Do You Need a Manual Link Building Service?

Ever wondered if manual link building services are worth your time? Find out in this article as I walk you through everything you need to know about manual link building.

In the literal sense, manual link building seems like adding backlinks to a website without the owner’s permission. Right?

❌️ Well, that’s not the meaning of manually built links!

By the way, if you add backlinks to a site without permission, you’re likely hacking it (the site). This is a black hat SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy, which search engines frown on. It is far from manual link building.

So, what, then, is manual link building? Why is it important? What are its strategies?

To better understand the meaning of manual link building, we’ll look at it from 3 angles:

  1. Solving the misconception
  2. Automated link building vs. manual link building
  3. What do Google and other search engines say?

Solving the Misconception

In simple terms, manual link building means actively adding backlinks to your site. But even with that definition, there is still some confusion.

  • What is the “manually” part about? Does it mean you won’t use a tool?
  • What of “editorial backlinks” earned without any action? Are they still manual links?

Let’s start with the first misconception.

Manual link building involves using tools. You’d still need tools like Ahrefs or Semrush to vet the quality of linking/referring pages before sending a pitch.

Then, there are further tools down the link building process for outreach management like Respona.

In essence, manually-built links, though manual, involve the use of tools.

The second misconception…

Editorial links, though earned without any outreach, are still manually-built links. How so?

You actively researched and designed the asset, which is one peculiarity of manual link building.

Bottom line:

Manual link building is the typical “link building.” The latter is only not equal to the former when it is automated — using bots to mass-generate backlinks.

The critical differences between automated and manual link building can be explained under three components:

  • Human intervention,
  • Control, and
  • Safety

Human Intervention

Like the name, automated link building requires zero human intervention. The tools/bots will handle the entire campaign, and you’ll see new backlinks on your backlink profile.

📌 Do you know how to check your backlinks?

If not, read how to check any website’s backlinks now!

On the other hand, manual link building requires your input from start to finish to build backlinks. 


You cannot control where automated links are generated or what anchors are used. The worst case is that you can’t vet the quality of the backlinks.

These limiting factors make automated backlinks risky.

On the other hand, manual link building affords you 100% control over where to source backlinks, the content to use, and the quality of both. 


Bots can hardly differentiate between a link farm and an authentic site. Hence, it’ll list your backlinks on just about any website.

Also, generating automated links is against search engines’ policies. Either way, your site is not safe using these backlinks.

On the other hand, the control in manual link building ensures you keep out spammy and shady referring domains from your link prospects. In the end, you’ll only build high-quality backlinks.

What Do Google and Other Search Engines Say?

Manual link building involves providing value-rich content and offering it to niche-relevant sites to educate their readers. In other words, there are no shortcuts.

This approach is precisely why Google and other search engines want — to provide value with helpful content and earn links.


In summary, manually-built links are 100% safe and will continue to be relevant beyond 2024.

Here is a sneak peek of the benefits of building your links manually:

  1. Zero penalties
  2. Boost your chances of ranking
  3. Cost-effective SEO
  4. Sustainable results
  5. Boost credibility with all parties

Zero Penalties

Building links manually is the most natural, Google-approved way to get backlinks. It is safe and does not attract penalties.

By extension, the quality of the backlinks generated is also safe.

Since you oversaw the link building process—from prospecting and vetting to outreach— you will remove the “bad” eggs and save your site from penalty.

Boost Your Chances of Ranking

High-quality backlinks are not only safe. They are also effective.

Let’s paint a picture of how this works:

Imagine getting a link from an authority site like Forbes or Business Insider.


Both sites boast “at least” 92 DR and 33.8M organic traffic.

The result:

Such figures will do wonders for your website’s rankings. For starters, you’ll get brand recognition that shows you as an authority. More importantly, you’ll benefit from the link juice dripping off the site’s authority. All these will result in higher rankings on search results.

Cost-Effective SEO

Whether spammy or high-quality links, link building is time-consuming and expensive. So, why not spend the time, energy, and money on what works?

