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What are EDU Links Worth, REALLY?

edu links compared to regular links

     

P0pcornB0y

11:04 pm on Nov 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Is there any way to really KNOW for sure? Why would a link from an .edu page with 200 backlinks be better than a link from a .com page with the same 200 backlinks, all other things being equal?

Is it just the general consensus? Is there any real evidence or is it just speculation because "that just makes sense"?

I've invested lots of money for both (typical links) and edu links. However, I started both campaigns at the same time, so it's hard to really determine how much extra value, if any, came from the edu links.

Can you guys give personal testimonials about how you've concluded that edu links are actually better?

wheel

12:17 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I don't think anyone is likely to come forward with proof. However I'm sure there's emperical evidence that a .edu or two can really help boost rankings.

I don't build backlinks because of pagerank, I build backlinks for 'trust'. Sites that link to me pass 'trust' to me. How much trust they pass to me is based on how much 'trust' they have passed to them as a result of their backlinks.

All things being equal, the same backlinks to a .edu or a .com I would think they're the same. In fact I believe matt cutts publicly commented that this was the case (my memory is horrible, I hope I'm not putting words in his mouth).

The only reason .edu's are looked at is because they're an easy focal point for getting that trust. You know that in most cases a .edu link is going to carry that trust to pass along to you, just by nature of the site owner. That being said, I have a number of backlinks that I value far more than any .edu I've ever recieved. One's actually a PR2 but I'd lose a .edu before I wanted to lose that one.

P0pcornB0y

3:29 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I'm not linking for PR. PR is simply a barometer of the overall "trust" that's placed on the link page.

Ultimately it's really simple. I have a certain amount of money and resources to spend on link building and I am interested to know others' opinions on whether .edu pages pass along more "trust" than otherwise equal pages. Simply put... all other things being equal, what is your opinion on:

1) whether .edu links bring more "link juice" to your page, and
2) if so, how much more? X2, X5, X7, etc?

Does anybody really know?

buckworks

4:31 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



In fact I believe matt cutts publicly commented that this was the case (my memory is horrible, I hope I'm not putting words in his mouth)

I remember GoogleGuy saying the same thing, ages ago. He said there's nothing magical about .edu pages; they earn their Page Rank like anyone else and they pass it on like anyone else.

My own speculations are similar to Wheel's: If there's any advantage from .edu links, it would likely reside in the fact that .edu sites tend to accumulate stronger than average "trust signals" which might in turn confer benefits on the sites they link to.

I doubt that would be true for sections of an .edu site like students' personal pages, but if you could get a link from something like the library or a major department section that would be an excellent addition to your link development mix. You can't buy such links, though; they have to be earned.

jimbeetle

4:53 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I have a certain amount of money and resources to spend on link building...

While it is somewhat of a consensus that .edu links are more trusted, since you mentioned "money" keep in mind that not all .edu links are treated the same. Most purchased links on college newspaper sites have not been passing any juice or been trusted for quite some time.

mbennie

5:07 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I don't believe G on this issue.

I don't know about .edu links - but a new .gov site (PR 0) recently linked to one of my newer sites also PR 0. As soon as the link went up, my site got crawled in it's entirety with all pages indexed. It is already ranking in the serps.

I've never had a brand new site crawled, indexed and ranked so fast. Yet G has said that .edu and .gov links carry no special weight.

I think Google spreads as much misinformation as they do real information. It's important to sift through the things they say carefully - don't just accept every word out of Matt Cutt's mouth as the gospel truth.

G has their own agenda to pursue and isn't above spreading misinformation.

pageoneresults

5:19 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



If there's any advantage from .edu links, it would likely reside in the fact that .edu sites tend to accumulate stronger than average "trust signals" which might in turn confer benefits on the sites they link to.

Agreed. We have our own little link networks that tend to be a bit more powerful than the norm. :)

In regards to Google's current indexing routines, I believe the so-called sandbox may not exist like it once did? So, a new site launching these days is likely to garner some exposure in a quicker time period than previous. But, that is all relative. :)

I'm going to give Kudos to EDUCAUSE for cleaning up the .edu space. It has been a slow process but they are doing a bang up job of exercising control over the .edu TLD. Luckily for many .edu holders, there are grandfather clauses. I would expect those to change over the next 12-24 months as they do further cleanup.

