The Ultimate .GOV and .EDU Link Building Guide

The Ultimate .GOV and .EDU Link Building Guide

Not all backlinks boast the same SEO value. While some will help you rank better, some will only hurt your ranking. And then there are nofollow links that are only valuable for driving traffic but have absolutely no SEO value.

Now, let’s zone into the two most coveted backlinks, .GOV and .EDU, the holy grails of backlinking. Conventional wisdom has it that you should try to get as many of these backlinks as possible. 

It’s a common belief that these backlinks can dramatically increase your site ranking, with some SEO experts suggesting that one .EDU or .GOV backlink could be worth as much as ten .com, .net, or .org backlinks, perhaps more.

Let’s begin by saying it’s all bunk, a misconstrued half-truth. The truth is, Google doesn’t view .EDU or .GOV domain names any differently than it does .com, .org, or .net domain names.

So, it’s not about the TLDs but more about the authority of the underlying websites. There are tons of other external factors that give these domain names those superpowers. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be so valuable. 

So, quite simply, the value of any .EDU or .GOV website comes from the same place as any authoritative site out there. 

What Are .GOV Backlinks?

GOV links are the mentions you get from a government institution’s official website hyperlinked to point back to your website. The mentions can come in the form of a bare link or a hyperlinked anchor text pointing back to your site. 

SEO experts unanimously believe these links are more authoritative and trustworthy than all the other types of backlinks.

While this is true, there are factors at play here and as to why search engines highly value these links.

What Are .EDU Backlinks?

The scholarly definition of EDU backlinks is “the links you get from accredited higher education websites.”

Well, you might be thinking, “this isn’t going to work with my site.” But, be it as it may, .EDU backlinks aren’t only reserved for colleges and universities. Any accredited educational facility, be it an academy, technological institution, trade school, seminary, vocational school, an online educational program, or conservatory, can register for the TLD. 

So, don’t overthink it. Just look around you for the educational facilities you already have a direct connection to and try your chances. 

4 Key Reasons .GOV and .EDU Backlinks Are Highly Valued in the SEO Space

The process of acquiring a .GOV or .EDU backlink isn’t always easy, and that’s what makes them special. Not so many businesses succeed in getting links from these websites. But if you’re lucky enough to, the SEO benefits that come with it can be massive. 

With that said, here are four reasons a link from a .GOV or .EDU website should be part of your overall link building strategy:

Credibility and Trust

It’s easy to win an online customer’s trust when there’s a government or an accredited educational facility somewhere linking to your site. That could potentially pass as an endorsement from the government or the institution. 

Government websites are also more authoritative and trustworthy. That means they can potentially earn you a lot of trust with Google and your site’s visitors. 

As Rare as they Come

Not just anyone can purchase a .GOV or .EDU domain name. You’ll be required to submit all the requirements imposed by the state or federal government department. Only a few individuals authorized by their respective government institutions are allowed to register for these TLDs.  

It isn’t easy to get a .EDU or .GOV backlink. But if you do, you can be sure it’s coming from a highly legitimate and trusted source.

Naturally High Authority

Government websites don’t necessarily need to engage in SEO activities. Users already recognize them. Moreover, they have exclusive content to serve user’s needs. 

GOV domains have high Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) scores, even without trying. By acquiring a link from a GOV or .EDU website, you get to pass some of that authority to your website. 

While it’s even tougher to get a link from a national, local, and regional GOV website, they can be relatively more painless once you understand a few things. 

Hard to Obtain

The common link building strategy is where a web owner reaches out to another web owner via email to pitch a topic or ask for a backlink. But that’s not the case with a .EDU or .GOV backlink. 

The process of acquiring a .GOV or EDU backlink can be a little complex and confusing. That’s because government websites operate a little differently than the websites owned by any Tom, Harry, and Fin. 

You have to put in the extra work, understand their quality guidelines, and most importantly, connect with the right people in the organization. 

Why Are .EDU Links So Powerful?

We understand .GOV links are powerful because they belong to government agencies and institutions. But why are .EDU domain names just as powerful?

It bears repeating that Google doesn’t value these domain names just for the sheer fact that they have the .EDU extension. Far from it, as John Mueller puts it, “.EDU domain names don’t get additional credibility.” 

