Did you know that .edu backlinks have more authority than regular backlinks, making them more valuable? Wondering why?
That’s because readers simply deem them more trustworthy.
Search engines love .edu backlinks.
Getting a .edu backlink for your website is not easy, but it’s possible. With the right approach and a little patience you can win .edu backlinks to improve your website authority.
A .edu backlink from an accredited school or university is one of the best backlinks you can get.
- Boost your website’s search rankings.
- Bring in more traffic.
- Make you an authority in your niche.
But don’t such backlinks cost money?
Many creators tend to think so with some ready to break the bank but that’s not the case. There are many ways you can build great .edu backlinks and the best news is that you can get them for free.
And you need not worry if you don’t have an education network in place, you can start from scratch and build it up starting today.
In this post, you’ll learn the best ways to get .edu backlinks to optimize your site.
Are you ready to increase Google’s trust for your site using authoritative .edu backlinks?
Let’s get started.
What are .Edu Backlinks?
In simple terms, .edu backlinks are backlinks from donations with a .edu extension belonging to educational institutions.
They are exclusive domains for institutions, such as:
Educational institutions like these are known for their strict content policy and are very selective with the brands they associate with.
Why are .Edu Backlinks So Valuable?
Edu backlinks, just like .gov backlinks, are high quality backlinks that are harder to get than the links from normal .com sites. But every SEO expert will say they provide a powerful punch, have high authority, and are worth the effort.
Here are some reasons why backlinks from .edu domains are so valuable.
Education Websites Have a Great Reputation
Recent research shows that the average lifespan of a website is 2 years and 7 months, which leaves little room for building up content authority and reputation.
Education sites, on the other hand, have been around for decades and usually have lots of high-quality content that is authoritative and trustworthy.
Universities, by their nature of work, churn out content like:
- Research papers
- Scholarly articles
- Research breakthroughs
- Academic activity newsletters
With such consistent content publishing, these sites have higher domain authority and naturally attract powerful links from other reputable sources.
Powerful sites prefer to link to these sites because:
- They produce rich and authoritative content
- They have public trust and great reputation
The authority the link brings to your site is immense and can progressively propel it to higher rankings.
The .Edu Backlinks are Not Available to Everyone
Let’s face it.
How many .edu backlinks are out there versus the sheer number of sites that would like to link to them?
Edu backlinks are not as many as the .com ones and getting one is not an easy task.
You would have to search for the owner of the domain and convince them why they should link to your content. It may take time but once you have it the benefits are almost instantaneous.
The truth is, it’s hard to build .edu backlinks and not everybody can hack it without:
- Continuous edit
- Convincing skills
Link Schemes Can’t Provide .Edu Backlinks
Link schemes are manipulative strategies implemented to influence a site’s ranking including buying links.
Other than the fact that it’s against the Google Webmaster’s Guidelines and could damage your site’s progress in the long run, it’s almost impossible to create .edu backlinks using link schemes.
Education sites are authority sites with strong domain authority. They have strict content and editorial standards making them some of the least susceptible to Google penalties.
Getting .edu backlinks requires people skills to gain the domain manager’s trust and you can only do this by:
- Creating content that is worth linking to
- Providing value to the institution and their audience
Because when it comes to these links, there is no sort of easy link exchange.
Getting a .Edu Backlink Shows Your Content’s Worth
Generally, backlinks are a sign of confidence from one site to another. Imagine just how more valuable .edu backlinks are as it shows an educational institution showing its vote of confidence in your site.
Edu backlinks hold more authority and sites that connect to these domains are considered:
- Experts in their fields
Education sites easily tick all the right boxes and that’s why Google ranks their content high. Getting backlinks from such authoritative sites shows that the institution has vetted and trusts your content.
Keep in mind that they can be extremely picky.
The public, noting their presence on your site will , in turn, trust you as well`. Even better, search engines will not hesitate to give you high SERP positions.
8 Strategies to Get .EDU Backlinks That Work
From the onset, you need to know that getting .edu backlinks depends on building successful relationships.
You can’t pitch to a number of sites, sit back, and wait for feedback or probably a good number of backlinks to come your way.
