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The Internet Education Businesses

Marketing On a .EDU Domain 121

wrttnwrd, an Internet marketer, opens a can of whup-ass on LinkAdage and the Pickering Institute, which have teamed up to rent blog space on a .edu domain for $50 a month. Technically legal maybe but undermining of the trust a .edu engenders.
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Marketing On a .EDU Domain

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  • A legal loophole that exploits school should not be allowed. Not only do our tax dollars go to school so that they can have .edu domain names, but they are being exploited. On the other side, this will make a lot of money! I have to applaud the people who made this because they were smart and will make a lot of money. This will likely be a large blog, based on some stats I have of old blogs.
    • by edlinfan ( 1131341 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @10:52PM (#23085558)

      As far as I see it, advertising on an EDU is perfectly ethical if it is used to subsidize bandwidth (and NOT line the pockets of a greedy bureaucrat).

      Not only do our tax dollars go to school so that they can have .edu domain names, but they are being exploited.

      And when the schools introduce a method of reducing their need for your hard-earned money, you complain?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Nullav ( 1053766 )

        And when the schools introduce a method of reducing their need for your hard-earned money, you complain?
        Loudly, and until they take a cut in funding to make up for their new source of revenue. They can profit on it when they stop receiving funding for whatever they're using to make more money.
    • A legal loophole that exploits school should not be allowed. Not only do our tax dollars go to school so that they can have .edu domain names, but they are being exploited. On the other side, this will make a lot of money!

      So... life ISN'T fair?! Wait until I tell everyone!
    • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @11:44PM (#23085888)
      I don't see what the problem is. If it's okay to advertise mcdonald's on a child's report card, stuff his school full of taco bell, pizza hut, subway as well as pepsi and coke machines and pump "educational" television feeds with customized advertising to them in the class room, then what's wrong with a banner ad or something on a *.edu?

      It's 2008. I think the idea that educational institutions are anything but commercial meat-grinders has expired.
      • by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @12:11AM (#23086020)
        "It's 2008. I think the idea that educational institutions are anything but commercial meat-grinders has expired."

        Honestly, most people have either not figured this out, or are in complete denial about this.
        • "It's 2008. I think the idea that educational institutions are anything but commercial meat-grinders has expired."

          Honestly, most people have either not figured this out, or are in complete denial about this.

          Might I suggest that you watch the (animated) video of "Another Brick in the Wall" by Pink Floyd. Turn the sound off if you don't like the music, but the imagery of the (animated) video is pretty unambiguous. The lyrics don't leave large amounts of work for your imagination either.

          That was about 1980, a

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Chaos1 ( 466833 )
        I originally posted this in the grandparent by accident... but where exactly do you live where this goes on? I have never seen anything like this on my child report card, nor have they ever been fed fast food outside of school trips. I'd be sure to kick some school board butt if they tried.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          There are a few schools in my area (Southeast Michigan) that have fast food in their cafeteria. Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, McDonald's, etc.. It's far from universal, but it's becoming more prevalent as schools try to cut costs and increase revenue.
          • Not to be trite, but you'd think documentaries (mockumentaries) like SuperSize Me would bring attention to just how bad that really is. You'd think it would be on the decline. That's sad.
          • The school I graduated from is actually quite the opposite. We never had any fast food in our actual cafeteria, and they have cut down on the number of days that they serve certain foods - like pizza and french fries. My University that I attend, however, has an A&W and a Pizza Hut in our Student Union Building and a Subway in our Student Recreation Center. But I think that is pretty much the norm for most public universities our size. We have probably right around 7500 students here, I'd estimate.
        • My high school was doing this 10 years ago. Hempstead, Long Island, NY
      • If people were willing to pass the tax measures that schools ask for than schools wouldn't be resorting to these kinds of things. The problem is simple, voters don't want to pay for schools, schools have to prostitute themselves to commercial interests because they still have to pay their bills whether the voters want to or not.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by WNight ( 23683 )
          The problem is that they're government schools. They get your kids, and your tax money, no matter what. Basically, they just aren't accountable to any of the groups that the people feel should be their bosses, the parents as taxpayers, or the children as the receivers of the teaching. Instead, schools are indebted only to our system of handouts and meeting those arbitrary metrics.