In other words, Google doesn’t look at them any differently than it does at a website with a .COM or any other domain name extension. 

As a matter of fact, the actual SEO value of an EDU backlink is determined by the same factors as any other authoritative site on the internet. 

Websites with .EDU domain names typically have high Domain Authorities because i) they have been around for a long time, and ii) there have so many trusted and high-quality websites linking to them. 

Why Do We Believe This?

While much of what has been said about these two backlinks is pure bunk, we’re not dismissing the fact that they’re high-value and apparently among the best sites to acquire backlinks from. 

Why do we believe this?

From what we know, Google’s algorithm has been designed to give more weight to sites with established and inherent credibility, such as government offices and educational institutions.

It’s also far unlikely that such a website will ever engage in opportunistic blackhat SEO tactics.  

Besides, you can’t just waltz from just anywhere and create a website with a .GOV or .EDU domain name. 

Does Google Favour Websites with the .EDU or .GOV Domain Extensions?

Absolutely not!

While it’s true that .GOV and .EDU websites naturally rank better; it has got nothing to do with the TLDs. 

In fact, some .EDU and .GOV backlinks don’t count at all. 

Google Admits to Ignoring a lot of .EDU Links

Here’s what John Mueller had to say about this:

Because of the near-mythical powers attached to .EDU backlinks, these websites get link-spammed a lot. This has forced Google to start ignoring many of the links on these sites. He even advises web experts to “no-follow” those links because they have absolutely no SEO value. 

SO, it’s either you follow the right strategy to acquire those links or watch as all your link building strategy for .EDU and .GOV backlinks go to waste. 

Are .EDU and .GOV Backlinks Overrated?

The process of obtaining a backlink from a .GOV or .EDU site is a monumental task. Not so many businesses have success with it. 

As expected, a large group of blackhat SEO practitioners has sprung up, claiming to provide these backlinks. While it’s true, these practitioners can slide your links into .GOV and .EDU websites without them finding out, let’s not forget that it does come at a cost. 

First, you have to bear in mind that Google already caught up with these ruses a long time ago. 

What these people do is try to add as many of your links in the comment section of .GOV and .EDU sites. This may get you some SEO juice, at least temporarily or until Google finds out about it. 

The ideal scenario is to get your link in the site’s actual content, not in the comments. But this is quite an uphill task, almost impossible for someone without the right connection. 

Keep in mind that Google is always updating their algorithm. They might decide to reduce the SEO impact of these domains. They understand the misconception surrounding these domain names and the spam tactics that so many people use to obtain these links. 

They have, therefore, started ignoring them. While the .EDU and .GOV sites will not be penalised for it; sites that cram them with links will.

So, to sum it up, getting your link in the comment section of .GOV or .EDU site is as overrated as it sounds. But if you manage to get it in the actual content of the site, rest assured that it will tremendously improve your overall search engine ranking. 

How to find .GOV and .EDU Sites in Singapore for Backlinks

Before we suggest a list of .GOV and .EDU sites in Singapore to obtain links from, let’s provide you with a simple strategy for searching for them manually on Google. Nothing complicated, just a simple Google search, and you’ll be presented with dozens of .EDU and .GOV sites to try your luck. 

To search for the .EDU sites to obtain backlinks from, all you have to do is go to Google and type the following search parameters:

  • site: .edu.sg
  • site : .edu.sg blog
  • Site: .edu.sg comments
  • Site: .edu.sg forums
  • Site: .edu.sg log in / create account
  • Site: .edu.sg inurl:blog

Now try replacing the .EDU with .GOV to find government websites and blogs to obtain the backlinks from:

  • site: .gov.sg
  • site : .gov.sg blog
  • Site: .gov.sg comments
  • Site: .gov.sg forums
  • Site: .gov.sg log in / create account
  • Site: .gov.sg inurl:blog

Go ahead and build the backlinks, starting with the first site that shows up. Be sure to record everything in an excel sheet: username, passwords, and email ids. 

While at it, you want to use a tool like RankScanner and Clicky to monitor your search ranking. 

Google Analytics might be popular and all that, but we strongly recommend Clicky, as it has better data analytics. 

