Guest Posts vs. Niche Edits – The Contextual Showdown

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A common question that we get in the support emails is whether to use guest posts or niche edits for your site. This is quite a loaded question as we always recommend having a balanced backlink profile, using a variety of different link but in this article I am going to cover the pros and cons of guest posts and niche edits.

 

So to begin not everyone is going to be aware of the differences between niche edits and guest posts. A guest post is where you have an article placed onto a website, within the article you place a backlink to your target website, sometimes there is a monetary exchange to do so. Contrary to what some whitehat SEOs will tell you any active link building, is against Google terms of service, so even guest posts with no monetary exchange can lead to penalties. A niche edit is where your backlink is placed within an aged article, the content around the backlink is changed to make sure that it makes sense.

 

So why would you want to use niche edits over guest posts, I mean guest posts you have a lot of control over the post compared to niche edits.

The Benefits Of Niche Edits

Cost Effective

This is one of the biggest benefits of niche edits, if I look at our link building campaigns I would say that we get the most movement per dollar spent using niche edits. This is because we are often able to negotiate lower prices with sites as we are only asking them to add a backlink and a few sentences to already existing content, that is aged so it won’t feature on their homepage for new visitors. There is no real disadvantage for the webmaster. On top of this, we don’t have to pay a content writer to write 1,000 words, our British placement team will add the extra content to make the anchors make sense and it will only take them a few minutes to do so versus over an hour for a 1,000 word article.

Aged Posts

Some people see this as a disadvantage, but aged posts mean that the pages are already indexed and quite often will already have tier 2 backlinks pointing to the URL. This means that it has an advantage over a fresh guest post as it might take a few days to index and when it does while it has the domain strength at a URL level there isn’t much strength which is why for our guest posts we usually recommend building T2 backlinks.

Decent Relevancy

With our niche edits we are always looking to make sure that our placements make sense, we won’t place your backlink into an article that is completely unrelated like we have seen done by some other services. If you work in a very obscure niche it can be difficult to do so but we will always inform you if we feel like we can’t get semi-related placements.

The Disadvantages of Niche Edits

While we do like niche edits it would be a lie to say there aren’t some disadvantages when compared to using guest posts. We want to make this article as fair as possible so you can make an informed decision, so here are some disadvantages.

Relevancy

As previously mentioned a good level of relevance can usually be achieved but guest posts you can push this relevancy to the next level and make sure that the keyword is within the title / H1 and URL.

Outbound Links

Niche edits can have more outbound links than guest posts, this is because if you only allowed one outbound link per post we would quickly run out inventory due to the large volume of links that we place.

Traffic

The level of traffic on niche edits can be a bit of a mixed bag, we don’t guarantee traffic levels on niche edits. But some sites can have a small amount of traffic while others, especially the higher DR ones will have over 50k organic traffic.

 

Emerging Niches

Newly emerging niches can be a real struggle to get placements for as there are a very limited number of aged articles that your links can be placed on.

An example of this is CBD, up until recently not many sites spoke about CBD but now there are hundreds of SEOs taking any placements that they can get their hands on.

Advantages Of Guest Posts

You Control The Outbound Links

A big advantage of guest posting is that you can control the number of outbound links. With our guest posting your site is the only outbound link, but we do mix it up and sometimes link to an authority site as a source for example.

This means that all the link juice is passed to your site rather than being split.

Dialled In Relevancy

You can make sure the relevancy of a post is super high, you can mention your main keyword in the title, the URL and H1 of the page so that Google sees that this is a super relevant niche link.

Custom Metrics

With our guest posting service, you can specify what metrics you are after. If you want your links to have high DR and traffic we are able to do so if you or your clients are only after high DR and aren’t too worried about traffic we can do that as well.

If you are after custom metrics that aren’t available to select on the site please get in contact with us at [email protected] to get a custom quote.

More Traffic To the Page

When a new guest post is added to a site there is a chance that it will naturally get visitors from the site and click throughs from the article to your target URL. This is a good trust signal to send to google.

Disadvantages of Guest Posts

Price

This is one of the biggest disadvantages of only using guest posts, guest posts are more expensive than other options such as niche edits and PBNs. This is due to there being more moving parts and more labour required in general.

