castar - 7:23 pm on Feb 26, 2010 (gmt 0)
One of the ways that I've out-sourced my link building is by training a few local college kids how to do it (a couple of years back). I had good results. That was years ago and things have changed. Google looks more carefully at links now. I've also tried using online sources, like forums, etc. and my serps dropped. I think some say that they do manual links, when they do automatic. The other thing was some links were on sites that had many gambling and pharmaceutical links, not related to my site... what I would call a bad neighborhood. I had to do a ton of manual link building over several months to reverse the damage.
I also think (my opinion only) that trust rank is a major factor in link building and a google patent. Google wants to see a balance of related links (to your category or theme of your site), links from trusted sites and then others. In other words, what looks like natural link building. It's a sensitive balance I would not trust to others. I am now doing all my own link building... lesson learned.