Editorial Links: What Are They? Should You Get Them For Your Site?

Editorial Links

Editorial links, also known as editorial links, are generally regarded as the holy grail of link building. But in truth, are they really worth the hype?

If editorial backlinks are the acclaimed pinnacle, what about acquired links from manual outreach? Are the two even different?

Why must you focus on editorial links? Should you?

And if you must, how can you attract the authority sites and publications?

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about editorial links, especially how to get them to boost your site’s visibility.

Let’s begin?

The simplest way to define editorial links is in the fact that they are earned. In other words, you will do less outreach and zero payment. Yet, you get upvotes from authority sites.

And because of the “earned” respect, editorial links are regarded as “the holy grail.”

Wait, how come there is still “less outreach”? Should you do outreach for an earned link?

All types of link-building involve outreach. That’s the core of it all.

And when you’re manually boosting [or setting up] your site’s editorial links, you will do some outreach.

If editorial links also involve outreach, how are they different from acquired links?

Let’s find out!

Despite both forms of link building having their share of outreach, they are intrinsically different. How?

For starters, the approach is different. Let’s use Ahrefs as an example. They use both acquired and editorial links. Here is how:

  • For “acquired links,” Ahrefs’ top contributors guest post on others’ sites.
  • For “earned links,” Ahrefs often run ads to their resource/stat page. This automatically earns them when a writer quotes the statistics on the page.

See the difference now?

Overall: “acquired links” have a sole purpose – to get links by active outreach. On the other hand, “earned links” put value first and get unsolicited links as a result – with little to no outreach.

Plus, there is no “link spam update” fear when you use editorial links. They are 100% safe.

That said, let’s answer the MAIN question:

Short answer: YES!

Editorial links are safe, and you will hardly worry about the distribution — even better for a beginner.

Safety aside, earned links are the most scalable. Here is why:

Continually paying for links is not sustainable. You will eventually milk your budget dry as your authority increases — the link dump will charge you more.

On the other hand, earned links will cost you nothing. You only need the effort to produce “content that naturally earns links consistently.”

Even if you can’t do it, you can always engage a pro link builder to help.

About producing content that naturally earns links, the section below can help.

General rule: FREE, valuable resources will always earn links.

Now, depending on your niche, you can apply the rule as you see fit. But here are a few ideas you can adopt:


If editorial links are the holy grail of link building, infographics are in the same league as “linkable assets.” They are informative and all-encompassing.

Compared to other content, infographics get shared at least x3. They are also 30x likely to be read.

Fun fact: KISSmetrics reaped $1M worth of traffic from a $28k investment in infographics.

Either embedded or attached as an image, infographics always attract links. So much so they have a unique type of link: “infographic links.”

However, not all articles or content can be condensed into an infographic.

Also, we recommend embedded infographics; they are already designed for sharing. Plus, the high quality and readability of the graphics will remain intact.

But what if you can’t design an infographic?

You can use FREE tools online. In fact, we have a detailed piece on how to go about infographic link building. Check it out below:

Everything You Need To Know About Infographic.

Case Studies

While infographics are the general for linkable assets, case studies hold their turf too. In fact, the latter is the most appreciated in the B2B scene. How so?

Case studies are valuable in B2Bs because they show real-time proof that a product or process works.

Case Studies’ Link Power

Case studies’ link power is not limited to B2Bs. You can also use them to describe personal brands and build traffic.

For example, you could join the hype around ChatGPT or Bard. Write a study and show how the AI tool has reduced your content creation time.

Overall: case studies attract links across various industries. You can double the effectiveness by adding visuals to the report.

Industry-Wide Report

Similar to “case studies,” reports also get several editorial links. In fact, several publications often link to the same resource as long as it’s detailed.


Bloggers, reporters, and journalists need industry-relevant statistics to back their articles and conversations. Unfortunately, they can’t afford the time to collate the research.

As such, they [the reporter] resort to reports.

But does this approach work?

Yes. BrightLocal is proof. Her recent “local consumer review survey, 2023” already has over 24K RDs and 42K+ backlinks.

To appreciate that figure, you must know that the research was only published on February 7.

In less than 20 days, over 24K domains are already linking to it. Imagine that!

That’s the power of creating industry-wide reports.

Ultimate Guides

The chances are that your industry or niche is incompatible with infographics, case studies, and reports. That will be a rarity, however.

But say that was the case, the “ultimate guide” content will work for you. It works for virtually anything. How so?

You can write ultimate guides on all things. And it’s not as report or statistic based as the previous methods discussed.

Here is all you have to do:

  • Detail the steps required — use simple language that newbies can understand
  • If you must use technical jargon, explain them
  • Add pictures and practical examples
  • Embed YT videos where possible
  • Don’t distract the audience by keyword stuffing [or jampacking links] your guide
  • If possible, have a downloadable ebook format for the “guide” — this is your opportunity to generate lead

FREE Tools

Adding a FREE tool to your site can attract SIGNIFICANT editorial links and quality traffic. For context, Image Resizer — a free tool for resizing images — has 2K+ RDs and over 87K backlinks.

