Proof .Gov and .EDU links are just like any other links

29 replies
  • SEO
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I really do not understand where all these rumours come from, a lot of people claim . org and .edu backlinks carry a lot a weight i would like one of such folks to come out and back up their claim with some hard proof,

#gov #links #proof
  • Profile picture of the author joshgreen
    I tested it myself and I can say with confidence that edu and gov backlinks do carry a lot of weight.
    I have a blog which is in the dog niche(very competitive).It was at no 27 for 4 months and I did everything I could like press releases,forums profiles,articles,web 2.0 and etc.Then after spying on some competitors sites I found out some edu sites.I just posted my comments on those edu sites and after 8 days I was at no 13 and as far as I remember I did nothing but only commenting on 6 edu sites.My pr also increased after the pr update.Previously my blog had a pr of 1 but now it managed to get a pr of 3.Now it sits at no 6 and I can confidently say that it happened because of the edu links.
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    • Profile picture of the author niffybranco
      @ joshgreen If you attribute the rise in serps and increase in page rank to those links , yes you might be correct but it migh not be cause they are .edu , you also need to take into consideration factors such as the page rank of the pages you commented on, how many outgoing links there are on the page, the authorithy of the website , and also the fact that your competitor already had links from that site pointing to them.

      You need to look closer and provide some more concrete proof than just saying cause the domains were .edu that is what did it.

      P.S did you even watch the video to see exactly what googles take on .edu and .gov links is.
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      • Profile picture of the author joshgreen
        Originally Posted by niffybranco View Post

        @ joshgreen If you attribute the rise in serps and increase in page rank to those links , yes you might be correct but it migh not be cause they are .edu , you also need to take into consideration factors such as the page rank of the pages you commented on, how many outgoing links there are on the page, the authorithy of the website , and also the fact that your competitor already had links from that site pointing to them.

        You need to look closer and provide some more concrete proof than just saying cause the domains were .edu that is what did it.

        P.S did you even watch the video to see exactly what googles take on .edu and .gov links is.
        lol,so you think google will tell you the truth?Google will never reveal their algorithm.
        p.s.i commented on edu pages with 0 pr.
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        • Profile picture of the author niffybranco
          Originally Posted by joshgreen View Post

          lol,so you think google will tell you the truth?Google will never reveal their algorithm.
          p.s.i commented on edu pages with 0 pr.
          Dude telling us if .gov or .edu links carry weight does not say anything about an algorithm that has over 400 factors.

          and even if you commented on pr 0 blogs that does not mean it was what boosted your ranking, maybe google discovered some of your previous links just about the same time.

          Dude really give some real proof if you know what you are talking about.
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          • Profile picture of the author joshgreen
            Originally Posted by niffybranco View Post

            Dude telling us if .gov or .edu links carry weight does not say anything about an algorithm that has over 400 factors.

            and even if you commented on pr 0 blogs that does not mean it was what boosted your ranking, maybe google discovered some of your previous links just about the same time.

            Dude really give some real proof if you know what you are talking about.
            OK alright!If you think edu and gov backlinks are just the same as other backlinks,then I dont have anything else to say.Let see what others have to say about this.For me Edu and Gov backlinks have more weight than normal ones.
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            • Profile picture of the author niffybranco
              Originally Posted by joshgreen View Post

              OK alright!If you think edu and gov backlinks are just the same as other backlinks,then I dont have anything else to say.Let see what others have to say about this.For me Edu and Gov backlinks have more weight than normal ones.
              That's coming from a guy who knows better than google
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  • Profile picture of the author Jordan Kovats
    I bet Matt Cutts is a great poker player...So, if whitehouse.gov links to me, it is as valuable as yourdomain.com? I doubt it. It may be a broad stroke to say that .edu and .gov in general help, but I know that some sites have way more weight than others. I have purposely SEO'd sites slow, to test some theories. When you don't do anything for a couple weeks, then add a link fom one site, and you jump from page 3 to 2, it is hard to tell me otherwise that the site I just linked from has no effect on my rankings.
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    • Profile picture of the author niffybranco
      Originally Posted by theseoguys View Post

      I bet Matt Cutts is a great poker player...So, if whitehouse.gov links to me, it is as valuable as yourdomain.com? I doubt it. It may be a broad stroke to say that .edu and .gov in general help, but I know that some sites have way more weight than others. I have purposely SEO'd sites slow, to test some theories. When you don't do anything for a couple weeks, then add a link fom one site, and you jump from page 3 to 2, it is hard to tell me otherwise it has no effect on rankings.
      Some sites have more weight due to them being authority sites.

      If you had whitehouse.gov link to you and cnn.com can you empirically state that white house will carry more weight than cnn because it is a .gov.

      If there is a .edu or .gov website that is crap and has been spammed to death will it carry more weight than an authority website that is .com?
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  • Profile picture of the author Derek S
    NO MORE MATT CUTTS! lol people need to serious realize that the words that come out of his mouth are for Googles best interests in keeping their ranking natural... Google (matt cutts) is never going to tell you real tricks to rank higher, because if they did every single SEO wannabe would go out and immediate start gaming the system.

