Niche edits have become a very popular way of getting website backlinks, and it doesn’t seem like people will stop using them any time soon. The concept behind them is very simple: it’s better to add a new link to older, more valuable content than to create a new piece of content from scratch. But is that actually the case? And more importantly, how easily can it go wrong?
Creating the Links
Creating a completely fresh link can be really easy most of the time. As long as a site is open to holding paid posts or taking paid links, you can pay a little bit of money and get yourself. If you want to be a bit more white-hat, you can try to create a partnership with them, or produce some content that other sites will want to link to naturally. This can take more time, but it’s the most ethical way of building links.
Niche edits can get a lot more complicated. Obviously, if you own the site that the link is on, you can quickly change it around. Most of the time, though, you’ll want links on sites owned by other people – and not all of them will be comfortable changing their links. Maybe they have a business partnership, an affiliate payment system, or just don’t like to compromise their morals. It’s entirely possible that they were paid for that link already, and they might not want to betray their partner by suddenly replacing their link with yours.
Getting Past Google
Google is smart. If you make an obvious change to a page without updating anything else, it might notice that something isn’t right and remove the authority you’d be getting. Let’s say you’re running a cooking site, and want to place the link on a DIY blog – it can work, but you need to make it natural. You’d have to convince the site owner to add more text to the page so that your niche edit doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb, which isn’t always easy.
On the other hand, a new link needs an entirely fresh article, with no relation to anything that’s been written previously. This can be difficult if you’re writing it from scratch, but it depends on who’s writing it. If you’ve just paid a site owner to write it for you, then you simply need to provide a link and wait until the content goes live. As long as nothing is duplicated from another site, there won’t be any issues.
Niche edits are almost always more powerful than a new piece of content. Not only have they been around longer, but they might have backlinks of their own from other sites that reference that post, content or page. This can help draw in more natural traffic, too, which might lead to a bigger boost in visitors through the old content itself – if it leads to an e-commerce site or purchasing page, you might end up with more sales this way.
New content is generally weaker in comparison, especially since search engines will need a while to index it properly. Since there usually won’t be any links going to your brand new content, it won’t be able to build up any more authority (or user traffic) until it starts getting attention. It could eventually become more powerful and valuable than a potential niche edit, but it’ll take time.
Google has a habit of making “overpowered” link building and marketing strategies slightly less effective once they become widespread. Niche edits will be no exception: it won’t be long until Google starts cracking down on these edits if they’re not 100% legitimate. Creating new content with links is such an important action that they’ll never change that much, though. You’re much more likely to have your niche edits invalidated than your regular links.
Because of this, you should never rely on niche edits alone: even if they’re working fine right now, Google can end up making serious changes at almost any time, and there’s no way to predict when it’ll stop being a viable strategy. There’s nothing wrong with using them, but you need to be prepared to switch to a different method of link building once it starts to collapse.