          I'd stop dealing with a private school that did this, but as a public school they get to double-dip, taking tax money *and* getti
          • I don't know about your locale, But my mother spent 12 years of her life in school oversight as a volunteer school board president. The board cared about the STUDENTS and had to make difficult decisions with very little support from the community. People just didn't care to be involved, they wouldn't pass the taxes to pay for a new school when we were having to run a three track school year (basically three separate "schools" using the same facilities). I spent nearly my entire young life going to school bo
            • just one more follow-up...

              The school district I live in is over 400 square miles and one of the largest by population in my state. And I have seen multiple instances where 1 single parent has caused enormous changes to the way the district is run. The only difference between that parent and the thousands of other parents in the district is willingness to do something. To be the "people" in "We the people". So when you represent yourself as so appalled at how terrible the public schools are run all I have t
              • by WNight ( 23683 )
                You totally ignored my comments about judging the needs of the school. You just blindly berate me for not forking out, without knowing where I am, what schools I could be talking about, or what my complaints with them would be.

                Many schools I believe are serious when they say need money. I try to help these. Others have spent too much on decoration for me to believe them when they beg for money.

                Regardless, I try to donate money to schools directly instead of helping them perpetuate this tax-grab. When I'm ta
                • so you've never been actively involved in oversight of a public school? Which is your right. I'm not berating you for "not forking out" I'm berating you for the attitude 'I have no way of oversight' when you obviously have never been to a school board meeting to participate in the oversight that the VOLUNTEER school board is waiting for from the community. You want a check box on your taxes or an online form... sorry but this isn't facebook, it's the real world, you have to do real world things to get real
                  • by WNight ( 23683 )
                    You're trolling. Spending more time setting up strawmen "do you just want to feel smart" "who did you vote for" "are there any concrete examples you have (NOW)" rather than actually responding to my point. Tax vs Donation.

                    You bitched about people fighting schools on tax - I tried to explain why. You are right there are ways to influence schools (PTA meeting, etc) but my point is that they are all less effective the more money a school gets from taxes.

                    My examples of an unresponsive school date mainly from th
                    • My examples of an unresponsive school date mainly from the last time I was forcibly involved with a school, when I attended.

                      Either a. you were only involved in education when forced, or b. That was the only time the school was unresponsive to your concerns. Therefore either; aa. You have not been involved without being forced OR bb. The school listens to you now.

                      When you're a taxpayer you're a wallet, preferably without a voice.

                      If you had ever cared to try and voice your opinions to the board you would know that this simply isn't true with regard to school districts at large.

                      And then there's your idea that I'm telling you to pay whatever "tax grabs". That's not what I've been saying at all.

                    • by WNight ( 23683 )
                      a: You're a troll. b: You merely act like it.

                      When you're a taxpayer you're a wallet, preferably without a voice.

                      If you had ever cared to try and voice your opinions to the board you would know that this simply isn't true with regard to school districts at large.

                      This is hardly related. I'm sure the school board would listen to my concerns if I went to a PTA meeting. They'd probably individually care even. But the organization as a whole isn't going to be half as responsive as if I was writing them a cheque.

                      Your "alternate" school was doing great things by being frugal, but these public schools are doing something evil when they try to find an alternative revenue stream to taxation?

                      My example of the schools was to show responsiveness to concerns. That's hardly the same as advertising to the students. You're conflating again.

                      The regular school was funded through tax money, the alternate was fund

                    • Look... 1. Do you know the difference between the school board and the PTA... It's a rather large difference. 2. YOU ARE WRITING THEM A CHECK AND THEY KNOW IT. 3. You've never voiced your concerns as an adult to your school district. You said so yourself. 4. Do you understand the definition of frugal? It has nothing to do with "responsive to concerns" 5.Fine, you don't want them advertising... at least HELP find a way around it. Or would you rather they just gave up hiring good teachers and keeping the sc
                    • One last thing before I leave this thread... Why do you feel the need for name calling... we were having a relatively civil discussion (heated yes, but not juvenile as you have now made it)
                    • by WNight ( 23683 )
                      When, oh mouthy one, did I claim that the PTA was the school board? However, I think it's reasonable to expect to find some representatives of the school board at PTA meetings. Perhaps this isn't the best place to petition them, but I didn't say it was.

                      However, your hostile attitude and inability to admit that you're wrong is ample demonstration of why I called you a troll.