    I was hoping based on the title you had real proof and not just Matt Cutts biased "advice" all to keep his algorithm a "mystery" the best he can.
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  • Profile picture of the author Derek S
    niffybranco: I think you are finding the "exceptions to the rule" when we should think much broader.

    We need to stop putting importance on the domain extension and place that importance on the type of sites generally hosted on those domains.

    Education and government sites are more likely to be hosted on .edu and .gov domains. In fact is it not set up that you have to jump through hoops just to obtain a .edu domain? That fact alone would put more weight on sites with that domain extension.

    so assuming TRUE education and government sites would never dream of being "spammy" and do obtain thousands of visitors and backlinks NATURALLY (because they are well established offline to begin with)...

    I think it is safe to say that most .edu and .gov sites like this are sure to carry more weight than most sites built by "joe blow" with your common .com domain extension.

    In short - It comes down to the page rank of the page your link is on, not the domain extension. **You will find more legitimate high PR .edu and .gov sites than .com ones and this is why those domain extensions are more popular for links.
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  • Profile picture of the author lbtillmanyoung
    I agree with a lot of what was said here regarding to the substantial amount of weight that a .gov/.edu link carries. I've seen with my own eyes the effect of these type of links on some of my sites that were sitting at the bottom of the SERPS.

    Google really doesn't do what it says. We all know that the nofollow attribute was applied to stop the flow of pagerank but we still do blog commenting on sites that we KNOW are no-follow because we KNOW that they still pass link juice.

    All sites are not weighed equally. For instance a little known technique of mine is to write worthwhile content that meets the scrutiny of the wikipedia nazis. If I can get a link on wikipedia then I know that I'm good. If it lasts for more than a week than I definitely see a increase in my rankings and overall PR.

    My .02
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  • Profile picture of the author Marhelper
    I have never noticed much of a difference with .edu or .gov backlinks.
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  • Profile picture of the author WyattTenG
    So should we trust Matt Cutts or not?

    Before we get into this, I think we should consider this as Google always has the right to change its algorithm. So it simply means that Google NEED NOT to hide any secrets to the public as we must know that after all what Google wants is the SERPs to be the best of user experience. ( If you really think this in the long-run and lasting SEO results on your business )

    I agree with OP and Matt Cutts and also you can always find useful information on Googleblog itself. Perhaps, there are so many controversies upon the "Google Secrets" or whatever you wanna call it. But I really do feel that people always over complicate so many things. I don't think there are so many secrets here.

    I can make an example right now to against most of the truth or proof that SEO gurus always claim about. For example, a brand new site created based on an high authority government department. Google may rank it 1st spot on a particular competitive category/keyword overnight just for that because of its "authority". Assuming that site doesn't even have any on-page factors/off-page factors done, but just its "AUTHORITY". It simply says that there is always "exception" and many other "factors".

    With that said, I don't think Matt Cutts is BS-ing or whatsoever you wanna call him a liar, a hyped guy or anything. I do trust him on that personally, don't take my words, maybe it's just me.


    After all, if what Matt claims is true then there are lots of "SEO Softwares" being built are going on a wrong direction as they take edu/gov links as a SEO competitive analysis factor.


    Perhaps some of you may find what I just said is complete BS, but I do have my own point there and I do agree with OP and Matt Cutts.

    Peace.

    PS / : The simplicity in my opinion is "a link is always a link", it doesn't really need to worry much about where it comes from as long as you're not a typical Black Hat spammer. Of course high-authority backlinks are good, but as I said "a link is always a link". After all, whoever builds natural links and good links in the long-run wins the race.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Adams
    All Matt was saying is that, all things being equal, there is no difference from a .gov backlink and a .com backlink. PLEASE REMEMBER that Google ranks PAGES not SITES. So if a particular page is reputable and links to you, the page it links to becomes "more reputable" and thus your page becomes more likely to rank higher. There is no smoke and mirrors and no shortcuts, the domain name extension makes no difference.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Adams
    @benjamin12 Your not seeing through the forest for the trees. The .edu and .gov typically have higher pagerank because they are very old domain that have a tremendous amout of links, not because of the domain extension. Google ranks the individual pages on the site, not the site itself. Having a link from a PAGE that is a "PR2" carries the same value as a link coming from a "PR2" page on whitehouse.gov. The domain name, and subsequently the domain extension, is totally irrelevant.
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    • Profile picture of the author yaniman
      Originally Posted by Mike Adams

