Edu backlinks, similarly as .Gov backlinks can give your site an impressive SEO boost. With this post, we want to show you that getting .Edu backlinks can be easier than you think.
The Country Store restaurant, located in Petersham, Massachusetts, offers a sumptuous breakfast and lunch menu to their customers. At first glance, it looks as good as any local restaurant in the area.
But the main difference is this. The said restaurant enjoys a coveted .edu backlink from Harvard University.
You might be asking, how did a local restaurant earn a backlink from Harvard, one of the world’s most prestigious universities?
The obvious answer is that the Country Store is located near the vicinity of the Harvard Forest, a 4,000-acre laboratory and classroom in Petersham, owned by Harvard. And because the school wants to give their students a guide on where to dine close to the campus, they added links on their site that point to recommended restaurants nearby.
Although most websites probably won’t get noticed by Harvard in this lifetime, one key takeaway from the above example is this:
It is still possible to earn high-quality backlinks from academic institutions, without resorting to spammy, high-pressure, and low-grade SEO techniques.
And when you get even just a handful of these powerful .edu domains to point to your website, the results in terms of traffic and search rankings can be tremendous.
In this article, we’ll give you an exhaustive guide on how to get .EDU backlinks using white-hat SEO strategies that will enhance your online reputation and visibility.
We discussed ways to acquire links from government sites (.gov backlinks) in a previous article. Although the process for getting education backlinks (.edu) is a bit similar, there are some key differences that you should acknowledge.
So let’s dig in and discover how you can get these links from EDU domains:
What Are .EDU Backlinks?
An EDU backlink is simply a link mention from a .edu domain. These domains are official websites of schools, universities, and other academic institutions.
EDU backlinks are in high demand among SEO professionals for one main reason. They pack a powerful punch when it comes to boosting your site’s domain and page authority.
The more EDU backlinks you get, the higher trust you’ll gain from Google, which leads to better authority, traffic, and rankings in your niche (Google puts a lot of value on these educational domains).
But even though it sounds simple in theory, getting these .edu backlinks can be a little bit tricky.
I mean, we’re talking about getting (or earning) backlinks from websites like Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Berkeley, California Institute of Technology, and similar colleges.
And last time we checked, these educational websites don’t just link out to anybody online, You just can’t call them up, inform them that your website exists, and instantly get a nice .edu backlink from them to boost your site’s visibility.
They’re extremely picky.
In many cases, the top universities won’t even notice or consider mentioning you on their site unless you have some outstanding scholarly content on your website (think of near-Pulitzer Prize level content).
Don’t worry, you don’t need to restrict your EDU link building efforts to these top universities only. In this article, we’ll tackle proven ways on how to get backlinks from various educational websites.
But first, let’s find out just how truly valuable these EDU links are.
How Valuable Are .EDU Backlinks?
Not all backlinks are created equal. A link from a spammy forum isn’t going to carry much weight compared to a link from an authority blog in your industry.
In the same way, Google assigns a higher value on EDU backlinks compared to links you would normally get from guest blogging with your peers.
Here are some of the reasons why.
Scholarly content screams high quality
In a world where anyone can start a blog over a weekend, content from academic sites are seen as more legitimate and trustworthy.
Having a .edu site name isn’t the only reason why Google gives its trust. It’s more about the quality of the content found on these sites.
EDU sites are usually aged
Aged domains usually have lots of pages already listed in the Google index over the past few years.
According to a survey conducted by Orbit Media, the average lifespan of a website is just 2 years and 7 months! Most websites simply don’t live long enough to build the much-needed authority and reputation with Google.
EDU websites, on the other hand, have been on the web for decades. And so, they have more clout in the search engines than an average website.
EDU sites have a horde of backlinks on their back
High authority domains tend to link to references found within educational website pages. These further increases domain and page authority for EDU sites.
EDU backlinks are not created from link schemes
It is a well-known fact in the post-Panda and post-Penguin era of SEO that Google cracks down on sites that employ ‘link schemes’.
These schemes involve but are not limited to, buying links on other sites for the sole purpose of manipulating rankings.
It’s hard for spammers to do ‘link schemes’ on EDU websites. They are well moderated, have high content standards, and strict editorial guidelines. This is why educational websites are usually foreign to search engine penalties.
All the above reasons prove just how valuable EDU links are.
But the question you’re probably asking in your mind right now is, “How on earth can I build links from these academic/scholarly websites?”
Below are some tried and tested ways to do so.
Main Ways Of Acquiring .EDU Backlinks
Who gets .Edu backlinks anyway?
The answer – webmasters and online marketers who work hard.
Most high-quality EDU backlinks are not going to fall into your lap by chance. You have to go out there and EARN them.
Here are some ways to do that.
Find Resource Pages
Resource pages, also known as recommended links pages, are great places to build links on. While this is becoming increasingly rare in the modern internet landscape, there are still university and academic websites that have pages dedicated to resource links.