                      Your sarcastic comments, rude lists, implying insult to your mother's honor, calling me ignorant and juvenile, and then writing a "I'm s
      • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @02:26AM (#23086752) Homepage Journal
        It's 2008. I think the idea that educational institutions are anything but commercial meat-grinders has expired.

        No, the idea is very much alive. The existence of these various outrages doesn't mean the idea is dead; it means we should fight against the new outrages that pop up.
      • by dwater ( 72834 )

        It's 2008. I think the idea that educational institutions are anything but commercial meat-grinders has expired.
        You sound like the CEO of a well known UK-based ISP. All you missed out were the bollocks.
    • by Chaos1 ( 466833 )
      Where exactly do you live? I ask since I have not seen any of the examples you've give. I'd also be sure to kick some school board butt if they tried.
  • by Mrs. Grundy ( 680212 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @10:51PM (#23085552) Homepage
    Last time I was at an .edu domain all I saw was photos of perfectly diverse students hanging out on perfectly manicured lawns. Not really something that engendered trust. Why would anyone have any trust in a blog just because the author is associated with a University? All sorts of Universities have faculty and students associated with them who can say anything they like on their "edu" blogs just like the .com blogs. One might think that bloggers associated with universities may be smarter or better writers, but I doubt experience would confirm this.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by wrttnwrd ( 549262 )
      That's what drives me nuts about this. We're a fairly sophisticated audience. The average web user sees a .edu and thinks "Oh, information!". I see this every day, trust me.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        That's what drives me nuts about this. We're a fairly sophisticated audience. The average web user sees a .edu and thinks "Oh, information!".

        I see this every day, trust me.
        Funny, when I see a .edu tld, I see student loans... :(
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hcmtnbiker ( 925661 )
      That's exactly what I say. Let them taint the .edu TLD, because it SHOULDN'T be trusted. Just because a source has the .edu tacked onto the end of it doesn't mean anything besides that the author has access to a school network. Stop making things more then what they are, .edu is just a TLD for schools to have so you don't have to go "hmm... was that dartmouth.com, dartmouth.org, dartmouth.net???"
    • Can you imagine? An internet marketer is worried about "trust"?
  • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @10:53PM (#23085568)
    Very few link clickers look at and parse URLs and very few really know the difference between .edu, .net, .com etc.

    And anyone savvy enough to know the difference should also be sceptical enough to not get suckered.

    • by Galactic Dominator ( 944134 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @11:21PM (#23085736)
      The question of whether a user knows the difference between .edu, .com etc is not the point(although I would disagree in that most users would trust an .edu result over .com those that are capable of using a search engine anyways).

      The reason this is a worthy news story is that search engines value inbound links coming from a .edu over equivalent .com page/site. It would be much easier to game the system by building up PR and trust for the .edu domain and then either selling high-weight links off it, or use it benefit your own company's site(s) and the organic keyword specific to them.

      My boss forwarded me the announcement this morning but I declined as to me it's begging google to blacklist you.

      Here's a bit from the email...

      Many webmasters are paying a lot of money for a single page or link on an EDU domain. So could you imaging what you could do with an EDU Blog that you control and write posts to whenever you want for only $50 per month? Any webmaster that knows a bit about web marketing could turn one of these EDU blogs into a marketing powerhouse and money maker very easily.
      That's why your comment is irrelevant...to some extent the people that utilize these services don't care about their reader or what they trust or don't. They care about what the search engines trust.
      • So currently Google uses the .edu to pump up page rank. So what! When anyone tries to game the system it is easy enough for Google to just change this part of their page ranking algorithm to compensate (eg. don't add the .edu + modifier if the page is a blog). People have been gaming the system forever and Google have been combating the gaming too.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Yeah, it really easy to change google algo now isn't it? I mean what it only took them 4 years to come with an answer to google bombs? There is far more involved than a simple algo change.

          People have been gaming the system forever and Google have been combating the gaming too.

          That's kinda the whole point now isn't it? Except this to some extent is virgin territory for google --edu's are part of the foundational base of PR. The tone of your post would seem to indicate you believe google has done a decent job keeping up with the gamers of the system. I guess that's a subjective topic, but

          • In this specific case, all Google has to do is look for domain==pi.edu, if true, reduce page rankings. Granted, this wouldn't scale if they were fighting against wide open abuse of edu domains, but that isn't happening now and is unlikely to happen due to the rules for getting an .edu (which this case shows can be circumvented, but doing so is still enough of a pain that it isn't something that is going to become widespread).

