All together, getting links from high authority sites is very similar to the outreach you’ll be doing with similar sites – so why not dedicate a large portion to getting links from established educational and government sites.
When I mentioned Domain Authority (from Moz) or Domain Rating (from Ahref’s), they are both similar. They’re just metrics created, by these companies, that helps us determine how powerful one link would be from a specific site.
On a side note, you can’t compare DA to DR as they are different proprietary scores. It’s like comparing apples to oranges.
In any case, we’ll be using the word ‘authority’ repeatedly to represent both Domain Rating’s and Authority. For a more thorough explaination of this concept and many others, we recommend you check this off-page SEO guide.
What You'll Learn Today
A high authority site benefits from the following:
- Easier to rank new content. Higher plus quicker.
- Your external links are more valuable to others.
As your site builds to be bigger and bigger, Moz and Ahrefs will update your rating in their system. Moz and Ahref’s can be thought of as miniature Google’s that run research to somewhat small data samples and infer an outcome for the SEO community to follow.
I say small data sample because either company may run a case study on 30 million SERP’s when there are a Gazillion SERP’s out there (that’s just my guess-timate)
If you’re wondering how to move up the ranks and get your own domain authority higher…
Get more links from sites that are higher authority than yours.
And to get more links, you’ll need to do more marketing.
Over the next few points, I want to talk about backlinks from government sites (.gov), educational sites (.edu), and Wikipedia.
These sites carry a different kind of weight with Google. Since they are dedicated for trusted parts of society, it can be assumed that anyone they link to can also be trusted. At least that’s the whole ‘each link counts as a vote’ theory.
The top level domain (aka .com part) of a URL works in a hierarchy system. With .gov and .edu being more trustworthy and harder to attain in the eyes of Google. And the reason we’d like a link from Wikipedia is because they’re a massive resource with a DA score of 100.
So let’s start crafting our backlink plan now:
1) Good Ol’ Blog Commenting
Many .edu and .gov sites will have blogs on them. Just like normal sites, these sites still create content to educate and inform their community.
I placed this at the top of the list because it’s something people often overlook. So take a step back to the fundamentals.
If you can follow our link building strategy and start with the end in mind – some of the content you intend to build upon may already have .gov and .edu sites pointing at it.
So it’ll be easier to prospect when link building. At that point, you wouldn’t be looking to comment, but to actually gain a contextual link within their content.
To find some .edu sites to comment on, type Site:.edu, "blog" into Google. Then you can replace the word blog with 'comments' as well.
2) Create A Tool for Government Agencies or Schools
The phrase “create a tool” shouldn’t be scary. Pat Flynn from SmartPassiveIncome.com created a map for his security guard training niche site and something as simple as a calculator can be a tool too.
Here’s an example:
If your niche is the solar industry, you can create an interactive map that lists all the schools that have solar programs. Along with information on the programs plus ratings.
Companies like Outgrow.co can help you build interactive tools for attracting backlinks.
3) Run a Scholarship in Your Niche
Scholarships are a way for you to give back to your niche and is a tactic you can run for a very long time.
Some people have ran scholarships for an entire year.
Imagine one single link building tactic that you can use over and over again for a certain time period. If you’re looking for an example to model, just look at The Hoth’s scholarship link building campaign.
You can have students submit work to you, that you can in turn use as content (with their permission). Plus, if you find an incredible writer - you can ask them to be a regular contributor or come on as an editor since they have deep knowledge of the niche.
4) Broken Link Building (Especially for Educational and Government Sites)
This tactic involves finding broken links within sites and asking for them to replace the link with yours.
This can be especially easy if the resource they are linking to is completely gone. You can open up Wayback Machine and find that piece of content exactly and make it better. It’s not surprising, but government and educational websites are usually full of dead links.
Use the chrome extension “check my links” to scrape dead links quickly.
5) Create an Expert Roundup For Only Government Agents & Educators
Instead of interviewing one expert at a time, why not interview many.
Research a question that is thought provoking and requires a real expert opinion to be valuable. Not only will these folks enjoy being seen as an expert along with their peers, many times you can ask for them to link to the post.
The expert would forward the article to their webmaster and ask for it to be included in their “featured in” section.
6) Become An Alumni Expert
Depending on whether you went to university, you have the ability to update the school on what you are doing with your career today.
This one is a little bit harder to spin if your site has nothing to do with what you went to school for, however, lots of people pivot from their original education plans. The school just wants to hear a success story so that they can share it to get more students coming in.
7) Become a Trusted Contributor or Editor
All of these sites are looking for more content to share. If you can become a contributor or editor, you’ll able to add in any content you’d like. You’ll get full control (at least mostly) of the anchor text and it doesn’t even have to written by you.
Either hire a freelance writer or our writing services to outsource the work. Think of it like guest posting, but on a consistent basis. Wikipedia is always looking for contributors but it be easier to suggest a link, rather than becoming a contributor.
8) Offer an Internship or Apprenticeship
Offering this in tandem with a scholarship can give you a leg up on the competition. Educational sites would be more likely to add and promote your scholarship if you are providing real work at the end.
This means hiring someone in house or at least contracting out work to the winners. But if you have an amazing submission from someone within the scholarship – and they know your niche very very well, then I’m sure you’ll find something useful for them to do.
As you can see, these strategies aren’t rocket science and can be applicable to most sites - not just high authority ones.
However, if you are going to be putting in the work to find suitable sites to link to you, try and leverage your efforts with more .edu, .gov, and wikipedia links. It’s the same amount of effort.
If you guys and gals have any comments or questions, please leave them in the comments below.