I was reading an interesting entry this morning on SearchEngineLand.com that talks about how much value .edu back links really have depending on the type.

On most college campuses, students have the ability to manage their own personal web pages. These pages are usually hosted on the college’s server, making the links coming from those web pages .edu links which, according to some, are the holy grail of improving SEO rankings.

The article used an example of two UCSB web pages:

1) A random student’s page

2) The Home Page for the Biology Department

And compared the two in terms of which would offer more link juice.

Apples to apples? Absolutely not, but it does hint at an underlying topic that is highly-discussed and overlooked: the difference between page authority and domain authority, and I’m not just talking about Google Pagerank.

A lot of times, SEO’ers will get excited when they get links from websites that have a Google Pagerank of 6/10, but they fail to realize that factors such as :

  • The Pagerank of that individual page
  • The level of relevance of the content that is on that page (is the content surrounding that link relevant to the content on your website?), and
  • Whether or not that page will actually be indexed by the search engines

Are actually more important than the Google Pagerank of the home page. Some of the most ridiculous thing that I read are:

  • In an SEO forum where someone claims they can get you “500 PR 6 backlinks in 3 days” when all they’re doing is posting spam comment in some forum that in installed on an off-shore high-authority site that has nothing to do (from a relevancy standpoint) with your website
  • When someone tries to sell me a website or domain and one of their main selling points is the fact that it has “20 .edu links”…which are all from non-relevant and off-shore student sites, with a link to a Viagra site above it and a link to a Poker site under it (yes, link relevancy counts as well, you don’t think Google knows the red flags for links that have been bought/sold?)

Here is a very good image that I came across this morning, it’s from a blog post on linkdex.com

This summarizes what I always tell people when it comes to SEO and link building. If:

  • It takes you ten minutes to complete
  • Anyone can do it
  • It seems too good to be true, or
  • You can get it for a quick $30

Usually, it’s not worth much.

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