The best part: the said tool can be anything!

You can create an online tool that:

  • helps clients calculate premiums on their insurance
  • checks spellings
  • corrects capitalization
  • generates blog title

If you don’t know what tool to create, engage your creatives to help.

That said, let’s discuss the different steps to getting editorial links.

Research Competitors

As much as you want to delve into creating linkable assets, hold on a bit. Study your competitors.

How are they getting their editorial links? What content gets links in your niche?

More importantly, can you build on such content? Can yours be better with super-relevant and updated findings?

That is the RIGHT step to set your site up as an editorial link magnet.

But what if you don’t know how to find the editorial links of your competitors?

  • For a start, know your competitors.
  • About research, check the detailed steps to take in your competitors’ backlink articles

Now, what next?

Create kickass content!

Create Linkable Content

Go back to the section: content that gets earned links!

Seen the type that fits your niche yet?

Here is a simple guide:

  • In digital marketing, especially for B2Bs and B2Cs, having an ultimate guide is a no-brainer. Check your competitors; they probably have tons of that.
  • Case studies will suffice for web developers (or someone who sells a service or product). Show prospects the results customers are getting with your help.
  • If you’re a digital agency for industry-wide solutions, produce several reports and FREE tools.
  • And lastly, infographics can fit into most niches. Use them to aggregate lists, steps, and hierarchies.

And while you’re at it, you can always combine all the 5 content into a piece. Here is how to do that:

  1. Create a survey of your customers’ opinions about a topic.
  2. Write an informative post about the survey. Condense it into an ebook, if possible.
  3. Summarize the points into a visual aid: an infographic.
  4. Now, ensure that all the bits are available on a single page.

Pro tip: you can remove or add to the model. But ensure that all the ideas are compiled into 1 piece.

Collaborate With Creators

You can only get so much relying on your input and contact. You need more!

Here are some ideas you can adopt:

  • Connect with leaders, influencers, and authorities in your niche.
  • Grant interviews and give talks
  • Show up at events
  • Build a brand on social media networks — especially Twitter and LinkedIn.

By connecting with other creators, you’ll leverage their audience to boost your popularity. And the more popular you become, the higher the chances of pushing traffic to your content.

And so?

Attracting editorial links will be EASY when your content gets tons of traffic.

Even better, you can collaborate with creators to write the ultimate guide. How about that?

Pro tip: when you collaborate with others, only give tidbits of your expertise. Subtly redirect the audience to your content, book, infographics, and reports for detailed explanations.

Be Newsworthy

Riding on other creators’ influence is smart. But you must work on yourself too.

Make your brand something others would like to partner with. And one of the best ways to start to be newsworthy.

So, how can you be newsworthy?

  • Set trends: discover new ways of getting effective results in less time for your niche. Document the process and publicize it.
  • Analyze trends and make inferences: analyzing and interpreting data is the dead lane for most creators. Be different; learn how to draw informed inferences. If you do, you’d soon be quoted by others.
  • Release new products: but don’t just release products for the sake of it. Study what the audience needs. Then create something different and better than what’s on the market. Learn from ChatGPT; it engages users in dialog — something the previous models weren’t doing.


Like all forms of link building, you still need to do outreach to get editorial links. The only difference is that the number of pitches will be lesser.

And, of course, you won’t pay for the mentions. Otherwise, you’re better off with your acquired links.

So, how do you do outreach for editorial links?

  • Paid promotion on Google and other social networks — for new products, free tools, and reports.
  • Send newsletters to communities of creators.
  • Pitch your infographics and reports to authority sites in your niche.

You can also try these other two strategies:

  • Target unlinked mentions and broken links
  • Use HARO; be the sought-after source

Editorial links are upvotes you get from authority sites for the quality of your work. They are earned organically and only cost you time and effort.

Unlike other backlinks, editorial links are earned. They prioritize creating value over active outreach.

More importantly, editorial links are not paid for. As a result, you won’t stand in the crossfire of violating Google’s link spam policies.

Like any backlink, getting editorial links requires that you follow select steps.

  1. Know the type of content that gets editorial links.
  2. Now, check what your competitors are doing and do better.
  3. Collaborate with other creators to boost the visibility of your linkable asset.
  4. Update your linkable asset regularly.
  5. Do more outreach to get more views on your linkable asset.

Editorial links are undoubtedly worth the hype. They will boost your site’s visibility and add the much-needed credibility you need to convert prospects to customers.

However, only editorial links can’t sustain your rankings on search results. Combine them with other backlinks.

Overall: Ensure you only adopt white hat link-building strategies.