News flash: link-building strategies are still crucial for SEO, especially for Google campaigns. 

This rings true even in the age of zero click searches and generative AI. 

Despite a rapidly changing search landscape, generating backlinks remains a surefire way to boost your online visibility and outrank competitors. 

How do we know?

Research has found that the number of backlinks a web page has is directly correlated with the amount of organic traffic it’s able to generate. 

There have also been countless other studies and experiments proving the connection between high-quality backlinks and top search engine rankings. 

However, link building is also difficult and time-consuming, especially with all the outreach and content creation involved with guest posting. This has led to the recent surge in the popularity of link insertions, which provide a speedier way to generate backlinks.

Stick around to learn more about how link insertions work, including how to build a link insertion campaign for your website from scratch. 

What are Link Insertions?

Also called niche edits & link placements, a link insertion refers to placing one of your backlinks in an existing piece of content on topically relevant websites. 

How do you do that? By hacking the site and adding a link without the site owner’s knowledge?


You can add backlinks to existing posts by getting in touch with site owners from relevant websites. 

Link insertions are popular because the outreach is quick, you don’t have to wrack your brain trying to create any original content for them (as opposed to guest posts), and you can still obtain high-quality link placements to boost your search engine rankings. 

The challenge comes in how you convince site owners to insert one of your backlinks into an older piece (more on this in a bit). 

As long as you follow white-hat link-building tactics, link insertions won’t land you in any hot water with Google. 

Pro-tip: ‘White-hat’ link-building refers to acquiring backlinks through ethical and search engine-approved methods. Particularly, it means crafting outstanding content that naturally attracts links from other sites due to its relevance and usefulness to readers. The main goal is to improve your online visibility while adhering to the guidelines laid out by search engines, such as Google’s Search Essentials

How Do Link Insertions Fit Into Link Building? 

Link-building tactics have been a part of the search engine optimization process ever since the inception of Google, way back in the late 90s. 

Backlinks, which are external links pointing to your site, serve as ‘credibility votes’ toward the quality, authority, and trustworthiness of your content. 

To a search engine like Google, if relevant domains with high authority and top-tier content are linking to your blogs, homepage, and service pages – it’s seen as a sign that your website is of the same caliber. 

Notice that we said relevant domains, as you’ll want to acquire backlinks from related websites that publish similar content to yours

If you obtain backlinks from different niches or industries, they won’t add much value (also called link juice) to your link profile. 

While it may sound like a Legend of Zelda-themed cocktail, link juice is SEO lingo for the ranking power that gets passed from one site to another. Links from trustworthy, relevant websites will pass the most link juice to your site.

The relationship between website authority and backlink effectiveness

The authority of the websites you target for backlinks also matters.

What’s that?

Domain authority score refers to an SEO metric developed by Moz (not Google) that predicts how likely a website is to rank on the SERPs (search engine results pages). It’s a score ranging from 1 – 100, with scores above 50 considered ‘good.’ 

While domain authority score isn’t an official Google ranking factor, it’s a fairly accurate way to assess the ranking power of a domain – especially if you’re considering targeting them for a backlink. 

Since Google’s official PageRank data is kept under lock and key, third-party metrics like Moz’s domain authority and Ahrefs’ domain rating are the best tools we have for determining the ranking strength of a website. 

How important are backlinks for SEO on Google?

Next to the quality and relevance of your content, most experts agree the strength of your backlink profile is the second-most important ranking factor (despite Google’s claims to the contrary).

Pro-tip: Google’s search algorithms are extremely complex and use specific sets of criteria to rank billions of search results in a fraction of a second. These criteria are known as ranking factors, and include things like content quality, relevance, and backlinks. 

How Link Insertions Gained Popularity 

For years, tactics like guest posting, creating infographics, and outdoing competitor content dominated most link-building services as their go-to methods for obtaining backlinks. 

Link insertions were a thing, but they were largely seen as inferior to other methods like guest blogging. 

In fact, they went by the not-so-graceful name of link begging. 

A meme of Oliver Twist begging for more links.

However, the process was destigmatized in recent years when SEOs realized that adding backlinks to existing pieces of content is actually a viable tactic that involves simple outreach and provides impressive results.

As long as the linking domain has topical relevance to your content and has decent authority, backlinks acquired through link insertions will boost your SERP rankings just as well as any other technique. 

That’s because, outside of using unsavory black-hat techniques that can penalize you, it doesn’t really matter how you acquire backlinks from authoritative sites. As long as the link points to your content, it makes no difference how hard you worked for it.  

Link insertions are now equally as popular (and effective) as other tried-and-true link-building tactics like guest posting or article syndication.

