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.edu And. Gov Links
Posted 15 April 2006 - 09:31 AM
I don't know about .gov ones, they don't generally get to be used by teenagers, as far as I know.
Posted 15 April 2006 - 09:40 AM
Posted 15 April 2006 - 09:55 AM
Since it's something that would be impossible to prove either way, I have to go with my gut feeling that it would be no. It makes no sense to me for the engines to single out any TLD. Why bother when their normal linking calculations should theoretically be able to do the trick just like it would with any page online?
But it's of course just my opinion and a complete guess, so of course the answer could be yes or no. My particular answer is probably not as it doesn't make much sense to me.
Regarding the .edu ones, you sure they all use the tilde still? I would imagine that old way of doing things isn't still being done on most college sites these days. I haven't looked into it, but it's so old fashioned, that I have a hard time imagining colleges still using that form of URL. (I may look into this further because now I'm curious.)
Posted 15 April 2006 - 10:06 AM
Posted 15 April 2006 - 10:13 AM
However, my answer of 'no' in the first post was to this question:
So my one word answer "no" is still apt. The question was whether there was any evidence that .edu and .gov pages are better for links, and I have never seen any evidence that they are better.
Speculation and opinion that there is, but no evidence. I answered the actual question, as I do for all posts here where I answer.
The question wasn't whether it could happen or not happen, it was whether there was any evidence of it, and there still isn't any as far as I know.
Posted 15 April 2006 - 10:14 AM
The following applies to all .gov domains:
No non-Government Advertisements: A .gov domain may not be used to advertise for private individuals, firms, or corporations, or imply in any manner that the government endorses or favors any specific commercial product, commodity, or service.
No Political or Campaign Information: The Gov domain is for the operation of government, not the political, political party, or campaign environment. No campaigning can be done with .gov domains. The .gov Web sites may not be directly linked to or refer to Web sites created or operated by a campaign or any campaign entity or committee. No political sites or party names or party acronyms can be used. Separate Web sites and e-mail on other top-level domains (TLDs), such as .org, will have to be used to disseminate campaign information.
Naming Conventions: Naming-convention rules are described in detail in the Federal Policy. Thousands of names, programs, and general terms are used in .gov domains. The following is a summary of naming-convention rules:
No General Domain Names: General terms alone such as "licenses," "recreation," and "benefits" are not allowed because they do not represent a specific enough origin and service. However, a domain name such as "MarylandRecreation.gov" is allowed (assuming that domain is authorized by either Maryland's Chief Information Officer or the Governor of Maryland).
State Postal Codes: All state and local second-level, .gov domains must include the two-letter state acronym or spell out the state name. Additional naming conventions apply for local entities, such as cities, towns, counties, territories, and parishes.
Two-Year Eligibility Period: All .gov domains are registered for a 2-year eligibility period. During this 2-year period, a review of eligibility and administrative information is required. If necessary, the .gov Registrar will contact the points of contact (POCs) for domains. Please keep POC information up to date. The .gov Registrar may request an updated authorization letter, updated Domain Name Server (DNS) information, or other information. This information enables the government to ensure .gov domains provide secure, official Web sites and promotes the best possible service to the general public.
Link Change Notification: When a link on a .gov domain makes the user leave a .gov Web site, a notification or screen (i.e., a splash message) should alert users that they are leaving the official .gov page.
Domain Termination: Organizations that operate Web sites that are not in compliance with the .gov conditions of use may have their domain name terminated.
Account Information: It is the registrant's responsibility to keep all account information up-to-date, to include POC information, and it is the registrant's responsibility to ensure the account is paid in full each year.
Posted 15 April 2006 - 10:17 AM
Where's the evidence that links from .gov sites count for more than .com sites?
Edited by Jill, 21 April 2006 - 10:16 PM.
Posted 15 April 2006 - 10:18 AM
Even after providing a plethora of links that would lead you to think otherwise, I still can't get the point across.
But you know what Jill, that is fine. Those reading these topics will make their own choices based on the information presented to them. A simple yes or no just doesn't cut it. If you tell someone no it doesn't work, be prepared to provide backup. But, you cannot do that if you've not had any experience there.
Edited by Jill, 21 April 2006 - 10:17 PM.
Posted 15 April 2006 - 10:49 AM
Nope. But I was simply answering the question that asked if there was evidence, and there wasn't.
Doesn't mean they don't get more benefit. But that wasn't the question.
Edited by Jill, 21 April 2006 - 10:17 PM.
Posted 15 April 2006 - 11:58 AM
There is evidence that 1) only certain organizations are permitted to own .gov or .edu domains, and 2) there are requirements regarding the content they may publish on those domains.
There are conflicting reports based on personal experience: Edward says he has linked out from a .edu domain and seen results that indicate that those links carried extra weight, whereas I have gotten links from .edu domains and have not noticed anything that set those links apart from others.
Edward draws a conclusion he feels is logical, and so do I. Edward views this as proof, and I just say I haven't seen proof. These are opinions.
We don't have a definitive answer from anyone on either side of the debate. Some may feel that their answer is definitive, but I would have to disagree with that.
What it comes down to is that nobody's claiming to have any evidence to support the idea that you shouldn't seek out or accept links from sites on these TLDs. So I think we can agree that, at the very least, a link from an educational or governmental site is worth having.
Posted 15 April 2006 - 12:59 PM
Jill, I too am skeptical about things unproven. I guess you deal with a lot of confused people, so there is a great need to focus them on a few important SEO concepts that are unanimously successful. Somebody who's web site has lousy copy shouldn't be thinking about the type of inbound links to their site. I often see people trying to execute advanced SEO tactics when they haven't even mastered the basics.
Qwerty, we're going to dock your moderator pay.
Posted 15 April 2006 - 09:12 PM
But following on from what we all generally believe to be true - that links from relevent sites are helpful for ranking (and other) purposes. Then a link from a page on an educational establishment web site that deals with the subject it is linking to - your site - would be useful. In particular, if that educational establishment (especially the page itself), is considered an authority on the subject.
But when I say useful, obviously we have to consider the 99 other factors that Google takes into consideration when assigning authority to web sites. That fact that the link has come from somewhere within a .edu domain, may well be one of them.
On the other hand, all those Google PhDs went to university and are well aware that student (and professors, for that matter) home pages are often filled with gibberish about drinking competitions, fart jokes and all those other 'hilarious' pranks that students take a part in. So one would have thought that they would have taken that into consideration when coding that part of the algorithm.
But as I said, I have no idea.
Posted 16 April 2006 - 06:47 AM
Yes they are special TLDs that have special requirements. But because of their very nature domains in these TLDs are usually very well linked. We're not talking 100's of links pointing to these sites. We're talking 10's of thousands backlinks from all sorts of sites. These links alone should in theory produce lots of link juice and a lot of trust.
So while a link from a .edu or .gov site can be quite valuable, is it because of the TLD alone? Or is it because the specific site in question has a ton of inherent link juice to share? Frankly either argument could be made and it would be impossible to prove or disprove either without de-linking the domain.
Or to put it another way, sites like Adobe.com also fall into this Well Linked spectrum. It's obviously a .com site.
Would a link from an .edu or .gov site carry more weight than a link from Adobe.com does?
Personally, I'd rather have links from both. But I'm greedy.
Posted 17 April 2006 - 05:05 PM
Matt Cutts wrote in the comments section of SEO article in Newsweek at his blog:
He may have been referring to my oft-voiced hypothesis that Google could adjust the damping factors by top-level domain or for specific domains like Yahoo!.
I have since abandoned making that suggestion.
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