Posts Tagged ‘EDU links’

Questions on the Tilde ~

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

We occasionally have a request from a client to put their pages on sites without a tilde, or that little squiggle from the Spanish language.  We have found that to be a myth regarding links – some of our strongest sites do have a tilde in the URL.  We have seen clients move up in search with just these pages, regardless of the tilde.  Also, if you too have this question, you can know that the large SEO companies that buy repeatedly from us do not worry about the tilde. If you have been link building for a long time, you will have already noticed that it does not matter.

The value is that the page is full of content, much harder to obtain links in content, and that it does reside on an .edu, that seems to be pleasing the search engines.

This Client went from #7 to #1 after Edu Links

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

We are asked all the time how much other clients see their rankings improve after EDU links are added to their link profile. It’s usually hard to quantify, since people building links like these are often doing other link building and SEO work.  But with this client, he did no other link building, this was his first foray into paid links.  His case study:

He bought 5 pages, and put 3 keywords on each page. These were not the most competitive words, 3 words long, and had California in the anchor text (since he only sells to people within his state). Because they were not too competitive, we recommended 5 pages to start, and if he likes the results, can run more pages without ‘California’.  The results, only 2 weeks later, are that one keyword stayed the same, one keyword went from #10 to #4, and one keyword went from #7 to #1! As these links season, we expect it will sneak up a little more.

We routinely do hear back from clients that their rankings are moving up, some of them amazingly quickly, within a few days.  But this case with no other SEO work done, it’s nice to have some concrete numbers.

Using your domain as anchor text for links

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

We are recommending to clients that they use their as anchor text for a portion of their links. The pages are natural, the links are in content, but naturally occuring links on the net do not occur as anchor text for the most part.  If someone is writing about finding herbal tea, they will link the name of the fantastic company that they found as a source for tea, not the word “tea”.  It is being theorized in SEO circles that a page of relevant content, where the Googlebot is reading relevant keywords surrounding the link, with the anchor text as your URL, is going to pass authority for that topic or industry.

Ideally with a 10 page package, with one or two links per page, you would use 3-4 of these links on your URL, and the others on 2-3 different keywords.  This keeps the profile more natural, as links tend to occur on the web.  The value is passed and the exposure minimized.

Page Rank Schmage Rank

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

When it comes to .edu links, we are not concerned with PR. Our links are authority links and passing value regardless of the PR that shows on the page. However, we do get lots of clients asking what the PR of the page is, what it will be, etc. Google has us trained to look for our “grade”.  If you are not selling links on your site, you really need to ignore your PR.  And for obtaining links to your site, you need a mix of PR links higher and lower than your sites PR.

The pages we build for you will start with zero page rank. They may or may not develop their own “grade” in time. Our main sites – some have some PR, some do not. Some have lived through an update, some are newer. ALL are passing the value of an authority link and pushing sites up in search. Sometimes we see our pages in the top 10, proof that the edu is an authority link.

Focus instead on your search ranking for the terms that bring you the best traffic. Time and again you will see low PR sites outranking higher PR sites for various words.  Do your SEO homework and watch your rankings rise.  A Page Rank is just a general indicator, and not updated real time anyhow.

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

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

.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.

Other people talking about EDU links

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Here are a few articles discussing the power of .edu links.

Marko Nikolic says:

If you want to rank for a heavily competitive keyword try building some .edu back links and see how drastically it changes your rankings.

And on SEO Book, Aaron Wall explained the concept the same way we do, that it is not just about the .edu behind the domain, but the trusted nature of an EDU site.

I have a PageRank 7 site that doesn’t rank anywhere near as well as you would expect given its PageRank. I also have a couple PageRank 5 sites that rank for a ton of searches and are getting thousands of visits a day. One of them has less than 30 pages too. What do the PageRank 5 sites have that the PageRank 7 site lacks? Tons of .edu and librarian type links.

Proof Google Loves EDU & GOV Sites:

And another SEO blogger discusses his reasons for trying to obtain .edu links:

“Having .edu links means that your site will gain more and more credibility”

SERoundtable covered this awhile ago as well:

Over the past year or so, it has been widely reported that links from .edu and .gov top level domains (TLD’s- like the more common .com or .org) carry more weight than others.

How Many Pages do I need?

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Clients ask us every day. And we love helping them figure it out.

Link building is not an exact science. Many factors will determine how many pages you should buy and when. Here are some things to consider:

  1. What is your budget? We all need more links than we can afford. So determining how much you can spend each month will help you decide what package to start with. We can work on a long term discounted package with you for 10pgs a month or more. Our clients that are serious about their plan to move up in search have a long-term campaign going with us, focusing on new keywords every month, or going back and pushing earlier keywords further as needed.
  2. How competitive are your keywords? You will want more pages (meaning more links) for the more competitive keywords. The more general a keyword, the more competitive it is. If you can work on some long-tailed specific keywords, you can push up further with less pages. Maybe 5 pages will show results on a more specific keyword that you are already optimized for.
  3. How far do you have to go? One client moved from page 5 to page 3 with just 2 pages, then to #21 with just 3 more. Those pages had 2 links per page. But if you are already in the top 5 and need to move up further, consider 10 pages or more.
  4. What are your competitors doing? If they are also working on their linkbuilding, you will want to match their efforts. If it looks like your competitors are fairly weak in SEO, you can move up with less effort.
  5. How many words are you trying to cover? The most impact come with one link to your site per page. At most we recommend 2-3 keywords linked. This can stretch your budget and let you experiment to find out the right amount for the movement you need. We do not recommend 5-6-7 8 links per page. It is spammy and dilutes the link juice—we want you to see results! We have seen pre-sell pages out there on the net that are loaded with links, and we just shake our head. Those pages may have cost $50 less than ours, but these poor clients are not getting what they are paying for, it’s a shame.

The campaigns we run for clients are varied. Some clients in a competitive niche put one link per page on all 20 edu domains right out of the box. These are clients that are experienced buying links, and know they need to get serious if they are going to move up. Other clients start out with a 2 page to test the waters. We really do not expect much in increased rankings with just a 2 page, we suggest at least a 5 page to test the waters. The 2 page is great for getting to know us though, and our service! Or as demonstrated, if you are not yet ranked for your term, it is a good way to see a big jump from nowhere.

We’re always ready to help you work out the details of your campaign, just ask.

Using our EDU links to get multiple results listed in search

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

We are seeing some success with clients using our EDU pages to build up multiple results in Google. The indented link you see below some search results is for multiple pages that are both relevant. Webmasters desire this additional link to make your page stand out in the results.

We have advised some clients to link to some optimized internal pages. We like to see clients mix up their campaign with some links to homepage, and some to internal pages that are optimized for that particular keyword. We are seeing some results with multiple listings, and indented results.

What we did for a client already ranking #1 in Google:

We recently worked with a high profile client who had done extensive SEO work. They were already #1 for their keyword, so we linked that keyword to 2 different internal pages that were optimized for that word. This was a 15 page package, with 2 links per page, the same 2 links on each page, to these internal pages. The results: #1, #2, and #4 spot in Google.