            • I finally found some confirmation that this isn't possible thanks to /. today. http://www.popularmechanics.com/blogs/technology_news/4259137.html [popularmechanics.com] Here's the relevant snippent

              There have been a lot of fads in search of late, such as Human Assisted Search and contextual search. Do those get folded into search as a whole? What are real trends in search and what are fluff?

              So let me first tell you about Google. At Google we do not manually change results. For example, if we find for a particular query that result No. 4 should be result No. 1, we do not have the capability to manually change it. We made that decision not to put that capability in the algorithmâ"we have to go and actually change the algorithm. That is, we have to find what weakness in the algorithm caused that result and find a general solution to that, evaluate whether a general solution really works and if itâ(TM)s better, and then launch a general solution. That makes the process slower, but it puts a lot more discipline on us and makes it more unbiased.

        • How do you combat if something is a blog? Perhaps if it detects MovableType or WordPress, perhaps, but what if it is written in standard HTML? I kept an online journal in HTML before I learned of MovableType. Would you suggest that Google hire people to look at .edus to see if they have blogs on them? And then the person must figure out if the blog is actually related to the school or if they are just farming out the space/bandwidth for extra income.
          • That should read: How do you detect if something is a blog?
          • by Baricom ( 763970 )
            Look for date-stamped text with text that always corresponds to the date, sinks further into the page, and eventually disappears onto other pages. Generate a readability score for a selection of pages; a blog is more likely to have a lower readability level. Look for forms that appear to be comment boxes. Look for metadata that indicates trackback and pingback support.

            None of these methods are foolproof, but they don't need to be; they just need to be enough to help tilt the existing ranking algorithm on
          • by WNight ( 23683 )
            By the short additions, and pattern of links, and back links. And they don't need to know it's a blog, just that more of its links are to and from non .edu sites so it's likely not .edu related. If they do give a bonus to .edu sites, I imagine it'd be easy to change into .edu connected sites.

            In fact, I can't imagine Google doing something static like that. Not all schools are on .edu domains so hard coding it wouldn't have been effective or even worth while.
        • It is not proven (IMHO not even that likely) that Google simply gives extra authority/link juice to .edu domains. What is probably happening is that a lot of .edu sites have characteristics, that Google likes - i.e. lots of content and lots of incoming links.

          I find myself link to .edu and .ac.uk sites a lot because that is where I find primary sources and otherwise authoritative sources. I doubt I would ever link to this particular .edu.

          I doubt the fake edu domain in question will do any better with Goo

  • by RasputinAXP ( 12807 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @10:57PM (#23085592) Homepage Journal
    It seems that pi.edu is not a CHEA accredited institution. It claims founding in 1994 and accreditation by the Association of Christian Schools and Colleges (ACSC) which is not on the nationally recognized accreditation list. This means it's not supposed to be valid for them to receive a .edu TLD for their institution. They've only had it since 2006, and their technical contact uses a hotmail address according to the .edu whois on whois.educause.net.

    Curiouser and curiouser.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by OverlordQ ( 264228 )
      Not to mention somebody tried to eBay the school [jayweintraub.com] last year.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by fropenn ( 1116699 )
      CHEA does not accredit individual schools - CHEA works at the next level to ensure the quality of accreditors who in turn perform the accreditation of individual schools.
      http://www.chea.org/pdf/chea_glance_2006.pdf [chea.org]

      There are many, many .edu domains that do not represent accredited institutions. The problem is that you could get a .edu domain without consideration of your accreditation status before 2001 - in 2001 everyone with a .edu domain was "grandfathered" and allowed to keep that domain even if the
  • If you knew a large group of people with common interests who don't like seeing the internet being misused in such a way, many of whom have access to big fat pipes, and plenty of time on their hands and nothing better to do, you could flood the site with traffic for a few days to send your message across.

    Dunno where you'd ever find a group of people like that though...especially ones who have scant regard for the law in instances such as this...

