Manual link building is the standard practice among SEO outsourcing companies, but this backlinking strategy could take a new direction after the recent update on Google’s algorithm. The so-called Panda update downgrades content farms, low-quality article directories and websites with little or no research value, thus rewarding well-written web content without the need to increase its current inbound links.
SEO outsourcing is mainly fuelled by fierce competition in website promotion. SEO outsourcing companies have been preoccupied in manipulating links through article marketing and spammy forum posting. These tactics are now being questioned by websites that lost top spots in SERP after the Panda update.
What’s the rational behind this? One plausible explanation is that the new algorithm is now giving more importance to natural links in contrast to forced links or the ones propagated by website marketers through forum posting and article submissions. Unlike forced links, natural links are voluntarily picked by the Internet community because of their informative or helpful content. Google has emphasized this practice even before the update, but it seems that this rule is now more liberal in giving positive points to sites with natural links. When articles are written from a very insightful perspective, there is a greater chance that it will be referenced by popular bloggers. This process of link building is apparently gaining more momentum now. The SEO outsourcing industry is appalled to see the ranking of their clients declining after months of article submission and forum posting. SEO experts are likely to pay attention now to originality and substance of web content to adapt to the Panda update.
The inclusion of Facebook votes into the new algorithm further confirms the growing importance of natural links. Facebook contacts who give positive rating to a certain link can influence the SERPs seen by the people within their network. Relevant sites with the highest approval score from Facebook contacts will have a better chance of ranking high in SERPs. This is unlikely to be exploited by web marketers. First, there is no means to force links to get accepted by the Facebook community. Second, it is impractical to create dummy Facebook accounts to effectively boost the popularity of a site. SEO experts believe that the Facebook-Google integration is a big step in promoting the practice of natural link building.
Critics of natural link building tend to compare the time frames to get higher SERP ranking using this method and manual backlinking. Natural linkbuilding takes time to bring results, but it will definitely pay off in the long run. As Google vows to continue improving its algorithm to make search engine queries more productive, the SEO outsourcing industry will rethink its manual backlinking strategies to imitate natural backlinks.