Niche edits, also known as curated links, are all the rage these days. Every agency seems to offer the service. Building links always is challenging. Niche edits are an affordable solution for those just starting.
Best Niche Edit Service Providers
A word of caution — some of the services I mention in this article are grey hat. We are not responsible if your website(s) incurs a penalty from Big G from the use of any providers we list.
I also should say that I don’t condone the act of buying links in SEO. But if you wish to proceed, use kid gloves.
Here are some of the best niche edit/curated link providers:
- Human Proof Designs
- Rhino Rank
- SuperStar SEO
- Real Authority
- Serp Wolf
- Fat Joe
So far, I’ve tried two providers. My experience with both is below.
1) Rhino Rank — $30
Rhino Rank is the first outreach company I discovered while looking for curated placements. The pricing is very affordable. I believe the last time I checked, it was $30 per URL.
The agency also offers guest posting, though I have not tried it. Their service seems similar to The Hoth, as they provide the content to bloggers.
I’d say their quality is decent, but the consistency is all over the place. I’ve gotten excellent links in the past, but other times, they have been pure garbage.
The first link ordered with Rhino Rank was incredible. It was right on point, entirely relevant to the niche. I couldn’t believe it. The next one I ordered, not so much.
During the holiday season, I ordered a Grade Three Link (100-250 referring domains) curated link. The order ended up delayed, even though I chose the expedited option.
The link quality was iffy, and the placement itself didn’t seem human. The site did have more than 250 RD, but the article dated back to 2014 — a little too old, in my opinion.
It’s hit or miss with the team at Rhino Rank. That said, I’ll probably order from them again in the future.
2) Real Authority — $15
Real Authority is an active seller on a quickly-growing marketplace for SEO, graphic design, and programming: Legiit.
You’ll notice that the layout is somewhat similar to Fiverr (even the double lettering is congruent).
I picked up a curated link from Real Authority last year. And while the quality of the niche edit was excellent, it didn’t last. I logged in recently to check if it was still there, and, to my surprise, it’s gone.
Real Authority provides a decent service, but ultimately, it’s up to the webmasters whether or not a given link will stay.
I think everyone should remove the idea of link permanence from sales pages — no matter who the vendor.
What is a Niche Edit/Curated Link?
Niche edits, or curated links, are link placements on existing web content typically acquired through outreach.
If a blogger updates an existing blog post with new content, and potentially new links to a new website(s), that additional link technically is a niche edit.
But as with anything in SEO, there are white hat, grey hat, and black hat techniques.
White Hat Niche Edits
White hat outreach is the safest link curation — it should come as no surprise.
For example, if you emailed me and suggested I link to your content, that is an example of niche edit outreach.
Traditional outreach with techniques like broken link building can work, but I haven’t had much luck on my sites.
Webmasters of big websites are flooded with emails each day, so don’t expect these techniques to convert well.
A better way to get links, in my opinion, is the Research and Rank technique. Conduct research across your industry on a specific topic. Create a blog post containing the statistical analysis.
Bloggers love linking to well-researched analytical pieces. Just look who ranks #1 for the query podcast statistics. That blog post has tons of links from huge websites.
Grey Hat Niche Edits
Many SEO agencies now sell niche edits or curated links packages. You pay money, and they do the outreach. In some cases, these services could be white hat, but most are not.
If you pay for a link, it’s grey hat — no matter what way to look at it.
You have to be careful. Some sellers have access to thousands of websites and can edit website content at their discretion, often without the webmaster even knowing. To me, this practice is bordering on black hat.
Black Hat Niche Edits
Black hat marketers are the worst. SAPE, one of the worst link providers, supposedly uses hacked websites for the insertion of niche edit links. Avoid these types of sites at all costs.
I read a BuzzFeed piece recently (surprising they covered this, honestly) that outlined how hackers are breaking into websites and injecting links.
The article details the story of Molly Stillman discovering injected links into some 500 posts on her website — links utterly unrelated to her niche I should note (NSFW content).
Hackers can breach a site if webmasters fail to update themes, plugins, or use un-secure passwords. And even if you’re all up to date, they manage to find ways.
This practice of link injection is entirely wrong on so many levels; if you think it’s okay with it, hit the back button now.
Niche Edit services on websites like BlackHatWorld are also dodgy, and I wouldn’t doubt some of these links are similar. An SEO consultant from the Philippines even noted it on the forum, mentioning SERPninja.
I recommend only perusing that website for general information — not their marketplace.
I’m sure not every seller is terrible, but the domain name alone is enough to deter me.
Why Not Guest Posting?
Unlike a guest post, you only need to provide a URL and anchor text.
Guest posting on tons of blogs can be useful, but we see less and less effect from these types of link placements.
As usual, SEOs and marketers tend to exploit a technique until it becomes ineffective. Remember blog commenting? That practice led to the introduction of the rel=”nofollow” tag.
Even so, comment spammers still exist in today’s web ecosystem.
I think the same is with guest posting, albeit, at least on low-quality websites.
If you’re going to include guest posting in your efforts, stay in your industry, and don’t contribute to websites laden with affiliate content exclusively.
Google’s John Mu stated multiple times that guest post links aren’t the safest.
They emphasize that links should be natural — something I do agree with to a certain extent. I think it’s safe to say we should keep our author names off of guest posts from now on.
But niche edits, or curated links, do appear to be natural placements (some of the time).
So Are Niche Edits They Worth It?
I suppose it depends on your tolerance for risk.
Every link placement has some level of danger in the eyes of Google. If you’re looking to rank a site quickly and jump up in the rankings, they may be worth it.
If you plan on building your website long-term and establish real authority, curated links may not be the best option.
For one, it’s almost impossible to judge the quality of the placement and the context of the link. If you receive one that isn’t up to snuff, you’ll have to contact the webmaster directly and attempt to get them to change it for you.
If you are going the authority route, don’t get niche edits exclusively. Ensure your link profile is diverse, with links from authoritative sources.