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This technique is not exactly new for link building, and many of you may already know it, however it is a technique that easily falls in to the grey hat area. Essentially this technique revolves around finding places to post your link that either has PageRank, is on an .EDU, or .GOV domain, or both.

Now there is some debate on whether or not EDU and/or GOV backlinks carry any additional weight over ordinary links, but the reality is that a backlink is a backlink. If there’s a chance that it may help your ratings, even in a 2nd tier search engine like MS Live, then why not try it? PageRank links on the other hand are unquestionably valuable, so let’s explore these methods.

The first criteria we are looking for is a site that will allow us to post a link. That narrows our search down to forums, guestbooks, comment fields, etc. Now, in my opinion if we were to simply spam our URL on these sites, it would be black hat.

I’ve been an admin on several forums, and the main problem I had day in and day out was people trying to spam my site. These spam backlinks were either intercepted before they ever made it to the public, or were deleted within hours of being posted. Essentially those backlinks were worthless.

However, there were several people there who actually contributed a worthwhile post, and simply included their backlink in their signature, and although I know their main goal in posting on the forum was to get a backlink, they also contributed to the forum, and so I have no problem allowing them to keep their links. While the first method is black hat, the second method is clearly white hat in my opinion, and the only difference is the execution and the effectiveness.

So how do we locate these desirable forums and guestbooks? I recommend using this: which lets you sort your search results by PageRank. I recommend you change the results to display 100 results per page.

Some good search terms include:

  • viewtopic (this will pick up forum posts from phpBB)
  • showthread (this will pick up forum posts from vBulletin)
  • index.php showtopic ipb (this will pick up IPB forum posts)
  • index.php topic smf (this will pick up SMF forum posts)

If you examine those search queries, you’ll notice that each one of them is looking for a pattern that is found on a certain type of forum. There’s many patterns to choose from, including “Powered by phpBB” etc.

The thing that we’re looking for is high PR threads that we can post in. The problem with using just “Powered by phpBB” is that every page on a phpBB forum has that on the footer, including a large amount of high PageRank pages that you can’t post on. That’s why we want to narrow our search down as much as possible, so that we are presented with as many places to post as possible.

Another thing you’ll notice is that a lot of the threads you do find, only have PageRank for the first page of the thread, and if you post, it will end up on page 5, which has no PageRank. It may still be worth posting on page 5, if page 1 has a direct link to page 5, but really the golden fruit you’re looking for is topic on page 1 with high PageRank. I’ve found tons of these (amazingly they weren’t spammed to death yet.) Thankfully since there’s only so much room on one page in a forum post, you won’t have to worry about to many spammers posting after you draining the weight of the PageRank, since there’s only so much room before they’ll be posting on page 2.

Another good way to use this technique is in finding directories that have good PR for your niche. Who cares if a directory’s index is PR6, if you’re in web design, then it’s really the web design categories PR that you care about. There’s tons of ways to write your search query, such as: “seo friendly directory” “web design” or “powered by phplinkdirectory” “web design“, etc etc. It’s simply a matter of using the footprints of the software the powers these sites, then making a search query that will locate these sites for you, using the PageRank search engine to maximize the links value.

So what about those .GOV and .EDU backlinks we were talking about? Well, the same principles above apply to this as well. The only difference is that we simply add this to our search query: for .GOV sites, and for .EDU. Combining that with the previous footprint queries will limit your results to GOV and EDU sites that match the footprint.


Jonathan-C. Phillips · February 20, 2007 at 2:20 pm

wow, that is some really useful infos on there! I subscribed to your feed! really interesting topics and relevant infos! nice job! 🙂

Anny · January 17, 2008 at 2:04 pm

Nice Tricks….Now i can too have some edu links for my blog

femi · February 22, 2008 at 8:55 am

Thanks for the tips on The search result came out quite well.

Ephena · March 10, 2008 at 11:03 am

Try this in google. Replace keyword with your own of course. inurl:blog “keyword”

Code It Well · May 9, 2008 at 3:36 am

Yes that is a really good trick.
Thanks for sharing that with us.

