaster, @help, etc., but those addresses are spam holes— they are not being received by decision makers. Sometimes one has to search different pages like the about, the bottom and top corners of the homepage, and even call (yes, actually call), to get personal contact names and other personal information.
He also mentioned that when he’s able to find the right person and website, his success rate is close to 100%; something that will never happen with bulk outreach.
The game is still on, he concluded. There’s often only a 2.5% success rate on bulk email outreach, which proves automation is reckless and ineffective. The internet will always be about people connecting with each other or with written content by other people. Though there are many link-building strategies and tactics, the process of person to person sharing which results in a link will never get old.