Backlinks from authority, .edu sites & more

LinksAuthority Sites & their web search
Reading a post on Acorn the other week there was a suggestion that linking to specific results in authority sites like BBC & CNN could be an easy way to get you a valuable backlink.

After a quick check it seems search results from the BBC and CNN are being indexed in Google.



Searching those pages shows that the search results do link out to external sites, for example search CNN for ‘craft’ :, now this search result page is cached in Google.

How do you get your backlinks? if you do a web search on any authority website that lists your site in it’s search results you can then link to the search page directly.

So if was your site you would search for ‘craft’ or something similar or even your domain name in and then link to that search result page which would theoretically get spidered, indexed and count as a backlink to your site from that indexed page.

What puzzles me is that using Yahoo I can’t find any mention of these authority sites showing as a backlink so I am undecided as to whether this method actually works, I will keep testing myself.

.edu links
A good method for targeting specific sites that you may feel carry more weight like .edu websites would be to use Google to search for sites that deal in your specific genre. So doing a Google for “keyword”

That would bring up .edu pages in your genre, you can then drill down by being more specific with something like “furniture” “add your link”

Once you stat digging down into sites being very specific like this you often start to find a lot of your competitors already there.

My take on .edu links are that in themselves .edu doesn’t have extra weight but the quality of links they often attract give them the added weight so overall in general .edu backlinks are pretty valuable.

Once you find sites in your genre ,that list can then be manually checked through, remember that sending emails to the webpage creator offering to sponsor the page for a yearly fee can be attractive to some poor students, offer to sponsor a page for around $30 for a year in return for some love 😉

Even though it’s an .edu domain you still get link pages, directories, paid directories and sponsorship opportunities for reasonable money or free links from related sites. 

Other methods

Blog Search
Use Google blog search to search for terms like “free backlink” and you’ll come across lots of offers and sweet deals like Ades for 1 week free link on a PR7 blog.

Using the blog search can bring up quick and very recent posts offering links so you know the offers are current and applicable.

Classified links
This one can be misused but is completely acceptable as long as you find the right sites and advertise your service, product or site properly as per the sites terms. You can Google for search terms like “place your advert” or “place a classified ad” and pay to place an advert on a website in a similar niche as yours, if you seek well and are lucky you’ll find adverts that allow unlimited time or long ad listings and url’s, you can advertise your services, website or products through classifieds listings that can bring you traffic and link love from related sites in a completely white hat manner.

About Scott Jones

Scott hails from the north east of Scotland and started earning online at the end of 2000 building websites for local businesses during which time he won an award from Lord Alan Sugar for Excellence in Enterprise. After having quite a bit of success with domaining Scott mainly runs educational evergreen websites which generate over 3 million visitors per month but is always on the lookout for a fresh thinking out of the box way to turn a buck. Follow on Twitter.


  1. Even if they don’t list you in the results you can create your own:

    And yes, Yahoo does count the links:


  2. Of course you only want links to your nice authority site luckily CNN is kind enough to use Google so you can use the site operator
    For example the hard part will getting such searches crawled this is the same issue as most XSS attacks, its not finding the exploit but getting google to crawl it.

  3. Very confusing on the authority domain search results post. I’m no expert, but I would think that since CNN’s websearch is powered by Google, then the results are the same as any other authority site that uses Google search. If that’s the case this could lead to thousands of instant backlinks based on that exploit alone, much like all the directories that use the DMOZ database. Get into DMOZ and that tends to be worth a few hundred backlinks in itself.

    Worth the effort to test it though and see what happens. Thanks for posting.

    • Getting the actual results pages spidered & indexed is the hard part & difference I would guess Scott but it does happen as Patrick points out.

      On a sidenote I used the .edu search terms and managed to quickly get 3 live links on old .edu pages this morning as a test.

  4. But BBC’s not powered by Google search, so what are the chances of my site being in their index?

  5. Too many .edu links are bad.

    I know that adison offered free blogs and forum posts with sig links which turned out bad because it lost its value.

    I would love to see some more methods of getting GOOD backlinks for free like Ades free PR7 link

  6. The only whitehat way of advertising according to Google is with no-follow link. So no link love there, only possible traffic.

  7. I though google didnt index no follow links, yahoo does. Login protection pages are another example, as far as cnn search results are concern it come from well known site, and Google loves to index them (as they are using his search results)

  8. Im still not entirely sure about the weight of article links, You hear that if one of your articles gets picked for syndication then the knock on effect can be literally hundreds of links, all from one article, has anyone had any success stories with just one article doing all that?

  9. Yes scott,
    It dont have nofollow tag there, but Google do crawl them because CNN using its service (google search) and it is an authority website. Similarly if you search on other sites as well like discovery etc. Google may crawl them as well.
    Question is then why don’t crawl self results pages?

    whatever the case if you are ranking in top ten results you are automatically getting some backlinks :)

  10. Just did a write up about this last week:

    In terms of the “no-follow”, while it is “true”, Google will not index those, id does NOT mean you will not get link juice for it.

    e.g. if Google has already indexed the page, and has it in live cycle, then you will still get authority recognition for the link. It just means that Google needs to have index the URL already from a different source that does not contain the “no-follow” attribute.

  11. I am trying this as an experiment and will report back if I have any success.


  12. It never ceases to amaze me how you keep finding these new tricks :) long live the day when i have the time to impliment them all.

  13. Scott,
    Thanks for the post. I was quickly able to get one link from an edu site in less than 5 mins. I never ever thought about this possibility to get a back link from authority sites.
    Thanks again!

  14. Thank you very much

  15. Backlinks and posting on other blogs will raise your PR, and of course submitting the site to search engines and directories.

  16. Thanks for the post. Another great idea for link building.

  17. Thanks for the information.

  18. Forgot all about this exploit as I havn’t been doing much link building. I was searching through my backlinks one of my domains and saw this post in my backlinks list. Time to hit the search engines and find some new backlinks.

  19. Has the techniques worked for someone?

  20. Hi there, thanks for the info contained in this post. Dot edu links are a tricky part of seo but i guess there is no better way than to rather test it yourself.

    Jacques’s last blog post..What Niche Is Right For You? 6 Niche Finding Ways

  21. Some good ideas about link building there. You can be certain I’ll be giving them a try very soon. As we know link building is key to the success of any website, but getting those all important high quality, relevant links is can be a very tough job. It is one I’m still trying to find the secret too.

  22. Hi just thought i’d tell you some thing.. This is twice now i?ve landed in your weblog inside the final three weeks seeking totally unrelated issues. Great Information! Keep up the excellent perform.


  1. […] by Scotts post about how to get a link on CNN and the BBC I decided to investigate the top high authority sites […]

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