For example, if you have a website about investing, you can do a simple Google search like the one below:
site:.edu investing inurl:resources
This will help you uncover EDU websites that lists resources and recommended links in the field of investing.
Just running the simple Google search above will give you lots of potential link opportunities. Here’s one good example from the Michigan State University website:
The links listed in the above EDU resource page are dofollow and keyword-rich. Tese are the kind of links that will boost your site’s SEO.
Why would a state university want to link to a third-party blog? Simple. They want to share some useful information with their students and readers!
Therefore, superb quality content is your best bet on getting on that list.
So, the first step is to create content on your website that fits what they’re looking for. Put a high degree of quality on it, and then reach out to the webmaster of the EDU website for a link inclusion request.
Note, this strategy will rarely work if your content isn’t of a high standard of quality. So make sure you commit to impeccable content creation, and don’t settle for anything less.
Create A Scholarship
This link acquisition strategy requires some investment on your part. You are going to offer a scholarship to deserving students so you can land some .edu backlinks on websites of reputable schools or institutions.
Offering a simple $300 to $500 scholarship per year can go a long way in securing a nice backlink from an EDU site. Compared to the value of a live EDU backlink, this can be considered as a small investment that would pay ongoing dividends for you!
In most cases though, just the mere act of offering the scholarship is enough for you to land the link mention from a school.
Without parting with your money upfront, all you have to do is search for educational websites with a dedicated page that lists the third-party scholarships they offer.
Third party scholarships are nothing more than opportunities offered by private individuals who are separate entities from the school itself. You can be one of these private individuals.
The key is to make the scholarship requirements a bit difficult, so that very few can qualify for it. For example, you can make the scholarship available only to students who maintain a consistently high academic grade. You may also limit the number of available spots per year.
This strategy allows you to ethically build links on an educational website while potentially helping the next Einstein or a future president of the United States.
So, more karma points for you!
The first step is to find academic websites that list their scholarships on a dedicated page. Better yet, find an EDU website that allows you to create your own scholarship page on your site and submit to them for approval.
Here’s a good example from the UC Davis website. There are tons of other websites out there that offer scholarship privileges to students, and linking opportunities for you.
To start looking for scholarship listing pages, try the following query string on Google:
- site:.edu “scholarships”
You can adjust the noun to find more opportunities. Try:
- “college scholarships”
- “scholarships links”
- “scholarship list”
- “list of scholarships”
- “Outside Agency Scholarships”
- “private Scholarships”
Mention EDU Bloggers On Your Site
This one is an ‘appeal to ego’ technique. There are lots of bloggers assigned to write on educational sites. Usually, they have some link-worthy content that’s under-appreciated by the general public.
You can use this to your advantage by identifying these bloggers, finding one of their published works on a university website, and mention their article in one your blog posts.
For example, in one of your blog posts, you can say “I found an interesting article written by [name of blogger] from [website URL of the university blog], and it discusses…”
Make sure that your blog post is relevant to the content written by the EDU blogger. This will help it to appear natural.
The key is to contact the blogger as soon as you mention his or her content on your site. You can reach out via email and say something along these lines:
“Hi [name of blogger], this is Sean from yourwebsitename.com. Just wanted to let you know that I mentioned you and your academic work in my recent blog post entitled How To Secure A Nice Paying Job After College [use anchor text link on the post title].
The way you discussed rock-solid principles about job hunting for college students particularly caught my interest, and it’s something I believe would benefit my readers as well.
Feel free to view my blog post where I gave you proper reference and credit. You may also share the blog post on your site or on social media so that more people can find your outstanding article.
Either way, keep up the awesome work!
While this technique is not a guarantee that you’ll automatically land an EDU backlink, if you do it often, you’ll get some replies from thankful educational bloggers. This initial contact can lead to new relationships that will translate to content linkages.
Some schools like to stay updated about their alumni members. They keep close tabs on the success of their former students.
Whenever they hear about a former student who achieved an important career milestone or received an honorable recognition, they tend to brag about it on their alumni news pages.
You can use this as an opportunity to get a .edu link from any of the schools you previously attended. All you have to do is find the alumni news page of your school, contact the alumni department, and inform them that you’ve been PUBLISHED online in your specific industry.
Tell them that you’ll appreciate it if you can get mentioned in the alumni news section so that your former classmates can reach out to you as well.
If you have a published book, so much the better!
You can inform your alumni association about it and thank them for all the things you learned in the school while you were a student. Then give them the link to your book page or website homepage.
This should make them proud and motivated to acknowledge your achievements.
Some universities even allow you to create an alumni profile that you can constantly update even after your student years. You can log on to your alumni profile and include a nice link towards your website within the description section of your profile page.