Spammy links will most likely be ignored. Funnily enough, you’ll probably remove them to reduce their impact on your SEO efforts. If you ask me, building spammy, automated links is time-wasting from the start.

On the other hand, you’ll be rewarded for your manual link building efforts. Your site will rank better in search engine results pages and will all be worth your time and money.

Sustainable Results

Frankly, spammy links are not entirely ineffective. I’ve seen them do wonders for people’s sites. The issue, however, is that their results are unsustainable. How so?

You’ll likely see some increased rankings bombarding your site with PBN backlinks. However, you’ll lose the ranking in a few days/weeks as soon as search engine bots find out.

Also, the never-ending search engine algorithm updates are geared at rendering spammy, automated links useless.

On the other hand, “manually-built links” are “natural links.” Hence, their influence on your search engine rankings is sustainable and not short-lived.

Boost Credibility With All Parties

SEO goes beyond appearances on search results and dealing with search engines. It is mostly about relationships with your target audience and other websites.

So, if the machine (search engines) disregards your spammy links, the other parties involved (the “humans”) won’t. Your content will likely be ignored.

More importantly, you’ll dent your chances of getting backlinks from high-quality backlinks because no one wants to associate with a site flagged by Google.

On the other hand, manual link building saves you from all the trouble. You’ll win naturally and boost your credibility with all the parties. In fact, sharing your wins using manually-built links will attract more links.

Now, you understand the importance of manually-built links. How about how to build them?

📌 Frankly, I recommend outsourcing the process to a trusted, managed manual link-building service provider. Nevertheless, you should know how things are done.

Check out the strategies for building manual links below!

  1. Authority guest posting
  2. Niche edits
  3. Citations on reputable sites
  4. Broken link building
  5. Press releases
  6. HARO
  7. Skyscraper content + blogger outreach

Authority Guest Posting

Guest blogging/posting is one of the oldest manual link building methods. Even to date, it still works. Here is proof:

According to AIRA’s State of Link Building 2022, which interviewed 270 SEOs and agencies, guest posting is a top-three strategy for getting manual backlinks.


In a similar but more recent study, State of Backlinks 2024 (by uSERP), guest posting remains a top-3 strategy for manual link building.


There is one issue, however. Guest posting is often abused because of its popularity and efficiency. So much so that it can even be spammy.

Hence, the reason for authority guest posting.

Authority guest posting means blogging on niche-relevant, high-authority sites. These sites have strict submission guidelines. Hence, they can’t be a fluke. In other words, your backlinks can’t be tagged as spam.


Bonus tip for businesses in digital marketing: examples of authority sites for guest posting include HubSpot and Buffer.

Niche Edits

Niche edits work similarly to guest posting. They are both exclusives for generating inbound links. The only difference is that you don’t need to write any content for the former.

So, how does this work?

Quick read: Do Curated Link Insertions Work?

Niche edits mean placing contextual links on relevant, aged posts. The idea is that these posts are already indexed and ranking well on search results. Hence, there is assured link equity that will benefit the linked page.


Niche edits are not as common as guest posting. To unearth this opportunity or even pitch the idea, you must have built a relationship with the site owner or the author of the target post.

Citations on Reputable Sites

This manual link building strategy works similarly to niche edits. The only difference is the linking page.

The linking page for niche edits doesn’t necessarily need to be a blog post. It can be a “best of” article or directory. Either way, the idea is to list your website/business on a reputable hotspot.

So, how does this work?

  • First, find a directory known by all in your niche and location. Get listed on it. In other words, be present where your competitors are.
  • Next, highlight super-niche, high-authority “best-of” articles. Then, pitch for inclusion.
  • Lastly, ask industry experts for authority roundups. Then, pitch the site/content owners for a mention.


The most reputable directories might be paid or invite-only. This is why you must leverage your network and industry relationship.

Frankly, broken link building is the most tasking way to generate manual backlinks. How so?

