Backlinks can come in a wide variety of forms and styles, and different companies will swear by certain techniques or methods as the most effective way of acquiring them. However, there’s one particular type of backlink that’s started to gain some traction in the SEO world: ‘niche edits’, the idea of editing new backlinks into existing articles to benefit from the authority and power they already have. But are they better than normal backlinks placed in new content, or do they have some flaws you’ll need to watch out for?
In most cases, a niche edit will be more powerful than a regular backlink would be under the same site and context. This is primarily because the page has been around for a while since it’s had time to get established and (if you pick the right article) might even be linked to by other major websites. It’s also far more time-efficient since you don’t need to write a new piece of content (with some exceptions, which you’ll see later).
However, they still suffer from the same issues as regular backlinks if done poorly. Irrelevant topics, a bad link profile on the host site or a range of other problems can all have an impact on the power and effectiveness of the niche edit, and it’s very easy to make the same mistakes that you would with regular paid or promoted content.
One of the questionable areas surrounding niche edits is how moral they actually are, and what kind of consequences they can have if they’re done poorly. Good niche edits will be fine with full consent of both parties, usually as part of an extension or upgrade to the previously-made content, but there are also some companies that inject links into old pages or snipe expired website domains before the owners can reclaim them.
The further you get into illegally gathering niche edits, the more likely it is that search engines will find out and heavily penalize you, and you might even get into major legal trouble. Even if morality isn’t a huge problem for you and you’re happy to buy placements rather than getting them naturally, the sites that host these articles might have their own requirements or standards for the kinds of promotions they take on.
It’s also much easier to get hold of a link than a new piece of content, especially on large sites. Even if you’re offering money in exchange, not every site will want to host a guest post or promotional piece, especially if it goes against their quality standards or doesn’t really fit in with the purpose of their site. It’s much faster and more convenient for a host site to change around a link on an old content piece instead, especially if you’re offering something that fits with the content’s theme and could benefit their readers.
The fact that you’re getting more power than a regular article, combined with the simplicity of changing or adding a link, makes them one of the fastest ways to secure a good backlink. However, Google is well aware of how popular the technique is, and they’ve been working on adjusting how their search engine responds to it. For marketing companies such as Searcharoo niche specific edits are quite easy to pull off, but it’s easy for individuals or small teams to make mistakes while handling a lot of different articles and links.
Niche edits are very similar to standard backlinks in terms of how they’re actually put together, but there’s a much higher chance of failure thanks to the added risks. Google (and other search engine platforms) will notice if a site suddenly has some of its links change overnight, so it’s extremely important to make it look as legitimate as possible. In most cases, you can do this by including the link in a new paragraph or portion of text added into the existing article, or by replacing a link to a dead site.
Google, in particular, is known for having a lot of rules with how content can be created, and they’ll notice if a link seems to change without any major updated or alterations to the rest of the article. They’ll often penalize not only the site the link is going to but sometimes the host site itself if the change isn’t substantial enough to be considered a proper update to the page. Timing also makes a difference, since rapid changes to multiple pieces of content (all linking to the same site) might draw some unwanted attention from search engine quality checks.