Backlinks from high authority and trustworthy sites are a fantastic way to increase search engine ranking. Many people will tell you that .gov links are higher quality than other types of links, and some agencies with SEO services will even try to sell you .gov links on that premise. But is that true? What evidence is there to show that .gov links are more valuable for SEO than other links, such as .com or .net links?
Arguments That .gov Links Are Superior
The main idea behind .gov sites being more valuable than other sites is that they’re an obviously trustworthy source. Government sites are highly researched and regulated. They’re careful about what they put online. Because of that, they create high-quality and trustworthy content. When links come from such trustworthy content, wouldn’t those backlinks be worth more than ones from non-government sites?
The other reason people believe that .gov links are seen as more valuable is that website rankings tend to increase when they receive those backlinks. If ranking consistently increase with .gov backlinks, then they’re ranked as more valuable by search engines.
Arguments Against .gov Links Being Superior
Here’s another way to look at the success of .gov backlinks:
Google checks for the authority and trustworthiness of the sites providing backlinks. As previously mentioned, government sites are highly regulated, so they post high-quality, trustworthy content. As such, Google views backlinks from these sights as valuable. But, that isn’t because it’s a government site.
Any site with high authority and trustworthiness will be seen as equally valuable, whether that’s a .gov, .com, .net site, or any other. Matt Cutts, former head of Google’s Webspam team, has even confirmed that Google treats link types equally.
Something else to keep in mind is link spamming. Because there are now so many people trying to gain .gov backlinks, and there are individuals selling them, some .gov sites have become over-filled with links. When this happens, those domains get associated with spam tactics and are then penalized by search engines.
The top-level domain of a site doesn’t affect the value of the backlink they provide. Chasing after backlinks from a .gov site simply because of its top-level domain is not a good strategy to improve your backlinks Google ranking. Getting that backlink inorganically, by buying it, for example, will almost undoubtedly backfire.
It is not necessarily a bad thing to get backlinks from .gov sites, either. As many have mentioned, their site rankings generally improve after obtaining .gov backlinks. However, you should only try to obtain those backlinks if it’s appropriate.
Here’s what you should aim for instead:
- Quality Backlinks. When searching for backlinks, don’t worry about the top-level domain. Instead, focus on sites that have high authority and are trustworthy. There are plenty of great sites to receive links from that aren’t government sites.
- Natural and Earned Backlinks. When you can, avoid adding unnatural backlinks to authoritative sites. Search engines are able to detect these, and that effort will be wasted, there are plenty of alternate tactics you can use to earn backlinks naturally.
- Niche Backlinks. While authority and trust are important for backlinks, relevance also matters, to ensure maximum effectiveness search for authoritative sites within your niche that can provide you with backlinks. That will prove more valuable than an unrelated government site that has nothing to do with your own.
Improve Your Google Rankings
As well as backlinks and google ranking, there are plenty of ways to improve your search engine rankings, but it can be hard to keep up with the latest search engine updates. Whitehat Agency is a Digital Marketing Agency that provides SEO services that can help put your business ahead. Get in touch with us for a free digital strategy consultation.