  • First, you’ll find the broken links of competing domains
  • Then, you’ll note the referring page
  • Next, create a replacement for the broken page
  • Lastly, pitch the referring age for a backlink using the replacement page

But if you can overlook the hectic process, broken link building works.

In my experience, broken link building gives you more chances of getting the highest-quality backlinks than other strategies because you put the referring page first. No one can resist “free” help.

Further reading: How to Find Broken Pages

Press Releases

For me, press releases have generated the most backlinks from high-authority news sites, more than any manual link-building strategy.


Here’s the most interesting part:

Once one of the significant publications publishes your story, others will. This will create a ripple effect that will skyrocket your search performance.

So, how is this done?

  • First, and most importantly, find a newsworthy story — it could be about a name change, collaboration, open day, or new product.
  • Then, pitch your story to journalists of top publications — the more relevant the site is to your niche, the better.
  • Then, sit back and watch the ripple effect of effective manual link building.

Further reading: What Are the Best Sites for PRs?


HARO (Help a Reporter Out) works similarly to press release link building because you’re still working with reporters/journalists. The only difference is that you’re not out looking for journalists on LinkedIn or Twitter.

HARO is a platform for reporters to connect with news sources for thought leadership, practical expertise, and insights.


So, how will you generate backlinks with HARO?

When you provide expertise and tips to reporters, they will link back to your site.

Pro tip: HARO is competitive for sources. Try alternatives like Help A B2B Writer.


Skyscraper Content + Blogger Outreach

The Skyscraper technique works similarly to broken link building. They both offer value first before asking for a link. Also, you’re chasing your competitors’ referring pages in both cases.

The only difference is that you don’t need to chase broken pages in Skyscraper link building.

So, how does this strategy work?

Skyscraper link building involves targeting high-ranking articles, studying them, writing something better, and asking the referring pages for a backlink.

In essence, you’re doing:

  • Content analysis
  • Backlink analysis
  • SEO Content writing
  • Outreach

Can you see now that manual link building strategies can be quite a hassle and why I recommended hiring service providers instead?

But with manual link service providers, what is the assurance that you won’t get burned?

What if the link builders use automated software?

Don’t fret. I curated the top providers you can trust. Check them out below.

  1. SERPReach
  2. uSERP
  4. Siege Media
  5. Page One Power
  6. Outreach Monks
  7. Submit Core
  8. Sure Oak
  9. Blue Tree
  10. The HOTH


SERPReach offers a 100% result-driven backlink strategy for top organic rankings that will skyrocket your website’s visibility and growth. 

We are a one-stop destination for manual link building services, so you can rest assured that we have the best quality links.

At SERPReach, we cater to all businesses, and you will surely enjoy the best possible budgets, on-time delivery, 100% white hat links, and much more.


SERPReach manual link building services:

  • Blogger outreach
  • Niche edit service
  • Guest posting service

Key takeaways:

  • Niche-Specific Campaigns – we assign experts to build authority backlinks for your site.
  • Detailed Reporting – we will send detailed reports to help you monitor your link building campaigns.


uSERP manually generates high-quality backlinks that will increase your website’s growth. They work with you to gain guaranteed monthly links to your website.

They use a white hat outreach and a content-driven approach to build their client backlink.

They focus on getting more website traffic for their clients.


uSERP manual link building services:

  • Outreach link building
  • Guest post link building
  • Broken link building

Key takeaways:

  • Progress report – you get updated in your personalized dashboard every week or monthly.
  • SEO strategy – Besides running link building campaigns, all of their plans include a full-service SEO strategy.


FATJOE link building services are flexible, scalable, and 100% hands-off.

With their effective link building strategies, they reach out to websites to obtain placements, allowing you to build authority and increase traffic through referrals.

FATJOE conducts genuine outreach to find the most relevant sites to work with. They only use white labels to generate organic links; with FATJOE, your clients will never know they built your links.


