Google algorithms are ever changing, I know not long ago it wasn't mandatory but a luxury to use niche related backlinks. Mass blog comments use to be one of the top backlinking methods [ScrapeBox] that people now avoid using on their money site, article directories are controversial; some say it works, other complain it caused ranking drops... so I tend to avoid using them on my money site, even EzineArticles. People were posting on BHW a few days ago they were getting messages in WMTs for using Press Releases for backlinkings, so suffice to say, what worked yesterday won't work tomorrow. Searching the forums for answers is a waste of time because nobody cares what SEO worked in 2012. What's important is what is working now... That said, who has data that about niche related backlinks? I know it is ideal, but is it mandatory? Is it now an automatic penalty for putting your health related link on a iphone website that is DA82, 22 OBLs, 16 years old... and is a PR7 that has over 300,000+ quality backlinks? Would you place your health link on the PR7 over a PR3 health site that is a DA16, 200 backlinks and is under 1 year old? These are hypothetical questions. Looking to see if anyone has any experience or data in the current state of the algorithm, not what may have worked 6 months to 2 years ago.