The same can be said about Rank Scanner, which we still think has better data than Google Webmaster. 

Alternatively, you can use the Drop My Link site to find the .EDU and .GOV sites to obtain the backlinks from. Just head to the site and sign up for a free account. Next, go ahead and search for relevant web properties. 

How Drop My Links Works

After signing up on Drop My Link, you can then proceed to add your desired keywords. You’re to then choose a category and select a footprint. 

As you can see, it’s even possible to only search for resources with .EDU and .GOV extensions. Just hit on the third menu item and specify if you’re looking for resources with “Any TLD,” “.EDU,” or “.GOV” extension. 

Commenting on .EDU and .GOV Websites

The first mistake people make when commenting on .EDU or .GOV websites is signing up with a keyword instead of their proper names. There are two downsides to this:

First, it sets your website up for the Penguin penalty, and second, that’s one way bots are able to identify spammers. 

Commenting on .EDU and .GOV websites with DoFollow footprints isn’t exactly bad, as we had earlier on implied. But you want to avoid the messy situation of spamming these sites. 

That leaves you with no option but to sign up with your real names, email address, and most importantly, write a genuine, well-thought-out comment, and only adding your link through the specified URL section instead of forcefully hyperlinking in the comment text. 

You have to be extra careful when dealing with blogs that auto-approve comments. You might be tempted to spam them, but it’s only natural that the company will eventually review them, causing you to lose those links. 

List of .EDU and .GOV Sites in Singapore

.EDU Sites

.GOV Sites

  1. https://nus.edu.sg
  • https://www.mom.gov.sg
  • https://www.ntu.edu.sg
  • https://www.moh.gov.sg
  • https://www.singaporetech.edu.sg
  • https://www.sgdi.gov.sg/ministries
  • https://sutd.edu.sg
  • https://www.mfa.gov.sg
  • https://www.sp.edu.sg
  • https://www.careers.gov.sg
  • https://www.sim.edu.sg
  • https://data.gov.sg
  • https://curtin.edu.sg
  • https://go.gov.sg
  • https://www.ite.edu.sg
  • https://www.singpass.gov.sg
  • https://www.jcu.edu.sg
  • https://www.msf.gov.sg
  • https://curtin.edu.sg
  • https://www.stb.gov.sg
  • https://www.suss.edu.sg
  • https://www.cpf.gov.sg
  • https://www.yale-nus.edu.sg
  • https://guide.go.gov.sg
  • https://www.nushigh.edu.sg
  • https://www.moe.gov.sg
  • https://www.bcaa.edu.sg
  • https://www.sfa.gov.sg
  • https://www.np.edu.sg
  • https://www1.bca.gov.sg
  • https://syas.edu.sg
  • https://www.reach.gov.sg
  • https://www.duke-nus.edu.sg
  • https://sso.agc.gov.sg
  • http://sites.psu.edu
  • https://www.rom.gov.sg
  • http://geoweb.rsl.wustl.edu
  • http://www.evansville.in.gov
  • http://tecto.gps.caltech.edu
  • http://training.fema.gov

 

Why You Shouldn’t Buy .EDU or .GOV Links?

You’re bound to come across the so-called self-proclaimed link experts selling “high DA” EDU links.

You’re not to waste any minute of your valuable time with them because they’ll not only reap you off but also ruin all your SEO effort.

Much of what they do is use bots to spam these sites and populate them with links they have collected from people like you. 

Not only that, it’s against Google’s policies to buy links, not just .GOV and .EDU links but any link.

Keep in mind that no school or government institution sells these links. Schools will link out to genuine scholarship opportunities, and government institutions will link to helpful and authentic content for their site visitors.  

If you must spend on EDU links, then a simple approach would be to offer scholarships that students can apply for. You can then reach out to the education facility and ask them to publish your link on their website. 