This process takes time.
But with the right mindset, you should identify the relevant sites in your niche, approach the webmasters, and build rapport.
Think of how you can add value to the institution first—as many of these strategies involve contribution on your part—and you’re halfway there.
Now let’s take a look at the top eight link building strategies to get .edu backlinks that actually work.
1. Create Content to Get Listed on Resource Pages
Many educational organizations have resource pages that provide links to useful content and resources on various topics.
The first step is to research an institution’s resource page to get a glimpse of what kind of content it links to.
Then you can offer resources like case studies or white papers that are relevant to their audience.
To find the right opportunities or resource pages in your niche, use the following Google search :
Site:.edu + keyword + inurl: resource
Here’s an example.
Here are the search results for this query.
The search should bring up potential link building opportunities with educational institutions:
- With relevant resource pages
- That post similar content to your niche
Why would they want to link to your site?
Education institutions are always on the lookout for great content they can share with their students and readers.
Once you’ve found a website you can get a backlink from, find the webmaster’s contact details and make your pitch.
The fact is, only impeccable content can make the cut, nothing less.
2. Interview Faculty Members
This is a subtle ego-bait tactic that can work for you.
Most faculty members maintain a blog on their .edu domains. Search for a member who teaches a subject related to your niche and interview them on a trending topic in the niche.
More often than not they would like to link an interview they featured in, on their blog.
The example above shows an interview with an award-winning engineering professor on sustainable fishing and the protection of endangered marine habitats.
For the sustainable engineering niche, Professor Daniel Oerther from the Missouri University of Science and Technology is a good candidate.
But how do you find the right faculty members in your niche?
On Google, type the following search queries:
- Site:.edu + keyword
- Site:.edu + sustainable engineering inurl + blog
- Site:.edu + sustainable engineering inurl + news
- Site:.EDU + sustainable engineering inurl + research
Don’t get discouraged by the thousands of results you find, you just narrow down your search until you find what you are looking for.
Once you have selected a number of faculty members from different institutions, contact them, mostly through email, and request for an interview.
The return on your efforts lies in the next set of actions that you’ll take from here.
Send an email to each faculty member thanking them for their contribution to your post and let them know that the content is published.
As you wrap your correspondence, let them know that they can share the content on their social media pages via their site.
You can call that a successful .edu backlink-building campaign using faculty members.
3. Mention .Edu Bloggers in Your Posts
Did you know that .edu domain managers also hire bloggers for their sites?
Well, most of the content they create usually goes unrecognized. Since everybody likes to feel appreciated, why not turn the tables to your advantage.
It’s a win-win. You get to link to quality content and create a relationship with a .edu domain contributor.
How can you do this?
You need to first search for the .edu domain bloggers. The easiest way is to check an educational institution’s resources page or blog.
Next, find a piece of content they’ve written that is a natural fit for one of your blog posts.
In your post, you can say, “I came across an interesting article written by (blogger’s name) from (…EDU website URL) and they have found out…”
The key is to make it blend into your content just like a direct quote would. So it must be relevant to your post.
Soon after publishing your content, find their email and inform them about the mention. Acknowledge their in-depth discussion by referencing snippets from their blog and informing them that you gave them full credit for their work.
Finally, you can conclude by letting them know that they can share your post on their social media or website so more people can appreciate and comment on their blog content.
This technique may not give you a .edu backlink instantly, but the relationships you build over time can lead to several opportunities for link building, in the future.
4. Offer Discounts to Faculty and Students
Who doesn’t love a discount?
You can bet any school website’s webmaster would want to take your discount as well.
But this strategy will only work if you have a physical product or service that students and staff use in their day-to-day lives.
The key benefits:
- You get .edu backlinks
- You increase your customer base and make more sales
For a start, you can research several universities and colleges to find out who else is offering them discounts and how much.
Why not start with the institutions in your local area? You can include as many institutions as you want.
Here’s how to find discounts on education sites:
Site:.edu + “discounts”
Site:.edu + “student discounts”
Site:.edu + “faculty discounts”
Your end goal is to get an .edu backlink, so you’ll need to contact the person in charge of school discounts to have your offer listed in their directory.
