A few days ago I received an email from a reader of my blog, Steve asking about .edu links.
Why do .edu or .gov sites help increase a website’s PageRank compared to .com sites?
Well, very interesting question, but before I answer this, I would like to take a moment to explain the importance of backlinks in general.
Why does a site need backlinks?
- It’s a factor of Google’s algorithm: In order for Google to rank a site it counts, among other things, the number of backlinks it has. The more backlinks it has, the higher rank it will take.
- It affects the site’s search results: Except PageRank, backlinks from high quality sites, affect a site’s search result page (SERPs). Simply, this means that a site with many backlinks will be in the first pages of the results.
- It increases a site’s traffic: This can be done directly or indirectly. Directly from traffic send by the site linking back and indirectly from organic traffic (higher rankings mean more organic traffic)
But not all backlinks are the same.
Backlinks from .com websites normally are not so important as those from .edu and .gov sites.
Most of the times .edu and .gov sites are of high authority, with higher rankings and great importance.
.gov sites are governmental, with a lot of traffic and high authority
.edu sites asre from educational institutions, most of the times public, visited by students, parents and scientists. These are sites with also high authority.
Google does not take into account all types of backlinks. it looks only for do-follow links from high quality relevant sites. This means that if a site is about drugs and has a backlinks from:
- the ministry of education, it doesn’t count because it is not relevant
- FDA, but the link is no-follow, it doesn’t count because although relevant it is not a do-follow link
- www.blahblahblah.com, it doesn’t count because the site is of low quality
How easy to get .edu and .gov do-follow links?
To be honest, it is not easy at all. In fact, it is so difficult that when you find such a site where you can put a do-follow link you should be suspicious. Two are the possibilities in these case:
- The site is fraud (it is not a governmental not an educational one)
- It is full of spams. So many spammers add their site to have a free backlink. But, a site which links back to so many other spam sites, soon looses its authority and its rank decreases…
So, try to find .gov and .edu backlinks, but be careful and of course never buy those links. There are many that sell packages of links from those sites, but most of the times they are spammers and due to their activity your site could be banned.