In ye olden days of SEO, it was all about link building. Sure, there were things you did to your site, you made sure it was built right, but most of the work went into building high-quality links.

After the recent big changes via the “cataclysmic” Penguin and Panda updates by Google, it’s all changed. (And for the best, I might add – things are a lot less spammy these days!)

Many SEOs did manual outreach as well as somewhat automatic super-spammy submission via bots or black hat programs. The black hat programs… well guess, what? They don’t work no more. Google done made sure of THAT. In fact, doing that sort of thing can actually hurt your rankings if not get your website blacklisted.

However, the manual outreach link building is still alive and well. Professional SEOs still research some quality targets and hit up a website asking if they’ll link to the SEOs site.

And it still works! They get backlinks from the “golden” .gov and .edu domains too. These are really nice because the average person can’t buy domains with those extensions.

The thing is, it’s VERY time consuming. Of course, you’re getting what is supposedly a very good backlink, so it might be worth it.

However – this goes against Google’s guidance. Everything they’ve said has been “don’t game the system, don’t build backlinks manually”. And they get better and better at sniffing out those not playing along with them. Eventually things are going to catch up to these link builders.


This is what Google wants. If you build backlinks unnaturally you run the risk that at some point in the future your site can take a hit or perhaps even be blacklisted. It’s not likely, but you never know.

Oh, it might not be a blacklisting sort of offense or anything, but surely Google will put less relevance either on the .gov and .edu domains or on the groups of sites that are adding links to these sites.

But an even better reason to not do manual outreach backlinking is time. The time involved for each little link just doesn’t make sense.

Instead you could be using that time to create great content for your website – content that visitors and Google both love.

Yes, here’s that phrase: CONTENT MARKETING. It’s here to stay and is the best bang for your buck in terms of building links.

So start creating awesome content and share it on your networks! If you need help with that, hit us up – that’s what we do all day long.