Link Building through Academic Websites

Michael Bergbauer - August 28, 2012

When you’re working on a link building campaign, there are two approaches you can take: creating original content for your site that people will want to link to or reaching out to other relevant websites to request a link. Generally, the latter practice has been falling out of style due to its difficulty. If you want to pursue this method, you’ll need to make your efforts worthwhile by getting links from high-ranking, authoritative sites. Depending on your business and location, links from college and university websites can yield excellent results.

In search results, academic websites receive high-rankings either by virtue of their sponsored top-level .edu domain (Google and Bing have not confirmed whether top-level domain type contributes to a site’s ranking in search, but some SEO professionals believe it does), and/or because they have a robust profile of back-links. Why so many back links? Because, .edu sites are large and full of authoritative content — which naturally attracts lots of links from other sites. As such, links from .edu sites have a lot of value.

Even though your website may have nothing to do with academia, links from .edu domains can be beneficial for your link building. On top of that, there are many avenues of approach you take when requesting a link:

The Local Approach: .edu sites often provide users with links to nearby businesses. This helps the site show prospective and current students all available off-campus resources while drumming up some sales for local retailers or service providers. Contact your local schools or universities to see if your business can be included in such listings.

The Career Approach: If your company is hiring, inform the career services office at universities that specialize in your field. By maintaining a career page on your website, you can ensure that career services offices link back to it.

Along similar lines, you can also contact your alma mater about your own personal career success. The alumni organizations and academic departments may be delighted to showcase your success and link back to your company site.

The Research Approach: As academic institutions, most colleges and universities maintain an active library staff. As gurus of information, University librarians consistently produce research guides for online audiences on nearly every topic imaginable. Are they writing about you? Try an “inurl” command search in Google using “libguide” or “libraryguide” and a keyword related to your business. Here’s an example for “real estate.”

As you can see, university libraries across the nation are covering it. Find some guides where you think a link back to your website would be relevant, and then reach out to the library or author of the guide.

As you can see, links from .edu sites not only provide link building value, but are rife with multiple opportunities for many types of companies. Going after .edu links might be just the boost your link building program needs!

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