P0pcornB0y

5:32 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I don't know about .edu links - but a new .gov site (PR 0) recently linked to one of my newer sites also PR 0. As soon as the link went up, my site got crawled in it's entirety with all pages indexed. It is already ranking in the serps.

That's huge.

P0pcornB0y

5:37 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I just saw a student's page on a big ten univ website that is really not far from the front page, really.

www.domain.edu/joe_schmoe/

That page is a pr5 and links to about 25 other pages within the same sub-site. Pretty darned good PR on all of them, looks like to me. I grabbed a couple of common terms from his headings on the sub pages to see how he's doing in the results and honestly... it's not bad. And I'd suspect his only real backlink is the univ student page that links to him. He really doesn't realize what he's sitting on there, IMO.

martinibuster

7:00 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



>>>And I'd suspect...
Don't suspect, find out. Assumptions is where myth begin.

CainIV

9:57 pm on Nov 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I know of a website competing for big boy terms and many of his links are from carefully setup 'info' pages at edu domains.

One look at his links numbers show most of his links from edu domains only. He has far less links to him than his competition.

His edu 'info' pages are setup in hierarchical way, with second level articles. Each article links only to one landing page it would appear in his website.

My sense is that Mr. Cutts would love to spread a little misinformation when the timing is right.

onmark

7:09 am on Nov 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



What i think....if both your .edu site and .com site have the same backlinks and of equal power........then i would say that an .edu link will provide more of trust to your domain as compared to and .com link.

It is difficult to prove this statement because there are no chances that you can have all backlinks of equal quality to a website.

A .edu site with 200 backlinks but if all are less trusted then a .com site, then a .com link would be much better and vice versa.

But when we say backlinks of equal quality then i would preffer an .edu links thats because it represents an informational material on a web site. Preferably G would provide more priority to a .edu link.

le_gber

9:32 am on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Joining this thread a bit late, but in your experience of successfully gaining links from .edu or .gov websites, did you find that there was a minimum size (number of pages) that your site had to be?

onmark

11:47 am on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Your question is not clear to me. Please make it clear.

le_gber

12:41 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Have you had a more successful linking rate by having a 100+ pages site or are 10 page sites linked as much?

onmark

5:45 am on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



The more bigger or larger the website is the more trusted it is by G. So if we take a backlink from a 100+ pages site it would be much better.

But sometimes it happens that a 10 pages site is too popular and has a good number of backlinks (higher number of backlinks could be due to some good link baiting stuff and so)then it is also preffered to ask the webmaster to link to you for some reason. This link also would be counted as a good one.

What i finally suggest is that you can ask any website to link to you which has a higher number of backlinks. Pages do not matter much. Higher the number of backlinks a website has the better it is. Make sure you check how many good quality backlinks it has.

irldonalb

10:41 am on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I believe that people can get carried away chasing edu links.

Google evaluates web pages on edu sites like every other web page. However their real PR (completely different than toolbar PR) is given an extra weighting. No one can tell you what this weighting is. It might make these pages twice as valuable or 100 times more valuable.

Take the average student homepage on an edu site; this page is not linked to from the main edu website. On some sites you can reach the student websites via long sitemaps or A-Z glossary but the majority donít link to them. They could have had links to them in the past or links from other websites. Are pages on these sites valuable? If it wasnít an edu domain would you spend more than 5 mins trying to get a link on it?

Donal

irldonalb

10:50 am on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Sorry I got carried away with the point. I was trying to say:

If a link isn't valuable on a non-edu domain, it's not that valuable on a edu equivalent.

onmark

1:07 pm on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I completely agree with you Donal. It is not the matter of extension a website has. Its is all about how valuable a link is.

CainIV

1:31 am on Dec 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Google evaluates web pages on edu sites like every other web page. However their real PR (completely different than toolbar PR) is given an extra weighting. No one can tell you what this weighting is. It might make these pages twice as valuable or 100 times more valuable.

I guess my question would be, have you setup controlled experiments that show this conclusively? I deal with EDU domains all the time and found that they seem to offer a better effect in terms of rankings, but since no one can view internal page rank calculations, how are you sure they do not offer a benefit more than the average link?

 

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