What Are .gov Backlinks?

.gov backlinks are incoming links from websites with .gov top-level domains (TLDs). These TLDs are available solely to official government organizations and public sector-controlled entities to own so the public can easily recognize a trusted government source.

Therefore, any backlink that comes from a website with .gov TLD is considered a government backlink and because of that gov backlinks are of high quality and have a highly positive impact on your SEO strategy as they come from trusted and high authority domains.

11 Best Ways to Get Gov Backlinks (That Actually Works)

If you want to get backlinks from government sites you must think about what would make government users and owners want to link to you.

With link building, especially when you want to get high-quality backlinks, it always comes to exchanging values for each other. So, if you want a government website link to your website, you must offer something valuable to them in return.

Therefore, I am not going to share with you the link building strategies and ways that don’t work such as government comment posting, flattering government websites, etc. because these ways don’t work and those that wrote about them know it.

Instead, I am going to give you the best ways how you can benefit government agencies which in return can get you backlinks from a government site and even from other authority websites!

Way #1: Resource Link Building

The first way to get a government backlink is by finding resource pages on government websites.

Government sites are made to help people get information and, in many situations, they will refer to more relevant and high-quality sites that offer information the government cannot or doesn’t have the expertise.

Therefore, by searching for relevant and local government agencies with external links and resource pages you can try to include your website on these pages.

With that to find relevant resource pages on government sites you can use the following Google search operators:

  • site:.gov “resources”
  • site:.gov “links”
  • site:.gov “helpful links”
  • site:.gov “links” industry
  • site:.gov resources
  • site:.gov links
  • site:.gov external links
  • gov industry + inurl:resources

For example:

  • site:.gov “links” digital marketing
  • site:.gov “external links” email marketing
  • site:.gov external links digital marketing
  • gov digital marketing + inurl:resources

And pop them into Google. For example, I have used this Google string to find relevant resources for marketing:

using google string to find resources pages for gov backlinks

And now I need to scan and open the search results to find any relevant pages where possible I could ask to include my website as one of the resources such as this one:

example of resource page on government website

As you can see, here they offer links to a related site within the industry.

example of resource page on government website linking to external sources

Or here is another example of a resource page on a government website for tech startups.

example of a resource page on a government website for backlinks

Or the ministry of digital transformation in Ukraine provides a list of Ukrainian technology companies with a dofollow backlink.

list of ukrainian companies to get gov backlinks example from resource link building

What’s important with resource link building for government backlinks is to experiment with the strings, your industry, and keywords as you will find many unrelated sites & pages and it might take some time before you find the resource pages.

Also, even if you do not get featured on their website as one of the resources, you can use that opportunity to discuss other opportunities to provide the help that would get you featured on the government website.

Remember, you can use this as a way to start a conversation with them because they have many ongoing initiatives that you might not find but can get you a backlink from them.

So, use this to at least start a conversation and learn more about what other ways there might be to get you a backlink from a government site.

You also must be persistent as communication with them might be slow or “disconnecting”.

Way #2: Interview a Government Agency Member

The next way to earn .gov backlinks is by interviewing somebody from the government to discuss related and trending topics within your industry.

Being in government is the same as in marketing, it’s all about who makes the bigger noise.

Therefore, interviewing anybody from the government can potentially land you a backlink from the government site itself.

Of course, this is by chance as it does not happen often but again, remember, this can be another opportunity to discuss more opportunities with government officials and perhaps find other ways to land a backlink from their website.

So, I definitely recommend doing interviews with government members for networking purposes.

Way #3: Partner Up with the Government

The next way to get government backlinks is to partner up with them.

State, regional or local governments are always running different initiatives for their citizens or companies and by exploring these options you can get backlinks from .gov domains.

For example, the City of Irwindale has partnered up with educational websites and companies to help job seekers and learners to upskill and they of course provide a nice juice hyperlink to the course providers.

partnering with government sites for gov backlinks example

Or the United States Environmental Protection Agency has partnered up with hundreds of companies regarding green power use.

example of US EPA partners with gov backlinks

With that, for you to find related government agencies that are partnering with companies in your industry you can use the following Google strings:

  • site:.gov “partners” industry
  • site:.gov “partners” niche
  • site:.gov “partners” industry country/city/county/region
  • site:.gov inurl:partners

For example:

  • site:.gov “partners” marketing
  • site:.gov “partners” accounting
  • site:.gov “partners” California

Through this, you will be able to find any related government agencies to your industry or target location.

Also, make sure you experiment with these strings to find closely related results to yourself.