  • About the site (Score:4, Informative)

    by FredFredrickson ( 1177871 ) * on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @10:58PM (#23085598) Homepage Journal
    The site is located at: http://blogs.pi.edu/ [pi.edu] and if you visit the parent site: http://pi.edu/ [pi.edu] it looks less like a school and looks more like one of those over-the-internet places... but with very little actual information. It makes me wonder if they obtained the EDU status by some technicality to begin with... there's no evidence this "school" has any students.

    It looks they use that same blog software on their home page, I'd say it's pretty obvious this whole set-up was with selling blogs in mind. Think about it: "pi.edu" that's prime internet real-estate.
    • Additionally, if you check some of the "latest" blog posts for some of their clients, it seems this is ONLY being used for ugly spam-ish marketing...

      This is basically the next venue that causes EVERY google search to show those damn spam pages every time- because *surprise* these are .EDU pages- they weigh more for Google and other search engines. This isn't about trust in the EDU name. This is about capitalizing on our trust that what an EDU has to deserves priority in our search engines because the barr
      • Ha! The "About Pickering Institute" link on the main page has been Rick Rolled.
        =p

        Most of the site "content" seems to be boilerplate 2nd rate higher education description - clearly just a construct for the advertising purposes.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          If you try to "register" for this school, it's $100 registration charge. They have a form for credit cards, but it's not secured, and if you put in an invalid card (or invalid data anywhere on the form) it accepts it and says "Thank You"

          The whole thing's a scam.
    • by nacturation ( 646836 ) * <nacturation@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @12:59AM (#23086312) Journal

      Think about it: "pi.edu" that's prime internet real-estate.
      I don't know... it all seems a bit irrational to me.
       
  • I do not think that there is a significant part of the population who thinks whatever shows up in a .EDU page has to be 100% accurate. The beforementioned prefectly manicured lawns is an example of that as well as the homepage of any college student hosted under the said domain which may contain any falsehoods that student may see fit to put on there. As long as the contents of the page does not violate the Terms of Use by the hosting institution the student is free to post anything he or she wants. This h
    • by WNight ( 23683 )
      Not because it's more likely "true", but because it's more likely what you're looking for, be it a blog, pics of drunk students passed out on the floor, or whatever. It's not that you "trust" them (.edu domains), just that you "trust" they're less likely to be wasting your time.

      Of course, nobody really does, because the purpose of TLDs has been totally ignored (essentially) and doesn't serve its original purpose. goatse wasn't on Christmas Island, after all...

      I'd be surprised if Google actually weighted .ed
  • by nobodyman ( 90587 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @11:02PM (#23085620) Homepage

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Somehow I have a feeling that my comments won't see the light of day.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @11:06PM (#23085648) Homepage

    Does the "Pickering Institute" [pi.edu] even exist? Their home page is a WordPress blog. They have no contact information other than an e-mail address.

    Their domain registration has an address of "2 Cityplace Drive, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO", which is also the address of Bin95.com [bin95.com], which does industrial equipment maintenance training.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @11:14PM (#23085696)
    Y'all got some big brass ones to post an article like this... aren't .org domains supposed to be for non-profit organizations, et al?

    Anyone else notice that slashdot.com redirects to slashdot.org, and not the other way around, as it should?

    Hey, I've got no problem with Slashdot being a for-profit venture: I'm rooting for you, honest I am. But, for the sake of all that's nerdy, how about a little less hypocrisy and a little more honesty in advertising?

    Yes, I know: "I must be new here".

    Let the modbombing begin!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @11:35PM (#23085834)
      Your information is outdated. According to Internic (http://www.internic.net/faqs/org-transition.html), .org was originally intended "for organizations that weren't commercial entities, educational institutions, network providers, or governmental agencies. In recent years registration in .org has become open and unrestricted (it will stay that way under its new operator.)"
      • Quite correct, but when Slashdot went commercial .org's were still expected to be non-commerical. The call of hypocrisy is valid.
    • Let the modbombing begin!

      If you are going to use reverse psychology to get your post modded up, you really should make the effort to log on.

  • by koavf ( 1099649 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @11:34PM (#23085822)
    For those who were not aware: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.edu#Other_uses [wikipedia.org] I personally find it a bit sad, but what are you going to do with grandfathered domains? -JAK
    • I work for a company with a grandfathered .edu domain - not on the Wikipedia link.