While some link builders offer site owners money for link insertions, it’s crucial to note that this is strictly against Google’s search guidelines. Paying for links does qualify as a link scheme, and your site may receive a penalty if you’re caught, so proceed at your own risk. 

What are the Advantages of Using Link Insertions?

infographic on advantages of link insertions

Now that you know more about the history of link insertions, should you actually bother using them? 

After all, if you’re already writing guest posts and targeting HARO placements, is it really worth adding link insertions into your existing repertoire?

It’s definitely worth adding link insertions into the mix, especially since they involve simple outreach, no content creation, and you can target a wide variety of websites – among other perks. 

So, even if you’re already generating backlinks through other methods, there’s no reason not to include link insertions due to how simple they are to target. 

Here’s a look at all the reasons why you should start using link insertions for your SEO: 

Quicker indexing 

A significant benefit of using link insertions is that you don’t have to wait for Google to index a brand-new post

Depending on the popularity of the website you’re writing for, it can take anywhere from several hours to several weeks for Google to index a new guest post. 

Unless you’re writing a guest post on a behemoth site like Wikipedia (which usually receives same-day indexing for new content), you’ll have to wait quite a while for your new guest post to appear in the SERPs. 

That means you’ll face a long wait between publishing the post and seeing its impact on your SEO profile. 

Link insertions are different because you’re adding a backlink to an existing page within Google’s index.

The result?

You won’t have to wait for your link profile to receive the sweet link juice from your newly acquired backlink. That means link insertions can provide near-instantaneous boosts to your SERP rankings, which is a big reason why they’re so powerful. 

You can target virtually any website in your niche 

Guest posts are pretty limited in that not every website accepts them. 

That seriously limits your options when looking for websites to target for guest blogging. This problem is worse for smaller niches that already don’t have many websites posting regularly on their blogs and social media. 

Link insertions don’t have this limitation, as you can target any website that has relevant content related to yours. 

For instance, let’s say you’re in the gardening niche, and you find a gardening site that briefly mentions biodynamic gardening in a blog post – which you happen to have an in-depth guide for on your website. 

This is a perfect scenario for targeting a link insertion. 

Since the article only mentioned biodynamic gardening in passing, your ultimate guide provides a meaty resource for further reading. 

That will improve their user experience, and it will update the content and make it fresh again. This is beneficial for the webmaster, as it gives an aging piece of content a chance to generate some more organic traffic (and maybe even a few leads and sales). 

The best part?

You don’t have to worry if the target website in question accepts guest posts or not, so you won’t have to waste such a golden opportunity.

It’s a white-hat practice when done right 

If you don’t offer money for link insertions, it’s largely considered a white-hat SEO technique that won’t lead to any penalties. 

As long as you offer value to the website in the form of updated content or exchanging link insertions/guest posts – you’re in the clear. 

The example listed above, where you add a link to an ultimate guide that enhances the existing content, is one of the absolute best ways to score link insertions. 

Google released a Link Spam Update back in late 2022 that cracked down on paid backlinks, so it’s best to avoid offering money for links outright. 

Instead, do what you can to update and add value to older posts on relevant websites. 

How to Target Link Insertions in 3 Easy Steps

Infographic on Easy Ways to Target Link Insertions

Randomly selecting websites for link insertions won’t cut it, so you’ll need to develop a game plan if you want to find success. 

The typical link insertion strategy goes as follows:

  1. Finding relevant websites with desirable SEO metrics to target 
  2. Conducting an outreach campaign 
  3. Placing the links with optimized anchor text 

Let’s take a closer look at each step.

Step #1: Finding the right websites to target 

Relevant links matter to Google, so you don’t want to link to your website in inappropriate places. Even when you find an appropriate website, you can’t just add a link to any page you find. 

Rather, you need to uncover the best opportunities for link insertions within their content. 

Remember the gardening website example that linked an ultimate guide to a relevant article?

Those are the types of opportunities you need to keep an eye out for when browsing websites within your niche. 

Do they mention any products or services you sell? Do you have any in-depth pieces that provide more detail for something they only mention in passing?

Targeting websites that have high authority and quality content 

Besides relevancy, you need to pay attention to a website’s authority and content quality. Otherwise, you may acquire a backlink from a website with less-than-favorable SEO metrics, which won’t do you any favors ranking-wise. 

This phase requires meticulous research to ensure the target sites align with your content’s quality and audience interests. Tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz are your best friends for doing this type of research, so don’t hesitate to use them.

You can also use our free SEO audit tool to quickly uncover crucial SEO metrics for any website, including the following:

  • Link profile 
  • On-page SEO 
  • Performance 
  • Usability 
  • Social presence 

Once you’ve uncovered a handful of high-quality websites to target, you can move on to the next step.

Step #2: Conduct outreach to website owners 

Now it’s time to work some email magic by reaching out to site owners to request link insertions. 

