A niche edit is a change made to an existing piece of content, adding a link to your website.
You reach out to a website owner and ask them to include a link pointing to your website in exchange for a monetary contribution.
The website owner then changes a paragraph or small section of the article to make it relevant and includes a link to your site.
This can be a great way to build high authority backlinks quickly as long as you choose legitimate websites with authority, traffic, and reputation.
Niche edits have been at the forefront of some shady practices in the past, which we’ll discuss more below, so you just want to make sure you’re using common sense when approaching these link building opportunities.
Are Niche Edits White Hat?
The question of “white hat vs. black hat” link building might come to mind when you think of niche edits.
It’s important to understand that link building, in general, is deemed “black hat” by Google.
The image above is documentation direct from the Google Developers website.
According to Google, you can’t buy links in exchange for money, you can’t offer free content for links, you can’t do link exchanges, and you can’t use automated link building software.
So, you can’t build links.
Based on that information, we could assume that…
What are “White Hat” Links?
There is no such thing as a “white hat” link building strategy because Google disapproves of all link building methods.
Of course, we can’t just not build links because Google doesn’t like it. We need to approach everything cautiously and ensure the links we get look natural to the algorithm.
Niche edits work by providing another avenue for you to add a link to your blog or website.
Having a wide variety of niche links with relevant anchor text is a great way to increase your rankings and boost your domain authority..
Niche edits are simply one piece of this puzzle. Guest posts are nice, but getting links from mature pieces of content can be beneficial.
At We Outreach, a majority of the niche links we build are edits to existing content pages, and our clients regularly see massive traffic growth as a result of this effort.
Types of Niche Edits
The concept of niche edits is rather simple, and for lack of a better description, you can either have a “good” or a “bad” one.
The same can be said about link building in general, though. There are good, and bad links, and the methods of building them can often blend together.
Two or three years ago, there was a big WordPress exploit that resulted in a ton of websites getting hacked.
Certain companies capitalized on this opportunity and sold niche edit link services on the hacked sites.
This may have resulted in a short boost in site authority and traffic but it was a bad strategy in the long run.
This might not exist today, but it’s something you always want to pay attention to. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
You’ll find website owners all over the internet on sites like Fiverr offering thousands of links in exchange for what seems like an affordable cost.
Many of these services may offer niche edits.
Keep your guard up on these types of opportunities. Manual link building that will result in long-term ranking power takes time and money.
Good Niche Edit Backlinks
Proper niche edits require you to pay for links on high-quality sites. Determining the quality of a website requires you to look a little deeper.
This Ahrefs report is from a blog that provides guest posting and link building opportunities.
Citizenjournal.net covers a vast assortment of topics ranging from VPNs, to sustainability, to sports.
The example has a domain rating of 72 so at first glance, it seems like a great opportunity plus the barrier of entry is so low that you could get a niche edit here no problem.
That doesn’t always mean you should get niche edits on these sites.
In the box in the image above is their “Ahrefs rank” which we can use as a rough determination of their PageRank in Google’s eyes.
It’s been gradually decreasing for years now which can tell us that the website is losing favor in the eyes of Google.
This is their organic traffic. As Google issues more and more updates focused on quality content and relevance, it becomes more difficult for sites like this to stay afloat.
If that’s not enough for you, let me drive a nail into the coffin.
The image above is a compilation of the articles on their home page. TikTok engagement, tennis, air quality, crypto trading, and funeral costs.
All of these articles are featured on their homepage in a week’s time and they’re all “written” by the same person. There’s no way that the author has the knowledge to write each post.
It’s painfully obvious that relevant content doesn’t matter on the blog and getting a niche edit link on sites like this might boost your websites rankings in the short term but it doesn’t help your overall SEO process.
The difference between niche edits like this and quality backlinks is explained in our link building framework.
Guest Posting vs. Niche Edit Link Building
The two work together in perfect harmony, but they have some differences.
Guest Post vs. Niche Edits: What’s The Difference?
Niche edits get a link by editing an existing page while guest posts publish fresh content.
A mix of niche edits and guest posts on relevant websites is a good strategy because it looks natural.
Google can see that you’re getting backlinks from the new guest post while also scoring niche edits on existing, relevant, and high authority articles.
Diversifying your SEO is always a good policy; you never want any link building strategy to become too one-dimensional.
Adding niche edit links to your overall link building process might be exactly what you need to increase domain authority and boost rankings in the search engine.
As for the effort you need to put in, niche edits are generally easier. They’re more manageable because you only need to negotiate placement and cost with the website owners.
Do your research ahead of time, have an idea of where the link should go, and then negotiate the cost.
Guest posting requires more effort because you need to agree on posts, write the article, provide value through revisions, and then chase after the webmaster or author of the post.
Even though you’re doing it for free, the value on your end might not be there.
The upside is that you get to choose your topic, anchor text, outbound links, link placement, and overall quality of the content in the article.
Niche edit backlinks offer less control and put more in the hands of the website owners.
Either way, both are necessary for building SEO links.
How to Use Niche Edits (Safely)
Niche edits can be used to grow your website authority. We all know the importance of building links, and this is simply one element of an overall link building strategy. Here are three ways to safety utilize niche edit links:
There may be certain pages on your website that you really want to rank because it will help you.. A few backlinks could dramatically help your SEO.
Building niche edit links to these pages can help your site build authority.
An example of this type of page might be a services page where you break down the services you provide, and ranking on page one for a certain phrase could make your site look more established.
Home Page Links
Getting niche edit backlinks to your homepage is a great way to increase authority and, when done correctly, can look very natural.
If you find a site where you could provide some type of expert commentary, you could ask the site owner to quote you on the post and provide a link on the callout. For example:
“Niche edits are one piece of the overall link building puzzle,” said Jason at We Outreach.
Niche edit links like this don’t appear to be “paid for.”
It looks like the site owner simply quoted you because you’re an expert, and that can do wonders for your authority and ranking power.
Rank Specific Pages
Sometimes you need links to rank specific pages based on competitors.
The examples above are the search results for “how to measure for a roof.”
The third and fourth results have fewer backlinks than wikihow, but they probably have better content because they’re more relevant.
The number 3 result is a roofing company and the number 4 result is BobVilla.com which focuses entirely on DIY home improvement content.
A handful of niche edits may help them outrank wikihow even if they don’t surpass the actual number.
How to Get Niche Edit Links
If you want to score niche edit link opportunities, there are some steps you’ll need to follow.
1. Focus On Great Content Always
First of all, SEO starts and ends with great content. If you don’t have valuable and interesting content on your site, many of your outreach efforts may go unnoticed.
2. Build a Prospect List
Once you’re ready to pursue link opportunities, you need to make a list of ideal prospects that you’ll reach out to.
One of the best ways to do this is by seeing what websites link to your competitors using the referring domains filter in the SEO tool Ahrefs.
You can use this to filter by dofollow links from sites that have their own traffic. I used BobVilla.com in the example above.
3. Find Contact Info
Once you’ve made a list of the niche sites you want to reach out to, you need to figure out how to contact them.
Most importantly, you want to contact the right individual who will actually be able to make a decision on whether or not to give you a niche edit.
A tool like Hunter.io can help with that. I put ruralintelligence.com into the tool, and it provided me with multiple email addresses for marketing and editing that I can reach out to.
4. Send an Email Pitch
Last but not least, send them a direct email pitch.
Ask for precisely what you want, keep it short, and be sure to explain the value in return. If you plan on paying for a link, don’t beat around the bush; tell them that.