As a digital marketer, I'm always looking for good link-building opportunities. They really do make a positive impact on your blog or website.
But there is some setup, outreach, and coordination involved for niche edits to work. How do you go about getting started?
Actually, let's take a step back, and look at “what are niche edits?”.
We'll walk through what they are, how they help with SEO, and how to go about getting niche edits.
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Table of Contents
- What Are Niche Edits?
- How Do Niche Edits Help SEO? Do They Work?
- Types of Niche Edits
- Guest Post vs Niche Edits
- Benefits of Niche Edits
- Drawbacks of Niche Edits
- What to Consider When Doing Niche Edits
- How to Get Niche Edit Links (The Safe Way)
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Niche Edits?
Niche edits, aka curated links, aka broken-link building, aka link insertions, aka contextual backlinks, aka… (just kidding, those are the only names they go by… as far as we know) are a way to build authority and get links to your site from other niche sites without doing all the work of creating a new guest post.
Essentially, you reach out to another similar site and request that they place links to your site within their already-existing content.
You either select some SEO-rich anchor text in one of their posts to link to your site, or you may write a few sentences to work a link into their content.
But why would a site just give you free publicity? It helps them build more domain authority, can freshen up some of their older content, and gives their site more value.
How Do Niche Edits Help SEO? Do They Work?
When done correctly, niche edits can greatly improve SEO. The key phrase here is “when done correctly.”
Companies need to find sites that already have built domain authority to pitch to. When you do this, you essentially hitch a ride on their success, causing your content to rank higher. You’re able to build more credibility and enjoy the added benefit of driving more traffic to your site.
Types of Niche Edits
Niche edits can be broken up into three subcategories, including “white hat,” “black hat,” and “gray hat.”
Let’s look at what these mean.
White Hat Niche Edits
White hat niche edits require the business to reach out directly and manually to a site where they want to insert a link.
These are the safest way to do niche edits, but, as you may expect, they do require more time and work than the other ways to acquire niche edits.
Black Hat Niche Edits
Black hat niche edits are sold by SAPE networks that belong to black hats.
Though very popular back in the early days of link building, they are generally not safe and are largely filtered out by Google.
Gray Hat Niche Edits
A favorite of SEO agencies, gray hat niche edits are purchased from curated link-sharing sellers, saving time while keeping things safe.
Guest Post vs Niche Edits
A guest post requires the content creator to write and publish an entirely new piece, whereas niche edits are done by inserting links to your site into aged content that’s already on their site.
Benefits of Niche Edits
Good for Building Authority
The most obvious benefit of niche edits is that they drive traffic to your site, which builds authority.
The more places that link to your site and the more traffic you get on your site, the better.
Niche edits are a mutually beneficial agreement that freshens up other niche sites’ aged content while providing you with authority-building links, so it’s a win-win situation.
You Control the Anchor Text
The other site that you create niche edits for already has SEO-rich content with keywords that help it rank.
You can use this to your advantage and insert your link to highly-relevant anchor text.
Quicker and Easier Than Guest Posts
All that niche edits require is a selection of anchor text, a relevant link to your site, and maybe a sentence or two to add to the niche site’s content.
There’s no need to create entirely new content, saving time and money.
Drawbacks of Niche Edits
Time-Consuming to Find Relevant Niche Sites and Pitch to Them
Doing your research, finding the right sites, and then crafting a pitch can take time and effort unless you hire a link-building agency.
Depending on your niche, it can be difficult to even find relevant sites to pitch to.
No Control of the Content
You don’t get to create original content, so you have no say in how (and if) you can generate brand value.
Hard to Scale
If you’re a small operation, the time and effort put into researching, finding, and pitching niche edits to relevant sites can be slow and tedious, making it hard to gain traction in a short amount of time.
What to Consider When Doing Niche Edits
They sound pretty cool, right? Ready to try ‘em out for yourself?
Think about these things before you start pitching.
Paying for links is against Google guidelines. Google guidelines permit “natural links” exchanged between businesses, but if there are excessive links between sites or it appears that you’re paying another site to insert dofollow links, you’re breaking Google’s guidelines.
Comes With Risks
Some inherent risks come with taking the gamble on niche edits.
Though they are generally safe, if you don’t play by the rules, you could be penalized by Google.
Though you don’t have control over much, you can request specific anchor text.
Be intentional and choose a few words from the content that aligns with the content of the link you’re inserting.
Link Velocity, Diversity, and Source
As cool as it would be to just throw links around anywhere and everywhere, not carefully planning your niche edit strategy can backfire.
Consider link velocity, diversity, and source.
Link velocity is how quickly your site gets a sudden influx of inbound clicks from links. If a site gets a sudden increase in traffic from external links once, that most likely will not affect your ranking. If your site shows a recurring pattern of peaks and valleys when it comes to links, it could register as spammy and would work against you.
The importance of link diversity depends on what type of niche your site is in. Large sites need a wide diversity of types of links, but smaller niche sites don’t need to worry about link diversity. If you run a small niche site, just worry about the relevance and quality of your links.
To build authority, you need to earn links from credible sources. This essentially just means sites that are legit rather than scammy ones.
Where your niche edits are placed reflects directly on your own site’s credibility.
Placing your links in content that’s high-quality and well-written is important to promote a positive brand message.
How to Get Niche Edit Links (The Safe Way)
Identify Relevant Targets
First, look around and find the niche sites you want to work with.
Using Ahrefs is a great place to find a target keyword or keyphrase so that you can optimize your content to beat out your competitors and find more relevant places to pitch to.
Draft a Pitch
This part is usually the trickiest.
Keep your pitch short, state exactly what you’re looking for and what you can do for them in exchange for the link, and find a good way to demonstrate the value of linking to your site.
Create a clear agreement that both parties can agree on, and don’t be afraid to negotiate down to a price or exchange that you think is fair.
Make It Easy
Since they are sort of doing your site a favor, you want to make it as easy and beneficial as possible for them.
Adding a sentence or two where they can sneak your link in while refreshing and improving their content takes the extra work off their hands and gives you some creative freedom.
Have Someone Else Do It For You
The safest, most effective way to get relevant, high-quality links is to outsource your niche edits to a professional, like We Outreach [review].
There are plenty of credible link-building services with personal connections to the best niche sites across multiple industries so you can get the most mileage out of your niche edits.
Check out our list of the best link-building services for expert niche edits created on your behalf.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are niche edits safe?
Yes, when done properly, niche edits are completely safe. You want to make sure to avoid black-hat niche edits and spammy-looking sites.
Are niche edits hacked links?
No, niche edits are not hacked links.
Are niche edits white hat?
Some niche edits are white hats, but there are also black hat and gray hat niche edits.
Do niche edits work?
When done well, niche edits can definitely help boost your website. But you must consider things like not breaking Google's guidelines and picking out quality and relevant sites.