All our guest posts are from custom outreach campaigns, we don’t use a database of sites. This is because the volume of guest posts we are doing if we only had a few hundred sites in our inventory we would burn the sites in weeks.

We have been speaking with other outreach experts such as Gareth Simpson and he mentions that he has seen that certain guest posting sites aren’t getting any movement for their sites. They aren’t seeing negative movement but they aren’t seeing positive movement and this is due to the sheer volume of guest posts the sites are accepting.

This is why it is important to test different services and different link types and see the effect they have on your site. These sites that aren’t getting positive movement can still look good when you are only looking at their metrics.

Turn Around Time

Due to the nature of guest posting the turnaround time of guest posting can be a bit volatile, while we try to ensure that all our guest posts are completed 4 weeks after anchor selection there can be things which don’t go to plan and increase the time to completion. For example, we often find a site which is happy to post your site but they only post guest posts 2x a week so if they have a bit of a backlog of guest posts it can throw off expected delivery times

Lack Of URL Strength

As previously mentioned, while guest posts have domain power they often lack strength at a URL level. The way to remedy this is by building tier 2 backlinks but this is another cost to consider. We have found far better results from our guest posting campaigns when we build T2 backlinks.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has helped you see the benefits and disadvantages of guest posts and niche edits. When I get asked this question by potential clients if they already have an established backlink profile and haven’t utilised niche edits I will often recommend niche edits because they often have a better ROI when compared to guest posts. This isn’t to say we don’t use guest posts, it’s just that their backlink profile already contains a good amount of guest posts.

We always recommend using a diverse backlink profile, just like you would see on a natural site. With our own money sites we are building social profiles, citations, relevant forum and Q&A links, niche edits, guest posts and authority links. We don’t ever want to rely on one type of link. A really good strategy we have been using is using niche edits for overall domain power and dialling down the relevance in guest posts. There isn’t a particular ratio of links that we are looking to use on a site, we make sure that the number of niche edits used doesn’t get too out of proportion to other links, but we have seen sites thriving with over 50% of their backlink profile coming from niche edits because when done, correctly, niche edits can look like guest posts.

We have had comments from very high up whitehat SEOs on our niche edits saying that our niche edits are better than some guest posting services that they have used in the past.

If you have any questions about your website’s backlink profile feel free to get in touch and one of our team will be happy to have a look and make some recommendations on what we think you will need to rank your site.

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6 Comments

Reply Aaron April 26, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Hey Jack great post once again! What do you mean by “A really good strategy we have been using is using niche edits for overall domain power and dialing down the relevance in guest posts. “? For example, using 50-75 Niche Edits to send to the homepage in order to strengthen the domain (DR)?

Reply Jack Vivian April 27, 2019 at 11:01 pm

Thanks Aaron, yeah that’s what a lot of people have been doing recently with good success.

Reply Tibor April 26, 2019 at 3:45 pm

I have to say I personally love niche edits and have seen great success from them. Can really push the needle in competitive niches.

Good point in the last part about ratios and natural profile.

I am quite pushing it with niches edits at 65% but 80+% is really a big risk in my opinion.

Reply Jack Vivian April 27, 2019 at 11:02 pm

Yeah I think they’re a great option no matter the competition level.
I know you can rank with 100% niche edits but yeah I would be unlikely to push to 80%+ as well.

Reply Santiago Pardo April 26, 2019 at 7:24 pm

Hey Jack, thanks for the info. I purchased a 120 from Bad niches, I thought I was getting a guest post on a website of my same niche. But I got a niche edit from a legal site on a post from 2007.

Not complaning tho. DR 32 is nice to have to a money page in my DR 29. I think I’ll buy one a month.

But if you can get better sites…. There’s many many good and ancient bad niches websites with thousands of pages. If you guys can ever get this I believe you’d have really happy customers

Reply Andy Cockayne May 3, 2019 at 9:04 am

An interesting read Jack, if I’m honest, I wasn’t 100% sure what niche edits were until I read this article!

Now I am 100% ‘in the know’, I will be using your service for my clients and for my affiliate site(s)!

Cheers!

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