Why You Should Invest in Scholarship Links

A scholarship campaign can be a worthwhile investment if you have a budget for it. Here’s a list of factors that make it an excellent investment:

  • The backlinks you garner from high DA education websites can significantly boost your site authority. 
  • The links are there to stay
  • Local SEO
  • It’s a way of giving back to society. 
  • Works great for your company PR
  • Increases your trust-flows by earning you high-quality links from reputable, trustworthy educational institutions

8 Ways to Earn an EDU Links

Forget about any blackhat linking building strategy you’ve ever heard, and focus on the following ten legit ways to earn a .EDU backlink in Singapore: 

#1 Write an Article: Write an article on a popular topic or chapter about a popular college course and notify the relevant professor. You can review the course or even connect it with a current trend. That way, you can be sure the article will be delivering short traffic bursts each time the course is taught, usually not more than the number of students that have enrolled for that course– not unless the professor happens to rank in the SERPs, then you can be sure there’ll be a lot of search engine traffic coming in. 

However, you want to make sure you have exemplary writing skills and fantastic knowledge of the topic at hand. 

Alternatively, you could hire a second professor to help you write the article. But keep in mind that professors are incredibly picky about the websites they choose to link to. So, don’t be quick to bug them for a link unless you’re sure your web content is nothing short of top-notch.

#2 Links on the School Admission Page: If your site deals with school hostels, restaurant themes, or local lodgings, you write an article or request the university to link to one of your articles talking about “the top hostel locations,” or “top local restaurants.” These links can deliver a decent amount of traffic provided the site is optimized well for search engines. 

#3 Talk to the Professor: If the professor isn’t well-optimized for search engines, consider chatting him or her up and offer a few pointers to help them bump up their page on the SERPs and boost your web traffic. They surely must enjoy seeing your page soar through the search engines’ ranks.

#4 Have Some Fun with It: Here’s a cool way to get EDU backlinks from students: visit all the cool beaches that students visit during their spring break and take many pictures. You’re also to visit all the beer joints around the place, take pictures of the tour and post them on your sites with a few reviews. There’s a fair chance that some of the students will want to post them on their student webpages. Just agree and ask them to consider linking back to you when they do. 

#5 Offer to Help: Look around for .EDU sites with crappy departmental pages, and offer to help them redesign them. You want to make sure you’ve adhered to the laid-down university guidelines. Some professors will even be willing to have someone help them manage their pages. 

It’s simple: find anything that can be improved and reach out to them with some suggestions. Offer to help them fix the issue or improve it for an even better web experience. 

#6 Make a Donation for their Scholarship Programs: Reach out to the school and offer to donate to their scholarship fund. Many colleges and universities often list their donors, and if your donation is big enough, they might even consider including your website’s URL under your company name. 

#7 Offer to Give a Talk or Offer a Free Service Session to Students on Campus: You can contact the students’ leader or a club head and offer to come to campus and talk to the students or offer a free service session, like Yoga. When announcing the event, the student’s leader may decide to include a link to your website. 

You can even schedule several sessions or events in advance to keep your link on the website. 

In doing so, you’ll not only get the link, but you’ll also be advertising your business to the students for free. 

#8 Sponsor some of the Events the School is involved in: It’s common for universities to be involved in community projects. You’ll find them sponsoring different community programs, such as summer kids programs, Special Olympics, visiting orchestras, and so on. 

So, why not offer to support some of these programs using your business name? You can find these programs listed on the announcement section of their website or printed program. 

12 Ways You Can Obtain .GOV Links

Getting a link from an official government website is an uphill task. You have to be ready to put in the hours to get those types of connections. 

Everything has to be planned. You can start by ensuring your website has a solid foundation of relevant content optimized to appeal to a government website. 

That said, here are 12 legit ways to obtain backlinks from a .GOV website: 

#1 Identify Worthy .GOV Websites

Not all .GOV websites are created equal. You have to identify a few legit ones that are worth putting all that effort on. 

You also have to remember that not all .GOV websites belong to government organizations or have a heavy flow of traffic and high DA. 

So, do your homework to identify a few legit ones that are worth sweating for. Use search parameters such as “site: .gov.sg” to narrow your focus to a few real government agencies and departments.

#2 Start Commenting on Government Blogs

There’s nothing wrong with commenting on government blogs as long as you’re not spamming them. 

This is a proven way of getting a .GOV backlink, just not quite as easy as commenting on a .com website. 

That’s because most government websites don’t allow commenting, and if they do, the odds are pretty good they’re “no-follow.” 

