When it comes to SEO, I always seem to get confused with this issue. After reading much about white hat methods, all I hear is that manual link building is the way to go because 2-3 quality link sources could be worth hundreds of non-targeted, non-relevant links. However I've spoken to many SEO folks who say that they have seen great results from commenting on blogs, article submissions, etc. All of which are relatively easy link sources. Now I'm aware that the ranking difficulty will depend on the competition, but would it be safe to say that you can outrank legitimate sites by bombarding a MFA or similar affiliate site with links? When it comes to handling clients, I want to be transparent with where their links are coming from, however I want to keep my options open to take advantage of link opportunities even if it is considered black hat. I suppose the 301 redirect method or a tiered linking system could work but how beneficial are these methods if the linking pages aren't relevant to the content?