What Would You do with your own .edu?

If you look hard enough, you may come across an opportunity to acquire a .edu domain. Sure, havard.edu ain’t going on the auction block any time soon, but they are several .edus that are grandfathered in from 1999 and before.

.edu links are coveted because they are perceived to pass more trust than other links. But is the .edu intrinsically valuable? Probably not. The increase trust these .edu domains pass is likely due to:

1) Hordes of natural links
2) Google assigning Trust to certain schools

So starting a site on a .edu domain that is currently parked may not perform much better than any other site.

But let’s say you had the opportunity to pick up a parked .edu domain for a few thousand – would you want it? If so, what would you do with it?

One approach would be to set up an educational site and try to build trust. It doesnt have to be a College or University either. There are many non-university organizations that own EDU, including high schools, museums, associations, and for-profit corporations (e.g. Montgomery Blair High School – www.mbhs.edu; J. Paul Getty Trust – www.getty.edu; Exploratorium Science Museum – www.exploratorium.edu, just to name a few). You have to figure it would take a year or so to do it right but it could turn into something nice

Once you establish some trust, there would be plenty of ways to monitize it. But would it even be worth the effort?

I don’t have the answer . . . only the questions: Would you want your own .edu? and What would you do with it if you had it?

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6 Responses to “What Would You do with your own .edu?”

  1. engtech says:

    Start up a boarding school for wayward girls, obviously.

  2. rose.water says:

    When you say,

    2) Google assigning Trust to certain schools

    does this happen algorithmically or does someone manually tinker with trust?
    I would guess that like everything else with google it happens automatically.

    Is it possible that the .edu and .gov trust comes from having quality rather than an outright trust of certain top-level domains?

  3. ChrisWebPub says:

    Google doesn’t value one TLD over another for links, they’ve explicitly said they don’t. It is as Quad said, they just get loads of links normally and so are more valuable in that way.

    I would love a .edu, I run mostly education sites already and even if there is no technical benefit there is a PR or reputation benefit. It would lend instant credibility and probably help in gaining incoming links as it’d be easier to pass off as noncommercial (to combat the people out there who do not link to commercial sites for free).

  4. aftermarket says:

    Google doesn’t value 1 tld over another? .gov? Google says a lot of things. I think they do weight tld’s higher than others, but the difference is probably not that large. But that’s me. Quadszilla would no better though.

  5. presellpageman says:

    Just because Matt Cutts is saying Google doesn’t favor .edu tlds, doesn’t mean they don’t favor a set of .edu sites.

    If you read up on the trust rank patent (which is already pretty old guys!) then you learn that the algorithm has to be seeded with quality/trusted sites to work.

    That means a) a list of trusted sites (like a list of the 1000 biggest schools) b) user inputs of manual approvals c) all sorts of other quality signals (social stuff, user tracking)

    All that just means, that Quad is true that a naked, parked .edu domain won’t help you much except for PR/brand value ( which is still nice ) … But THAT value still depends on your business probably…

    best,
    presellpageman

    PS: I might be wrong, but if you want to spam MSN, the .edu WILL help you *ggg* but spamming MSN is a lot easier than working 1 year on an .edu transfer

  6. Cabinet says:

    I think i would build up a page, a website and trying to sell it to an .edu college.