For example, I have used this Google string to find partners (site:.gov inurl:partners “supply chain”) related to a supply chain industry.

finding partner sites for getting .gov backlinks example

And I found a partner section on the U.S. Department of Energy where they link to their supply chain partners.

partner section on government website linking to websites

So, by finding partner sections on government websites, you can get featured on their website with a link to your website.

And again, remember, that even if you don’t get featured in this section you can use this as a conversation starter to find other ways to get backlinks from them.

Way #4: Run Charity Campaigns

The next way to get .gov backlinks is to run charity campaigns and if you want to amplify your results then you also want to invite government officials to attend your charity event.

Running charity events can be a very effective way to get backlinks from the press, edu backlinks, and from other highly authoritative websites.

For example, Milwaukee Public Market organized a charitable dinner.

example of charitable event for gov backlinks

Which got them gov backlinks.

example of gov backlinks by running charity campaigns
example of edu backlinks from running charity backlinks

And backlinks from other highly authoritative websites.

example of high quality backlinks by running charity events

However, with charity campaigns, you will need to invest a large sum of money to make them effective as well as to get noticed.

On top of that, you will want to run a press release to get the word out there.

All this can make running charity campaigns expensive, but the results can be excellent in terms of generating high-quality backlinks for your website.

Way #5: Do Guest Posting on Gov Blogs

The next way how you can get a backlink from a government website is by doing guest posting.

Blogging is a popular strategy for businesses and organizations of all types including government as it is one of the best digital marketing strategies to distribute information for free.

For example, this blog post on a US SBA is published by an outside contributor.

example of guest posting for gov backlinks

And she also references some important information that is related to the topic within the blog post which leads to backlinks.

adding hyperlinks from gov website to relevant information on a guest post

And because she contributed high-quality content, she could add backlinks to her website from the author’s bio.

guest contributor with a gov backlink

With that, to start with guest blogging on government websites you first need to find .gov domains with blogs, that allow outside authors and contributors, and publish content on topics related to your niche or industry. To do that you can use the following Google strings:

  • site:.gov inurl:blog “author”
  • site:.gov inurl:blog “contributor”
  • site:.gov inurl:blog “author” seo

For example, I used this Google string (site:.gov inurl:blog “author” seo) to find the example above on the first try.

finding guest posts opportunities on government website for backlinks

I of course went through the website to see who the author is and if it is an internal or external author. Often you will have to go through multiple blog posts to find outside contributors.

Once you find government websites with outside contributors then you need to do good old blogger outreach, but you must be prepared to have good topics that are related to them as well as to you and would highly benefit their readers and for you to get contextual backlinks.

It’s also good to do some research on the authors to understand whom they allow to publish a guest article on their website.

Lastly, I recommend you Google the author’s name because like this you can find easily even more government websites where that accept outside contributions.

For example, this author seems to be publishing many guest articles on government sites.

author guest contributor on many gov websites for backlinks

As well as on other high authority sites. So, by Googling the outside contributors you can easily and fast find a lot more guest posting opportunities for your own website.

example of googling author for finding more guest posting opportunities

Now, don’t expect that government sites will allow anybody to publish a guest post on their websites and even if you get selected you won’t be able to just put any backlink with any anchor text to the blog posts, but it must be a good reason for that.

Such as including references to a statistic, research, case study, etc. on your website.

On top of that, you must be an expert to get the guest blogging opportunity on a government website.

With all that being said, guest posting on government sites can still be an extremely good way to promote your research, case studies, or other original and interesting information and get .gov backlinks as well as get niche-relevant backlinks. (Check out my tiered link building guide to maximize your results.)

Way #6: Participate in Government Initiatives

As I already said, governments are organizing new initiatives every year for people, businesses, and investors which allows you to participate and earn some high-quality .gov backlinks.

For example, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) under the Ministry of Communications & Multimedia runs multiple initiatives and one of them was helping businesses & entrepreneurs to learn about modern technologies and ways of doing business with a grant of up to RM5,000.

example of a government initiative you could participate for gov links

And companies with the right expertise could provide coaching to other businesses and entrepreneurs, get the grant and also get a backlink from them.

example of partners for government initiative with a gov backlink

And almost every government agency offers different initiatives to help its people, businesses, and investors, and learning what initiatives they run and how you can help can get you an opportunity for a gov backlink.

So you can contact your local government to find out what initiatives they run that you could participate in.

Way #7: Analyze Your Competitors

The next and definitely one of the best ways to do anything from keyword research to finding backlink opportunities including from government sites is to do an SEO competitor analysis and backlink competitor analysis.

Analyzing how your competitors got gov backlinks can help you find opportunities for your website as well as get ideas of other ways to get them.