Let the manager know that it’s easy for their staff and students to get the discounts if they link back to your site. The manager will create a short description of the discount you’re offering and add a backlink to your site.
5. Offer Scholarships
This strategy requires a bit of financial investment in return for .edu backlinks from reputable institutions.
It doesn’t have to be a million-dollar scholarship. It can be a simple $400-$500 scholarship every year.
Many colleges and universities are open to accepting private or third-party scholarships for their students.
And you don’t have to part with your money right away. You can decide to offer the scholarship a few times a year to the most academically consistent student in your preferred department.
You get to offer a scholarship to a deserving student for a .edu backlink that will keep paying you back for years to come.
It’s worth a try, isn’t it?
To make this strategy work, you need to find the institutions that have a dedicated scholarship page.
On Google, type the following:
- Site:.edu “scholarships”
- Site:.edu “private scholarships
- Site:.edu “financial aid”
- Site:.edu “list of scholarships
- Site:.edu scholarships inurl: donor
The search results should give you an idea of what kind of scholarship to offer. Take the search a little further and look for .edu domains that allow you to create a scholarship page on your site. The NYU website is a perfect example.
Then reach out to as many colleges as you can and inform them of the scholarship opportunity.
This is important.
Tell them that they can link their website to your scholarship page. You’ll get more than your fair share of replies and .edu backlinks.
After all, no school would pass on an opportunity for a genuine scholarship for their students.
6. Create a Job/Careers Page on Your Website
This strategy can help you get several .edu backlinks, if well executed. The goal is to provide internship or job opportunities for students. In return, you get listed on their careers page.
It is easy to find institutions you can collaborate with as many of them already have dedicated career pages.
Here’s an example.
Universities and colleges are always on the lookout for job opportunities for their students. To make this work, you need to have a few job openings or internship opportunities in your company.
You can make it niche-specific by targeting candidates with a specific area of expertise. In any case, you will still get a number of .edu backlinks using this strategy.
How can you do this?
First, create a careers page on your website with the following details:
- The jobs or internships available
- The qualifications you are looking for in an ideal candidate
Creating a careers page on your site gives you the flexibility to reach out to many colleges without creating separate descriptions for each.
Contact the institutions and let them know about the job or internship opportunities that are regularly available for students and graduates.
Tell them that you’re happy to have the information posted on their website and provide a link for it.
7. Target Alumni Pages
This strategy hits closer to home. It’s largely about connecting with your former schools and colleges, listing your achievements, and getting the coveted .edu backlinks.
A majority of the institutions like to keep tabs on their alumni and usually have active alumni associations online. Here’s one, for example.
So, if you:
- Are an industry expert in your niche
- Have received an award for your exemplary work
- Have recently published a book
- Have ran major projects
- Have published fascinating case studies
- Have any other significant achievements
Get in touch with the head of the alumni association and let them know what you’ve been up to.
Tell them that your education there is what has propelled you to greatness and they’ll be more than be happy to write about you.
If possible, they may even give you an alumni profile on their website that will benefit you for years to come.
You can use this space to:
- Post updates on your achievements
- Link to new content on your website
That’s it. That’s how you can win .edu backlinks using this strategy
8. Broken Link Building
Want to win several .edu links quickly?
Then this strategy is the perfect solution for you.
Let us show you how.
Also known as the 404/dead link building, the broken link building strategy allows you to find broken links on a website and claim them for yourself.
Here’s how you can do that:
- Find broken links on .edu domains
- Reach out to the webmasters
- Replace them with links to your similar content
Use a good SEO tool to find broken links at scale. Ahrefs site explorer comes highly recommended. Use its Open Site Explorer to crawl any .edu website of your choice and search for 404 links.
Once you’ve found some, find the kind content that the broken links were linking to. Wayback Machine is an excellent tool for this.
Next, create high-quality content that will serve as a replacement.
Contact the site’s webmaster and alert them of the broken link. Then offer your content as a replacement.