      Your not seeing through the forest for the trees. The .edu and .gov typically have higher pagerank because they are very old domain that have a tremendous amout of links, not because of the domain extension. Google ranks the individual pages on the site, not the site itself. Having a link from a PAGE that is a "PR2" carries the same value as a link coming from a "PR2" page on whitehouse.gov. The domain name, and subsequently the domain extension, is totally irrelevant.
      Yea I too believe that. Relatively older domains with a large volume of backlinks ,.edu and .gov websites have much higher PR and Authority. Anyone who need an article should give a link to the respective data or information shown in government or educational site as a reference. So day by day they are getting more backlinks than any other websites.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jordan Kovats
    I think Matt does a great job as a spokesperson for Google. He does his best to explain things in general terms, and at the same time, not deal with specifics. As far as the algorithm is concerned, whether it be 200 items, or 400, they all will not carry equal weight they are always tweaking things, probably for their own experiment to see what affects what.
    Think of it this way. Look at Google or search engines as a house. They all start with the footing, foundation, floors, walls, ceilings and a roof (in general terms). The foundation for search algorithms may never change. It would be too much a task to undertake. Having said that, all the tweaks made to the algorithm along the way, maybe related to adding an addition to that house, new windows, new paint, shutters...decorative and or functional things. But the foundation, is still there. Hence the foundation of the google algorithm will always relfelct inbound links, and relevant content.
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    • Profile picture of the author bcmwp
      I don't think he lies. In fact, he's so careful not to lie that he accidentally lets the truth slip out from time to time.

      There's one Q&A I saw where he was asked whether footer links on blogs were ranked less than other links. Clearly hoping to discourage (often sponsored) footer links, he said "We reserve the right to weigh footer links less highly."

      Now, why say "reserve the right"? Because they don't actually weigh them less highly. However, it shows that he's really careful (even scrupulous) to say things that are technically true. He could, after all, have just lied about footer links.
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  • Profile picture of the author seoforu
    The story is tricky.I would say .Gov and .edu links holds a good value bcoz they generally have a good amount of backlinks with them.



    "Do not Go by someones words, use your brains"
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    • Profile picture of the author niffybranco
      Originally Posted by seoforu View Post

      The story is tricky.I would say .Gov and .edu links holds a good value bcoz they generally have a good amount of backlinks with them.



      "Do not Go by someones words, use your brains"
      I did use my brains on this one and what he says makes sense.

      What I have gathered from this video and some testing that i have done is if you have 2 webpages a .edu and a .com with similar strength and authority i.e number of backlinks and pagerank is the .edu backlinks stronger simply because it is a .edu ?


      So if you claim .edu backlinks are strong will it be worth my while trying to acquire a .edu backlink with a lower pagerank than a .com backlink ?

      I agree that .edu are .gov are likely to have quite a few backlinks, but are they stronger than other TLDs with the same amount of backlinks , pagerank and authority just based on the fact that they are .edu or .gov?
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  • Profile picture of the author Karan Goel
    Please man. He works for Google, and do you expect him to
    tell people their algo?

    People have conducted test and experiment, and and numerous
    times it has been proved that EDU and GOV links work!

    Period.
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    • Profile picture of the author niffybranco
      Originally Posted by Karan Goel View Post

      Please man. He works for Google, and do you expect him to
      tell people their algo?

      People have conducted test and experiment, and and numerous
      times it has been proved that EDU and GOV links work!

      Period.
      Dude i never said they do not work , did you read the thread ? All i said is that they are just like any other link. Can you prove to me that a pr5 .edu link is stronger than a similar pr5 .com link.

      We are all here to learn and if i am wrong then it means i have learnt otherwise but please understand my statement first and come up with an answer you can back up with proof.
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  • Profile picture of the author healthstatus
    I would also add that .edu and .gov websites tend to have fewer outbound links than the typical .com, .net and possibly .org (especially commercial .org) so more "juice" is passed through those outbound links.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Adams
      Originally Posted by healthstatus View Post

      I would also add that .edu and .gov websites tend to have fewer outbound links than the typical .com, .net and possibly .org (especially commercial .org) so more "juice" is passed through those outbound links.
      Exactly right. That's one of the reasons people believe that ".edu are better". You have to take into account that a PR5 @ a ".com" with 10 links on the page or a .org with 5 links on the page... the .edu will pass more "link juice". All you have to know is that Google ranks PAGES NOT SITES. The domain name extension is 100% irrelevant.
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  • Profile picture of the author sax.sunny
    In my overall experience, I have not seen much difference with .edu or .gov backlinks. But Yes, those links certainly carry some weight. People only have emphasized more into those links, which is not necessary.
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  • Profile picture of the author rzillowman
    I think that .gov and .edu links may be statistically more likely to help you since these types of sites tend to be authority sites, free of garbage. In other words, while having the .edu or .gov isn't an advantage per se, such sites tend to have certain qualities that make them a good source of links.
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  • Profile picture of the author anwar001
    Don't believe that everything Matt Cutts says is true. After all he is a Google employee. Testing things should be the best way to decide whether something really works in SEO or not.
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  • Profile picture of the author seoindiaforu
    A REAL EDU link(link from a university or popular educational institution) carries weight but sites created for sole purposes of creating backlinks and having .edu extension would not do any good.
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