      Sure, chw.edu is a hospital, and, as such, has student doctors, but it's not a school, as such. It's web presense is redirected to a .org site.
  • Although I can't buy a blog from them my school is more than happy to sell me a wide variety of t-shirts and caps on their .edu domain. At least blogs can be considered an academic pursuit.
  • Scam (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mbulge ( 1004558 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @11:48PM (#23085916)
    More proof that not even the editors read the links. The "about" page of the .edu in question links to a Rickroll video, and the application for registration immediately asks for credit card info using poorly written English. I suspect people will be more likely to fall for this because of the edu domain, which is a shame.
  • If you click the About Pickering link in the latest blog post, you get Rickrolled.
  • Wow, absolutely amazing. Not only do they ask for credit card info on a page that doesn't use an SSL cert but at the very top of the page they say "Please Complete This Form For Our Convenient." I noticed they don't offer an English major though ;)
  • I thought this story was going to be about the Franklin Institute, whose front page (www.fi.edu [fi.edu]) is ad-free and looks like a normal museum page. But then when you see a page like this one [fi.edu], you see Google AdSense across the top. It does wonders for their credibility...
  • Ah...so this is what Col. Pickering did after he got done with Professor Higgins.

    So this must be a finishing institute for young girls. They are taken out of the streets, as young "gutter-snipes" and taught their vowels. Their final exam is a royal ball where they must behave as "proper young ladies".

    If the guests at the ball figure out you are from the gutter...then you fail.
    If they don't...you pass
    If they think you are Hungarian...you pass with honors.

    Sorry...I couldn't resist.
  • Many universities make use of Blackboard software for the online portion of their courses. Blackboard gives its users a doubleclick cookie when logging in.
  • With courses like "Preparing for Terrorism" and such would be what every terrorist wants to learn from an accrediated university.... Dont go to those trianing camps, come to us and for a very low fee we would teach you everything you need to know to prepare for terrorism.

    I am sure Osama would be the first one to register
  • They sell of their playing fields to developers so why not sell off their web space to someone.
  • Can someone translate that into english for those of us who don't speak fluent hillbilly?
  • What is it that is supposed to be trusted ?

    And now the domain has become an accreditation of sorts... must be a legit school, because they have .edu on their web site ? ... considering there are many other schools in the world.. .edu is poorly used, because you have to be accredited to US standards.. so it's basically a marketing ploy for US schools.

  • by blanks ( 108019 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @10:21AM (#23089970) Homepage Journal
    The article was written well but they guy didn't touch on what people will be doing with these sub domain names that is bad as well as how the SEO industry works. So I'll try to touch on this a bit. .edu domain names are considered a cash cow in the SEO/link selling industry. On many of the link exchange and link selling sites if someone is selling links on .edu domains you can see the monthly costs for a link on one of these sites sell for sometimes hundreds of dollars. Thankfully .edu links are very rare, but sometimes people get access to posting links on these domains; don't ask me how but I'm guessing it happens through bad practices.

    But why do people care so much about getting links on .edu domains? Well most search engines assume that anything connected with a .edu domain is very relevant to what ever topic you have on the domain, and links going out of the domain are very relevant as well to the subject matter. Normally .edu domains will get very high page rank (google ranking) and will show up very fast and get a top listing with very little content or back linking. This means seo, link sellers, and blog spammers will try to take advantage of this as quickly as possible. I checked some of the biggest link selling/blog spamming sites and thankfully a link to this blog site has not shown up, but I'm sure now it will very quickly.

  • Wow, it seems like I grabbed everyone's attention and stirred up a hornet's nest. I haven't had a project receive this much Buzz and hate mail since I started LinkAdage Auctions in 2003.

    It's no secret that WWW.PI.EDU not a major university - no surprise there. However, they do have an online certification program. Before I came involved, PI.edu spoke with SEOs and link brokers who advised them to sell links and basically become a paid link farm to monetize the site.

    Sure they would make money in the

  • Got a reply in the comments on my blog. Scroll down - it's the long comment near the bottom. http://www.conversationmarketing.com/2008/04/linkadage-selling-edu-blog-space.htm [conversati...keting.com]
  • They appear to be offering degrees in Missouri without certification from the state [mo.gov]. I think the Missouri Department of Higher Education will take this seriously. It's a criminal offense.

    I also reported the lack of accreditation to Educause, so I imagine their registration will disappear in due course.

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