Negotiating link insertions with topically relevant websites is a delicate process. Doing things the white-hat way, you’ll need to include how you plan to add value to their existing post. Here’s how you can approach it effectively:

Understanding the value proposition

Be clear about how the link insertion will benefit them and what you can offer in return. This could be reciprocal linking, sharing their content on your social media or writing an expert guest post for their website. 

Craft a personalized outreach message

By personalizing your outreach email, you’ll show a website owner that you have genuinely engaged with their content and care about what they do. 

Remember to keep your outreach emails short, simple, and to the point (there’s no need to beat around the bush). 

We recommend including specifics about where and how your link could be incorporated into their existing content. 

It’s also a good idea to personalize each email with the site owner’s name, relevant insights, and anything else that may sway them to open your email (such as a shared interest or a mutual contact).

Here’s an example of an outreach email:

Subject: Collaboration Opportunity with [Your Website/Brand Name]

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I hope this message finds you well. My name is [Your Name], and I am the [Your Position] at [Your Website/Brand Name]. I’ve been a huge fan of your work on [Recipient’s Website/Brand Name] for some time now, and I’m super impressed by the quality and depth of your content, especially your article on [Specific Topic/Article Title].

While consuming your content, I noticed a spot where one of our posts could really help your readers out/solve their pain points. We recently published an in-depth article on [Topic of Your Article], which I believe is a perfect companion to your piece on [Their Article’s Topic]. Our article covers [Brief Description of What Your Article Offers, e.g., fresh insights, updated statistics, a new perspective, etc.].

Would you consider adding a link to our article within your post? I’m confident that it would add new value to a dated blog and provide your audience with more resources related to the subject. 

Please let me know if you would like to review our article or if you need any more information. I am also open to any suggestions for collaboration that might benefit both our audiences.

Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to the possibility of working together to provide our readers with even more comprehensive insights!

Best regards,

[Your Name]

[Your Position]

[Your Website/Brand Name]

[Your Contact Information]

Be flexible 

Be open to negotiation. Some site owners may have specific guidelines or requests for link insertions.

Show willingness to adjust your terms, such as the anchor text or the specific page you want to link to (more on anchor text below!) 

One backlink is a lot better than no backlinks, so don’t get too caught up in the details if the site owner isn’t able to accommodate 100% of your request.

Focus on building relationships 

Rather than treating outreach emails as one-offs, your goal should always be to form a long-lasting relationship with each site owner. 

Why is that?

It’s because a relationship will likely lead to multiple backlinks instead of just one. 

If you have an existing relationship in place with a relevant website, you can turn to them whenever you’re in need of more backlinks. This will save you the hassle of drafting cold outreach emails to site owners you’ve never spoken with before.   

Therefore, you should treat the outreach process as the beginning of a professional relationship. Don’t forget to nurture it by expressing your interest in future collaborations as you email back and forth. 

Follow up with a heartfelt thank you message after the link insertion and be sure to stay in touch with them for more backlink opportunities.

Pro-tip: Remember, if your website has pristine SEO metrics (lightning-fast loading speed, good domain authority, quality content, etc.), it’ll be easier to convince site owners to add your links to their content. 

Bearing that in mind, you can consult our extensive on-page SEO and technical SEO guides to make your website a lean, mean SERP-ranking machine. 

Step #3: Optimize the anchor text for the link placement 

Anchor text refers to highlighted, clickable text that contains a hyperlink. Since website URLs are lengthy and cumbersome to type, writing anchor text simplifies things and hints at the web page it directs to.   

For example, instead of typing out the URL for our SEO blog (, we would use anchor text to simplify it and reference the page it links to, like this: 

Master SEO with The HOTH Blog

Anchor text is also an important ranking factor for Google’s algorithms.  

In particular, anchor text needs to be informative, relevant, and keyword-rich

No matter what you do, avoid generic anchor text at all costs. Phrases like ‘buy now’ and ‘click here’ are too plain and don’t provide readers with any useful information. 

That’s because they don’t give the reader a sense of what to expect when clicking the link. Anchor text is the most helpful when it describes the page it links to. 

You should also do your best to include the target keyword for the page in its anchor text, as Google’s crawler bots will pick up on it. 

The Wrap Up: What are Link Insertions?

Unlock the power of link-building with link insertions—a smart, fast, and efficient strategy that will elevate your SEO game in a big way.

Skip the wait for indexing, streamline your outreach, and forget about crafting new content for every backlink.

Ready to soar to new heights with your link-building strategy?

Don’t wait to check out The HOTH’s Link Insertion services. Our SEO experts are masters at crafting top-tier link profiles that help clients outrank even the most stubborn competitors. Contact us now and see the difference for yourself!