So, in order to do that, you will need SEO tools and backlink checker tools such as from SE Ranking and learn how to find gov backlinks for yourself.

Step #1: Find close competitors. To do that I will use SE Ranking Competitive Research tool. Here I enter my domain, select my target location and click on analyze.

finding close competitors for gov backlinks

Here I will get a high-level overview of the analyzed domain such as organic traffic and organic keywords, backlink profile, paid advertising, and more. So, I go to the competitor’s report in the “Organic Traffic Research” section.

high level of analyzed domain for getting gov backlinks

And here I have hundreds of close competitors based on common ranking keywords and I can analyze all of these to see which one got gov links and where and how they got them.

example of close competitors to find gov links opportunities

Step #2: Analyze your close competitor’s backlink profile. To do that I will use SE Ranking Backlink Checker, pop one of my competitor’s domains there, and click on “Search”.

running se ranking backlink checker tool for finding competitors gov backlinks

Here I will get a high-level overview of the analyzed domain backlink profile such as the backlinks and referring domains, dofollow/nofollow ratio, the number of gov and edu backlinks, and more.

backlink profile of analyzed domain to find gov backlinks opportunities

So, I go to the “Backlinks” report and set the URL filter only for websites with the .gov TLD. And this gives me the list of backlinks that comes from the gov domains.

list of gov domains linking to my competitor

And one of the backlinks from manchester.gov.uk is pointing to a free tool my competitor provides. That means creating free tools could potentially get me a backlink from a government website which is a not bad idea.

free tool with a link from a gov backlink

And apart from that, this particular tool also got backlinks from other very authoritative sites as well. So, creating free tools on a website might be a good idea to generate high-quality backlinks on autopilot.

example of free tool generating ton of high quality backlinks

With that being said, analyzing your competitors will help you get more ideas on how you can get high-quality backlinks including gov backlinks for yourself.

Way #8: Conduct Research Study

The next best way to generate .gov backlinks as well as other quality backlinks is by conducting and publishing your research study.

Journalists, bloggers, and other publishers are using statistics to prove their claims as well as make warnings or emphasize something.

And original studies and research are one of the best backlinks magnets you can publish on your website.

For example, the Supply Chain Management Market statistics had brought a backlink from the Israel Ministry of Economy and Industry.

example of a gov backlinks from research study

Including from other highly authoritative websites such as TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and others.

example of backlinks from high authority sites from research study

With that, creating relevant studies and research related to your niche or industry can help you generate a ton of backlinks for your website including gov backlinks.

However, it can be expensive and resource-heavy at first, but overall, the backlinks it can generate can be at a much cheaper cost compared to if you would be getting that by using other link building strategies.

Not only that, but it’s a good way to get backlinks from guest posts even on the strictest websites.

Way #9: Pay for Government Sponsorship Event

Another way to get .gov backlinks is by participating in government events.

Governments are running all kinds of events all year round and many of them offer sponsorship for brands to participate in them.

example of government event sponsorship for gov backlinks

And many of them have the opportunity to negotiate a backlink from their website or again, use that as a conversation starter to find other ways to land backlinks from a gov site.

With that, to find government sites with event sponsorship offers you can use the following Google site operators:

  • site:.gov sponsored event
  • site:.gov event sponsorship
  • site:.gov sponsor event

And again, you can modify the operators to suit your needs, industry, and location.

Way #10: Become Active in Government Parties

The next way how you can get a backlink from the .gov website is to become an active member of a government party.

What’s a better way to get perks like links from gov websites than from inside? If you have ambitions in politics and want to change the world for the “better” then this strategy could be something for you.

Of course, this is a job that will take you years and the chance you will get opportunity to talk to someone in charge of a website is relatively small, but if you select local governments, you could have a much bigger chance and it could happen sooner.

Needless to say, this strategy might be suitable only for a few, but also very effective if it works for you.

Way #11: Offer Scholarships

And the very last way I have for you to earn backlinks from the .gov website is by offering a scholarship.

Scholarship link building was very popular among SEOs for its effectiveness and the quality of backlinks it could bring from edu domains.

However, many government sites also refer to scholarship opportunities for its citizens.

For example, EducationUSA has a list of organizations that offers a scholarship.

list of scholarship offers on a government website for gov backlinks

With a backlink pointing to a website that is offering the scholarship.

gov backlink from a scholarship

So, if you are willing to offer a scholarship, then this strategy can be something for you.

You just need to find government websites that promote scholarships on their websites.

To do that you can use the following Google site operators:

  • site:.gov scholarship
  • site:.gov inurl:scholarship

Also make sure you search for government sites in your country, region, state, or city to make it relevant.