Below is an example of an alumni profile update page for the College Of The Ozarks. Updates submitted on the page are then included in the Alumni News section of their website:
So if you haven’t already tried it, start reconnecting with your old high school and college alumni association. They just might give you a free .edu backlink or two!
Local Resources and Recommendations Pages
This is particularly useful if you run a brick and mortar business such as a restaurant or local store/shop.
Earlier, we talked about the Country Store restaurant example and how it was able to land a nice backlink from Harvard University. They earned that link by finding local EDU resource pages in their area.
The way to achieve a similar result is to list down the schools within your vicinity. Check their respective websites to see if they have resource pages that give recommendations on where to dine, shop, go sightseeing, etc.
To make your search easier, input these search query strings on Google to identify the exact local resource pages in a particular EDU domain:
- site:school.edu “accommodation”
- site:.school.edu “local restaurants”
- site:school.edu inurl:visiting
- site:yourschool.com inurl:visiting your school
This should give you a bunch of potential EDU pages to target getting links from. Perhaps you can become the next Country Store success story!
The above are some of the best ways and methods to build EDU backlinks. However, in many instances, you need to get creative in order to spot other .edu linking opportunities. Doing this requires some SEO ‘spywork’ that, thankfully, can be learned easily.
Let’s discuss that below:
How To Find .EDU Backlink Opportunities
So far, we’ve covered the most common techniques to building EDU backlinks. But if you want to get deeper into this link building strategy, you need to be able to spot .edu linking opportunities on your own.
Discovering these link opportunities will need some in-depth online research on your part. Here are some ways to uncover EDU sites that you can build links from.
Master Google Query Strings
The best source of EDU link sources is Google itself. All the educational pages you want to get links from are already indexed in Google. You just need to be skilled in finding them.
In the past few sections of this article, we suggested some query strings you can use to find scholarship websites, local recommendation pages, resource pages, and EDU blogs relevant to your niche.
You can take those sample query strings and experiment with different keyword phrases relevant to your niche. For example:
- site:.edu “niche specific keyword”
- site:.edu “niche specific keyword” inurl:”secondary keyword”
This will give you the educational website pages that are most relevant to the keywords in your niche. As you wade through the list of academic pages, you might be able to find some sites you can contact and potentially build links on.
Tap Your Personal or Local Network
Tapping your ‘warm market’ of EDU sites is severely underrated nowadays. Sometimes, the best way to land a backlink from an educational site is by visiting your OWN alma mater’s website to look for linking opportunities.
Maybe a former classmate or school friend now works in the Alumni Department or Editorial Committee of your school.
Perhaps you know a faculty member or two who might be happy to hear about you after all these years, and can help you get mentioned in the school’s online newsletter.
Or perhaps your old professor (who is now a Dean of College), can possibly help you get the word out about a discount for staff and students in your school. Stuff like these can help you land an EDU backlink later on.
If you no longer know anyone in the school, you can ask friends or loved ones who are currently active within the school to see if there are any opportunities you can tap into which can lead to online partnerships.
Perform .EDU Competitive Analysis
Competitive analysis is the process of looking at your competitor’s link sources and see if you can get links from those same sites.
When it comes to .edu competitor analysis, we are looking for .edu websites that your competitors have already built links on in the past.
The idea behind it is this.
If a website similar to yours (your competitor) was able to land a backlink in an EDU site using inferior content, then it will be easier for you to get a link from the same source using superior content.
In other words, you are going to build links on your competitors linking domains, but this time you will be offering content that is BETTER in quality.
You can use a competitive analysis tool such as Linkody for this purpose.
Here’s a step by step process you can follow.
Using Linkody To Track Your Backlinks
- Step #1: Login to Linkody. As soon as you login you’ll be able to see options that will allow you to analyze competitor’s backlinks. There is also a free trial option that allows you to test the tool for 30 days.
- Step #2: Add your domain. This will allow the tool to crawl your website and populate your link profile, so you can see all the domains and pages that are currently linking to you.
- Step #3: Add your competitor’s domain. Linkody tool will also crawl the competitor’s website to uncover all the backlinks they currently have, including .edu backlinks if any.
- Step #4: Look for .edu backlinks from your competitor’s link profile. Once you find where your competitors are getting their EDU backlinks, create a strategy that will allow you to build links on those same sites as well. You can use the strategies and techniques we discussed earlier in this article.
Conclusion and Key Takeaways
Getting high-value EDU backlinks isn’t a walk in the park. You need to know where to find hidden opportunities in education sites. Once you do, you need to develop a strategy for acquiring links from these domains.
If you can stick long enough with white-hat methods of securing .edu backlinks, you can earn a bunch of them in just a few weeks or months.
The beautiful thing is, you don’t need hundreds of .edu links to start ranking highly on Google. Just a handful of them is often sufficient to move the needle of your search engine rankings, assuming the links are high quality.
So get ready to roll up your sleeves and start finding EDU backlinking opportunities! The rewards are worth it.