It’s not the “E” “D” “U”… here’s why EDU links work

.Edu links and .Gov links have long been accepted as authority valuable links. Search engines count them as higher votes. Everyone knows this. But once in awhile that theory has come into question.

Google claims outright that their algorithm is not skewed to add any additional value to an .edu domain. Matt Cutts has been quoted claiming this, even has a blog page from 2005 blatantly stating that the EDU is just not given any weight over a .com. Ok, possibly a glimmer of truth in that if you take it word for word literally.

So why still a demand for the edu link? Simple: they work. SEO companies want them. The build edu links themselves. They buy edu links when they can. They are ignoring Google. Not that Google is lying, but they are not going to spell out their algorithm for us either. And if the edu links work, then I still want ‘em.

Why do the EDU links work?

1. Old grandaddy domains. Established. Not going anywhere. 10+ years old. That equals value in Google’s eyes.

2. Not easy to obtain a link on an EDU domain. (”Honey, is our neighbor 2 doors down a professor, do you think maybe…..”)

3. EDUs tend to have loads of inbound links and very high page rank of 7 or 8 or 9.

4. Content rich domains are weighted. And edu’s have their share of content!

Ideas pop up in forums all the time on how to obtain edu links. The classified ad idea surfaces now and again, and it worked for awhile, but most have a no-follow now. College papers sometimes sell off some links but again that method is dated and less effective.

The Link Building 101 rules still apply, though not with as much credence, as the edu link will overshadow some of these. However, you still want ideally a link in content; this is the #1 current effective link building tip that is garnering results. Avoid sidebar or footer links, or sitewide links, typically sold cheap on college rags (cheap for a reason!)

The EDU link lives as an authoritative link. We know what Google meant, we know they have to protect their own interests, but we see every day the power of the edu link, especially in content. Our clients know it too. And understanding why puts you one step ahead.

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