Link Builders and SEOs have long associated .edu links with higher rankings. However, Google officials have pointed out that .edu TLDs have no advantage over other extensions.
On the other hand, there are several indirect advantages that can help improve rankings when you adopt an .edu link. If you link up with universities, schools, or colleges that command high authority with Google bots then such a strategy will certainly help boost ranking of your website too.
Here is how you can get .edu links as well as get the most out of them.
You can try interviewing researchers, professors, or other faculty members from specific universities or can even highlight them in your articles or research studies. You need to target members that are conducting studies and are known experts in topics that are of relevance to your target market.
You can acquire these links from the faculty page of most universities. You can seek out faculty members after going through their personal information on these pages. This process offers excellent linking opportunities.
Most universities also feature a news section where they display on-campus news along with links and information on schools and colleges that are affiliated to that university. Such sites and sub-sites also feature news on accomplished students and faculty members, which in turn provides golden opportunities for your link building campaign.
Most universities and their sub-sites also have sections that display information about former students. Universities usually have a section dedicated to their alumni association along with information on former students that have achieved accomplishments that put them on the news.
You can use this section to your advantage by writing on specific former students that have engaged in noteworthy activities. These could include making large donations, receiving awards, being part of a noteworthy invention, etc. You must collect all possible details about that specific former student and if possible, conduct an interview or at least write a flattering write-up before sending it to the alma-mater in the form of a profile.
You should also extract crucial information about alma-maters when you engage in group interviews as well as inform their alumni associations that they have been interviewed as experts on your site.
Another section that offers rich .edu link pickings is the career services section of a university website. All universities have such sections where students are offered guidance on future careers, how to make impressive resumes, how to ace interviews, etc. You can then create an internship program for your business and inform the required universities of your intentions. In return, most universities will feature links to your website in a bid to help their students. It’s a win-win situation for all.
You can also provide valuable information on careers while mentioning career opportunities available in your own organization. You can also take that final step by turning into a mentor for those students.
While major universities may not be very receptive to your linking efforts, local schools and colleges including community colleges will certainly appreciate your efforts and reach back to you. You can thus begin by targeting such institutions before you take a shot at the bigger universities.
You need to make sure that you schedule your outreach program during peak school or college activity periods, which are normally from January to April and then from September to November. You will receive increased response for your efforts.
You must also remember to send out a press release whenever you publish an interview of a faculty member or feature a spotlight. This move will be especially useful in case you do not have a direct contact with a school or college since a majority of these institutions do monitor press releases.
Of course, mentioning such interviews or articles on social media sites will catch the attention of most students and in due time, their schools, colleges, and universities as well. You can also use tools such as Ahrefs to find out which sites are linked to a particular domain. You need to comprehend the reason for such institutions to link with specific sites before you plan to do the same.
.EDU links may not offer direct benefits from major search engines, but there are definitely a lot of indirect benefits that should convince you to embark on this exercise.