Brent Crouch · May 12, 2008 at 11:10 am

Good post. I never knew this resource was available.

Adding the keywords to single out forums is a great tip I had never thought of. Thanks for this post.

Czytelnia · June 22, 2008 at 2:38 pm

Wow, great hint!

Paul · June 26, 2008 at 5:31 am

The funny thing is that when checking the backlinks for one of my sites I found that there was an .edu spam site linking to me over and over again. I have no idea why there would be a spammy scraper on a .edu but there it was.

SeoTier · June 26, 2008 at 3:29 pm

@Paul: Not all .edu sites are legit. There are “underground markets” that buy/sell .edu domains. Nowadays, there are many ways where you can get a free .edu blog and if a spammer gets hold of it, it becomes a “spam central”

JVF Consulting, · July 1, 2008 at 4:48 am

Build those backlinks! Thanks for the tip!

Zion · July 12, 2008 at 10:05 am

The previous comment about black markets for edu domains is quite interesting….it thought it was quite tough to get such a domain. I know somebody who was starting a small school and wanted a edu domain and the registration was quite complicated…

Vipey · July 19, 2008 at 7:57 am

thanx for the tips

not sure if google does see them differently but its allways nice to have edu backlinks

the hard bit is finding do follow

David · July 22, 2008 at 11:42 pm

Thanks for these tips… I also liked the tip from Ephena – thanks.

liberty health net guy · September 6, 2008 at 2:19 pm

Yes, I do not know how much extra “link juice” that a .edu or .gov link has to offer but I do agree! More links “RULE”!

But what I think I figured out was 16 good pr2 links = a good pr3 link.

A link with a pr of 1 or above that is do follow is the best for your personal wbsites!

The higher the do-follow link with a high pr site the better!

I have a sis that works in the government, maybe I should try to see what kind of admin she has with some of the websites, or forum posts or whatever kind of public posting they might have.

We will see the difference or “value” per percentage and will update, if she is willing?

The Hip Zone · September 12, 2008 at 6:04 pm

To be very frank, I have just purchased a software which do all this and If I shall have read this post before, it can save my $100 so your posts is not less than that worth of amount. I think the real magic is that tool and the search query. I shall be doing it to find such forums. I think we can add a few more words in query to find related forums. Thanks for a tip which nobody open to the whole world.

One way link building · September 17, 2008 at 7:15 am

PR on government and education sites is generally a lot better so it always pays to search that type of domain for links no matter what. As mentioned above, the real tricky part is getting DoFollow links, but oddly enough, I see NoFollow links in a site’s backlinks on Google all the time, so it’s hard to say just how much they are or aren’t followed in actuality.

Dino Delellis · September 20, 2008 at 2:09 am

To one way link building person and others. The nofollow tag is kind of tricky. If your find a high PR blog site and there are no comments, you really can’t tell if there is a nofollow rule in effect.

Nearly all recent wordpress installations default to nofollow now. One needs to actively use a plugin to allow follow at the moment.

Why would you do that? To give proper link juice to some of the real people that put real comments on your blog, lol.

Nowadays, I find that only 1 comment in 4 is from a real person.

Norhafidz · October 3, 2008 at 1:24 am

Thanks, wonderful tips and advice, now I am getting numbers of .edu links 🙂

Website Template Reviewer · October 7, 2008 at 1:53 pm

The emphasis should be on quality of comment. If you’re going to make a comment in a blog, then at least say something useful. For one, your comment is a lot more likely to be accepted by the moderator. For two, people are more likely to follow your link in your username (not just search engines) if you say something useful.

tarik · October 16, 2008 at 1:18 am

Thanks for these tips… I also liked the tip from Ephena – thanks.

pagerank display · October 20, 2008 at 8:14 pm

good tips. thanks for sharing keep it with good work

stretcher bars · October 26, 2008 at 4:12 pm

Always good advice from this site.

Well worth bookmarking.