Why Gov Backlinks Are So Important for SEO?

Backlinks from .gov domains are the most authoritative types of backlinks you can earn for your websites because they are managed by the most trusted type of organization and that’s a government.

And the level of trust Google has in a website directly influences how much of an impact it has on your website ranking if you receive a backlink from that site.

So, the more Google trust a certain website the more it will positively influence your ranking when you get a backlink from that site.

And government sites are one of the most trusted sites by Google. Therefore, they also have one of the biggest positive impacts on your website ranking.

Gov backlinks are also the hardest to get and that’s why they are so valuable because Google understands that it’s very hard to manipulate those backlinks. Thus they bring many link building benefits.

With that here are the three biggest reasons why you want to get .gov backlinks as well the benefits:

Reason #1: Highest Trusted

Arguably one of the most important Google ranking factors or group of factors Google uses so they can establish E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) for every website.

This is a set of guidelines used by Google Quality Raters as well as by the algorithm to better understand the website, where to rank it, and how much it influences the ranking of other websites.

And because sites with .gov TLD automatically fulfill all the E-A-T requirements as they are eligible only to the government of a country (what’s more legit than that), thus, backlinks from these websites are highly trusted.

Because Google ultimately is looking at the source of a backlink and whether they can trust it.

Altogether .gov backlinks are the most trusted backlinks you can get on the internet.

Reason #2: Extremely High Quality

A study published on Backlinko found that the number of domains linking to a page was the factor that had the highest correlation to rankings in Google.

number of backlinks to a page directly influences google ranking

However, according to John Mueller, the total number of backlinks doesn’t matter to the search algorithm and one good link from a relevant website can be more impactful than millions of low-quality links.

And .gov backlinks are the highest quality possible you can earn because only official government bodies can receive .gov TLD which makes it easy for Google to verify who owns the website and whether they are trusted or not.

Because Google ultimately is looking at the source of a backlink and whether they can trust it.

Reason #3: The Most Authoritative Backlinks

Lastly .gov backlinks are the most authoritative backlinks you can get for your website.

As said, because sites with.gov TLD are managed by government agencies Google put high authority on these websites, partially because they must be easy to find by its citizens as the information on the websites is very important.

On top of that, government sites usually attract many high-quality backlinks from big media and corporation sites making them also very authoritative.

.edu vs .gov Backlinks: What’s the difference?

The main difference between .gov backlinks and .edu backlinks is that .gov backlinks are coming from websites owned by official government agencies whereas .edu backlinks are incoming links from government-approved educational organizations.

Also, gov backlinks are considered the most authoritative types of backlinks and have a better impact on a website’s ranking while edu backlinks are considered the second most authoritative.

Lastly and the most obvious difference is that .gov backlinks come from websites with .gov TLD whereas .edu backlinks come from websites with .edu TLD.

Example of Gov Backlinks

With that being said, getting gov backlinks are hard to get and it does take time. Especially if you are starting with your website or business.

However, it’s possible to earn relevant and dofollow high-quality backlinks from gov websites, and seeing some examples can help you with your imagination on how to get those.

Here is a list of a few gov backlinks:

With that, here you can see some of the examples of gov backlinks.

I found these using SE Ranking Backlink Checker and I already know one gov backlink I can build for my client.

Which is the Best Backlink?

Arguably the best backlink is from a relevant government website with anchor text specifically mentioning your name or your business name on one of the website’s important pages with a page depth <3.

But these backlinks are also the hardest to get but there is no doubt that even if you get one backlink from the .gov domain it will have a big positive impact on your website ranking and your SEO keywords.

Getting Gov Backlinks for Your Website Final Advice

As you could see, there are many different ways you can get .gov backlinks. However, none of them are easy or cheap.

.gov backlinks are the hardest to get and the only way to get them is by offering a massive amount of value to the government that they cannot get by doing themselves.

So instead of thinking of ways and tactics, how to get government links, think more of what they actually need and what their users (people, businesses, and investors) need and offer help with it.

Because the traditional way of link building won’t cut it here and “I link to you and you link back to me” sort of ways definitely doesn’t work here.

Related Articles:

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This article was created by Eduard Dziak and may contain affiliate links. The following were used to optimize the article for the best user and search engine experience include:

  • SE Ranking for keyword research and on-page SEO optimization
  • Surfer SEO for SEO-friendly content creation for users and search engines.
  • Jasper AI for grammar correction and information enhancement.

The article is based on the author’s own experience and knowledge, drawn from both their own work and that of their clients, to provide the latest, proven methods.