If you’re lucky to come across a government website that allows “do follow,” then rest assured, the comments will be highly scrutinised. If they do not meet the required quality standard, they might never get approved.

The point is to try and make your comment valuable without appearing like you’re only doing it for a backlink. 

#3 Write an Article Discussing a Government Agency

You can draw attention to your blog or website by writing a high-quality article about a government organisation or agency. Proceed to market the article and notify the agency about it.

For example, if you run a web development or IT agency, you can write an insightful article discussing the office of the ministry of communication and information. 

#4 Write about a Popular Politician You Know

Using the same method you used to write an article discussing a government agency, you can write about a popular politician you know. For example, let’s say the politician proposed a new law that you’re sure will impact your business. You can write an article about this and notify the politician about it in the hopes that they’ll link to it.

Remember that none of these strategies is a direct hit. You’re just aiming in the dark, hoping that one of them might land.

#5 Interview a Trusted Member of a Government Agency 

You can reach out to one of the most trusted members of a government agency and ask them if they’re okay with the idea of you interviewing them. Pick a government agency that’s relevant to your line of business and reach out to one of the members to see if they’ll be open to the idea of you interviewing them. 

With the right topic and a substantial following, there’s a fair chance they’ll agree to be interviewed by them. You can even send them some of the interview questions beforehand so that they’ll not be caught off guard. 

You’re to then publish this interview on your website or blog, with a link pointing back to the agency’s website. 

The interview may decide to share the interview on the agency’s website, earning you a .GOV backlink.

#6 Get a Government Contract

If your line of business allows it, you should try to pursue a government contract. Always be on the lookout for government tenders. And when an opportunity presents itself, be quick to submit your application.

After you land the contract, you can have someone write a press release to announce the contract and publish it with the aagency’s link. 

While at it, you should be trying to enter into some partnership with the agency and see if they’ll often link to your website. 

#7 Create a Resource Page on Your Website

You also want to create a resource page on your site. If you’re a local business, the resource page you create can link to the local government agency to provide readers with information about local accommodations, amenities, and other valuable information. 

Your resource page doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to your local visitors. You can even build a resource page that’s dedicated to educating readers about laws or government regulations about your products or services. 

For example, if you’re in the business of controlling pests, you can link your resource page to a government agency dealing with pesticide regulations. If the agency finds your program valuable, you can be sure they’ll want to link back to it. 

#8 Contact a Relevant Government Agency to be listed on their Resource Page

Many government agencies, especially county governments, have resource pages where they list local businesses. All you have to do is identify such agencies and reach out to them, asking to be listed, as well. 

When the agency lists you, you have to make sure they have also included a link to your website. 

#9 Start Involving Your Company in Government’s Outreach Programs

Always be on the lookout for the government’s outreach programs within your community. Attend, donate, and get yourself involved in every single one of these programs. 

Start attending upcoming events or seminars to network with relevant people. 

With every event you attend, use it as an opportunity to increase your chances of earning a backlink. For example, if you donate to a charitable organisation, then you might get listed on the agency’s website with your company link. 

#10 Flatter a Government Agency

Flattery works on almost everyone, some government agencies included. 

Just try to engage with as many government agencies as you possibly can. Follow them on almost every social media platform they’re on. 

It’s simple: while doing all that, you should be vigilant with identifying the agency’s pain points. After you spot one, you can write to the agency telling them all they want to hear. You know, all the sweet nothings (but make sure it’s coming from a genuine place). 

You’re to then promote that piece to as many members of the agency as you can. 

#11 Guest Post

This is an old link building strategy that will never grow tired. And it works on almost everyone, government agencies, albeit a little bit challenging. 

Keep in mind that government agencies are incredibly picky about the topics they publish and who they link to. 

So, even after agreeing to publish your article, be sure they’ll still want to scrutinise your website or blog before deciding to link to it. 

#12 Make Sure the Links Are Safe

There’s something fishy about your page landing so many .GOV links at once. Take it as a red flag instead of rejoicing a little too soon. 

.GOV links aren’t as easy to come by as .COM ones. You have to sweat for them, and patiently wait for the miracle to happen. 

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.
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