Smartglobalcall · October 29, 2008 at 2:30 am

Some good information but I notice a lot of Forums and Directories lose page rank pretty fast these days when you get past the first page. I think Google also gives directories low weight and I assume they do the smae for Forums since it is very easy to get links on these sites.

Cancer Symptoms · November 3, 2008 at 11:37 am

This is a wonderfull post, very informative just wanted to thank you for it !

Freeware Gallery · November 10, 2008 at 6:17 pm


Thanks for your great post. I agree that .edu websites pure more juice then others. I have got a one .edu backlink and my website page rank goes to PR2.

SEO optimization · November 16, 2008 at 4:32 pm

It takes a balanced approach, don’t you think: links, articles, on-site stuff, press releases. It is a whole package, not just the parts. Besides, it is very informative to surf and read some of these articles and blogs and, at the same time, leave link-bearing gifts. No?

Rina · November 16, 2008 at 7:09 pm


Thanks for the tip. I will use your tip right away.

Lexikon · November 26, 2008 at 11:07 pm

Awesome tip! I’m gonna use it soon. Thanks a lot!

Albert · December 5, 2008 at 10:55 am

I never knew that .gov and .edu can be useful also. thanks

hairgrowthtreatments · December 7, 2008 at 5:24 pm

Firstly, great post – this will save me housr of work. Next, I agree with an earlier commenter in that if your comment contributes ‘something’ to the ‘debate’ then you’re more likely to get that comment approved. Stuff like ‘Wow, great post’ or ‘me too’ just deserves to be deleted.

Also, I was reading somewhere, cant remember where now, that Goog may resets the PR of domains that have been transferred/sold etc.

That can’t be right, can it?

Scott Roberts · December 31, 2008 at 3:15 am

Really awesome application of’s tool there (I’ve never thought of uisng it like that before). Thanks for the tip.

Freelance Writing Guide · January 4, 2009 at 7:51 pm

These are some pretty nice tips, I’m pretty new to the whole area of forum posting for increased PR however I have noticed some benefits to it on many occasion!

Tjen penger på nettet · January 6, 2009 at 4:04 pm

These are some fantastic tips that has opened a whole new world for me in link building. I dont really know how much G values these forum links, but i guess i’ll find out. I can’t imagine that they would be less worth than blog comments at least..

Thanks for a great post.

Wheelchair Ramp · January 14, 2009 at 2:32 am

I think it is a limitless post which let us learn how to grab all that powerful link juice from blogs. Perhaps I am not a big fan of edu or org links because they have no more importance in SEO but I’ll be using the technique for the lovely link juice.

Jamie Montgomery · February 17, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Great post!. I never knew these resource were available.

Adding the keywords to single out forums is a great tip I had never thought of it to be honest. Thanks for this!.

Araba · February 28, 2009 at 11:49 pm

Good post. I never knew this ability was available. Adding the keywords to individual out forums is a abundant tip I had never anticipation of. Thanks for this post.

Victor Personal Blog · March 2, 2009 at 12:11 am

Very useful information you have here. I also believe that posting on .edu ,gov sites is really helpful for promoting one’s site. But you’ve discussed the matter very well, that I find it much easier to understand.

Quality backlinks · March 8, 2009 at 5:01 am

Great article!!
Never knew that about .edu and .gov, you learn something new everyday.

Thanks, I really appreciate it.


SubmitterWeb · March 31, 2009 at 12:33 am

I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

lyndas · March 31, 2009 at 4:50 am

Thanks for the info and the tip. I too liked the article and picked up some new info. I had no idea about how to get .edu and .gov sites.


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Superior Fitness · May 16, 2009 at 8:39 am

Thanks for the great information, it’s always nice to learn something new, especially when it can be as helpful as the information in this article can be.

Much appreciated

Cristi · June 4, 2009 at 12:36 am

Is not that easy to find quality high pagerank .edu or .gov links that have dofollow option.Most of them are nofollow and nofollow links don’t counts to your PR

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