FATJOE manual link building services:

  • Infographic outreach
  • Niche edits
  • Blogger outreach
  • Multilingual outreach

Key takeaways:

  • Content syndication – FATJOE distributes pre-created, high-quality content to news outlets, media journals, and other high-quality websites. They also syndicate existing URLs.
  • Free tools – to enhance your link building processes.

Siege Media

Using innovative approaches, Siege Media secures high-quality backlinks for its clients.

In addition to strategically gaining relevant backlinks, they create unique marketing strategies based on their client’s objectives, target audiences, and market trends. 

FYI: Siege Media works with SaaS, Fintech, and e-commerce businesses.


Siege Media’s manual link building services:

  • Content marketing
  • Digital PR

Key takeaways:

  • Strong track record – they are backed with case studies of getting results. 
  • Content creation – using consistent content creation, they can generate over 100 monthly backlinks.

Page One Power

Page One Power specializes in securing white hat links that drive meaningful and sustainable business results for their clients, regardless of size or industry.


Page One Power’s manual link building services:

  • Content marketing
  • Enterprise link building solution

Key takeaways:

  • Quality content –  Page One Power maintains the highest quality standards for link building methods to deliver valuable backlinks to clients.
  • Scalability – They can operate as an extension of your team, building your backlink portfolio at scale, thanks to their years of experience creating link building strategies and achieving results.

Outreach Monks

Outreach Monks is a professional link building agency specializing in high-quality editorial backlinks. They focus on acquiring reputable, high-quality backlinks from authority sites relevant to your niche with the fastest turnaround time.

Additionally, they provide a variety of link building packages to fit different budgets.


Outreach Monk’s manual link building services:

  • Link insertions
  • Blogger outreach

Key takeaways:

  • Budget-friendly packages – They offer budget-friendly packages for all businesses, regardless of size.
  • Strong Readership – You can enjoy relevant niche-driven traffic with their manual contextual backlinks. They manually connect with real influencers from your industry to ensure the quality of the campaigns and timely execution.

Green Flag Digital

Using a 10-step process, Green Flag Digital offers data-driven link building services that increase traffic and visibility for their client’s website.


Green Flag Digital’s manual link building services:

  • Digital PR
  • Technical SEO

Key takeaways:

  • Audience-first research – Green Flag Digital builds trust and encourages conversion with user-focused content.

Sure Oak

Sure Oak offers various professional link building services, including flexible digital marketing packages. They have link building strategies that will work for your business, whether big or small.

They work with B2B, SaaS, fintech, education, insurance, e-commerce, and healthcare companies.


Sure Oak’s manual link building services:

  • Edu link building
  • Digital PR

Key takeaways:

  • Value exchange – They will use their network to earn valuable links from some of your niche’s most authoritative websites with equally valuable resources.
  • Link Reclamation – this strategy (one of Sure Oak’s offers) will help you reclaim links you lost due to updates on your website.


This company works primarily with SaaS and tech companies. They use their editorial approach to help brands scale by obtaining quality backlinks from well-known sites for their clients.


BlueTree’s manual link building services:

  • Digital PR
  • Custom blogger outreach

Key takeaways:

  • Affordable pricing – with BlueTree’s monthly plan, you can do monthly link building campaigns at a lower cost than hiring full-time staff. You get more affordable mentions than you could get by running your link building campaigns.
  • Progress report – They will update you about your link and campaign progress.


The HOTH, “Hittem Over the Head,” specializes in unique link building solutions. They use local link acquisition and content distribution strategies to help clients gain target traffic.


The Hoth’s manual link building services:

  • Content syndication
  • Link and blogger outreach

Key takeaways:

  • HOTH local SEO – Their local SEO services and packages will help you increase your online visibility by placing you in top local and industry directories.
  • Managed services – they deliver suitable link building packages regardless of your budget.


Manual link building techniques work. It is safe, sustainable, and cost-effective. However, the process and strategies involved can be challenging.

So, back to the question:

Yes, you need a manual backlink service. But ensure you use a trusted link builder — pick any of the 10 recommendations in this article.