An example of a good pitch is:
“Hello, I’ve noticed that you have a broken backlink on XYZ on your website. This is bad for your readers and SEO. Our website has an up-to-date and relevant article on the same topic. Would you like to link to our article instead?”
The webmaster will most likely take the offer and it easily becomes a win-win for both of you.
Use this process for as many .edu sites as you can and you’ll get many .edu backlinks in no time.
As discussed earlier, when making a pitch to a .edu webmaster you must create top-notch content.
4 Truths About .Edu Backlinks
The strategies mentioned above are tried and tested and you can rely on them to build .edu backlinks.
But before you begin, there are some things you should keep in mind.
Getting .Edu Backlinks is Not Easy
Right off the start, we did say that getting a .edu backlink requires patience and some extra legwork.
So, you need to work hard and your effort will pay off in the end.
To get even one .edu backlink takes time and hard work. That’s why many people do not pursue them.
The tactic here is to first grow your brand and establish yourself as an expert in your field. Remember, educational institutions are very selective and prefer to be associated only with trustworthy sites.
Once your site has gained some authority you can then start building relevant relationships that will help you secure the .edu backlinks.
Otherwise you might get disappointed if you start off too soon, especially with a brand new site.
You Can Get .Edu Backlinks From Colleges Other Than the Ivy League
Edu backlinks need not be just from Ivy League colleges for them to be valuable. You should strive to build links from different educational institutions that have legit edu domains.
Sone examples include:
- Sports academies
- Community colleges
- Art institutes
- Religious seminaries
You have a variety of sources to get the .edu backlinks, so don’t limit yourself.
Don’t Rely on .Edu Backlinks Alone
We’ve established that .edu backlinks can boost your site’s trust and authority. However, you shouldn’t rely solely on .edu backlinks.
It’s smart to get backlinks from a variety of high-authority domains. A diverse backlink profile looks natural and is preferable for SEO.
After all, .edu backlinks can only prove useful when your backlink profile is already strong.
Edu Backlinks Do Not Necessarily Improve Rankings
Ok, I know what you’re thinking.
Why toil for these .edu backlinks and if they can’t guarantee better rankings?
Here’s a fact. Google has never officially stated that .edu backlinks hold more value than other backlinks or are one of the ranking factors.
In the SEO world, there is no magical formula that can guarantee the top spot. In fact, it’s a lot of little things that add up to get you there.
So, apart from targeting .edu backlinks, make sure that your overal SEO strategy is on-point. Use our ultimate SEO checklist to ensure that you don’t miss any important aspect and are at the top of your SEO game.
Now it’s time to discover the other 102 steps that will get more organic traffic flowing to your website. Get the SEO Checklist here.
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1. How can you get .edu backlinks?
The best strategies to get .edu backlinks are:
- Create valuable content for education sites resource pages
- Interview faculty members
- Mention education site bloggers in your content
- Offer irresistible discounts for faculty and students
- Create job openings for students
- Offer scholarships
- Get your site listed on the alumni page
- Take advantage of broken link building
2. Are .edu links good for SEO?
Yes. They are actually among the best links for SEO.
3. What are .edu and .gov backlinks?
Edu backlinks are links to your site from sites of educational institutions with .edu domains while .gov backlinks are links to your site from government websites.
4. What is a good backlink?
A good backlink is a relevant, natural, authoritative and reputable outbound link from a trusted website.
5. How do I find .edu sites on Google?
The easiest way to find .edu sites on Google is to type the following:
Site:.edu + keyword
Example – site:.edu + religious seminaries
Ready to Get High-Quality .Edu Backlinks?
There you have it!
Building .edu backlinks takes time but incorporating them as part of your link building strategy is worth it.
Let’s quickly recap how to get .Edu backlinks using 8 solid ways that work:
- Create niche resources
- Interview faculty staff
- Mention education bloggers in your articles
- Offer discounts to faculty and students
- Offer scholarships
- Create a jobs page on your site
- Target alumni pages
- Utilize broken link building
Are you wondering how to incorporate .edu backlinks into your SEO strategy?
We are experts at link building and our team is always ready to offer a helping hand. Get on board and contact us today; let our team take your site to the next level in matters of SEO.