How to Build .Gov Backlinks (and Mistakes to Avoid!)

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Acquiring high-authority backlinks is one of the key steps in your SEO strategy. 

However, many website owners struggle to get high-authority backlinks that can significantly boost their search rankings.

One often overlooked source of valuable backlinks is government websites. 

Government domains with the .gov extension are among the original top-level domains created in 1984. They typically have high domain authority, making backlinks from these sites unique and powerful. 

However, most webmasters don’t know how to leverage governmental backlinks for SEO.

In this blog post, I’ll explore strategies for obtaining backlinks from government websites, how to find key government resources, how to create content that appeals to government institutions, and how to build relationships with public organizations.

Let’s go!

Key Takeaways

  • .gov backlinks can provide value and diversity, offering authority and trust that other types of links can not provide.
  • You can use practical acquisition strategies like creating content about government agencies, interviewing officials, and joining government initiatives are essential to get gov backlinks.
  • Another .gov backlink building strategy is fostering genuine relationships with government entities.
  • Use government backlinks to diversify your backlink profile instead of focusing on building large number of these links.

What Are Gov Backlinks?

Government backlinks, often referred to as “gov backlinks,” are links from government websites to your site. 

We believe they can play a role in improving and diversifying your website’s backlink profile and may also improve its search engine rankings.

A screenshot of get.gov homepage.

Gov backlinks can come from various government agencies, official websites, and even government blogs. 

According to Politico, the 10 most popular .gov websites include:

  • irs.gov
  • forecast.weather.gov
  • weather.gov
  • usajobs.gov
  • nps.gov
  • uscis.gov
  • noaa.gov
  • ssa.gov
  • nasa.gov
  • socialsecurity.gov

But you don’t necessarily need links from these blogs – any domain with a .gov TLD will do!

Why Are Gov Backlinks Valuable? 

In our experience, government backlinks possess exceptional value and power for several compelling reasons:

1. Unparalleled Authority and Trustworthiness

Government websites are known for their authority and trustworthiness.

Most people and institutions trust the government a lot, and Google and other search engines see the government like this as well.

They serve as official sources of information, making their endorsements through backlinks more valuable. 

When a government site links to your content, it signifies a strong vote of confidence in the accuracy and quality of your information.

2. Boost to Domain Authority

Domain Authority (DA) is a third-party SEO metric, also measured by tools like Ahrefs with DR. 

Gov backlinks can significantly enhance your site’s authority, indirectly contributing to improved search engine visibility.

Backlink authority is one of the top ranking factors for Google.

Government domains have some of the highest DA/DR because other websites often link to them as they are trusted sources of information. 

Getting backlinks from these sites can pass link juice to your site, thus increasing your site’s authority for SEO.

How to Get Gov Backlinks?

We believe that focusing on acquiring a large number of gov backlinks is an outdated strategy and can easily come off as manipulative and fake to search engines like Google. 

And if you’ve seen how many sites Google has been penalizing with the recent algorithm updates lately, you definitely don’t want to get on their bad side!

That is why we have not focused on building gov backlinks, and our agency website has no backlinks from .gov sites.

An Ahrefs screenshot showing a total of 0 .gov links pointing to sirlinksalot.co site.

However, if you can get legit gov backlinks and they actually make sense, they will be a great way to diversify and strengthen your backlinks profile. 

Here’s how to get those precious gov links:

1. Write About A Government Agency

One effective strategy is to write about a government agency. 

Producing informative content that highlights the functions, roles, and achievements of government agencies can attract the attention of these organizations and lead to backlink opportunities.

By crafting well-researched articles or blog posts, you can showcase your expertise and commitment to promoting the government’s work.

You can use ChatGPT to brainstorm ideas like this:

  • “Leading the Digital Frontier: How [Government Agency] Is Setting Global Standards in Tech Regulation”
  • “Safeguarding Consumer Interests: [Government Agency]’s Bold Moves Against Monopolistic Practices”
  • “Fostering Innovation and Competition: The Impact of [Government Agency]’s Oversight on Tech Giants”
  • “A New Era of Digital Ethics: [Government Agency] Leads the Charge in Responsible Tech Governance”

If you’re going to use this strategy, it would be a good idea to reach out to the agencies you wrote about to showcase your work, using a tool like Pitchbox.

Like with all link building, we don’t believe in sitting and waiting for results.

Outreach is king!

2. Compliment a Gov Site

Flattering a gov site can also help get government backlinks. 

A fake text message between us and a government official.

Begin by identifying a relevant gov website that aligns with your niche or industry. Explore the content on their site and look for opportunities to compliment their work genuinely.

You can create a blog post, article, or even a video where you highlight the valuable information or resources provided by the gov site. 

When you publish this content, notify the gov site about your article or video. By showing respect and recognition, you may encourage them to link to your content as a sign of acknowledgment.

Like the previous tactic, reaching out and showing your work to them afterward is perhaps the most important step in the process.

You wouldn’t want your hard work to land these .gov backlinks go unnoticed. 

3. Partner Up with the Government

This one is a little crazy, but hear me out!

Collaborating with government agencies can help you get gov backlinks. 

We realize that this may not work in all niches, but establishing partnerships can be good for business… and your SEO via the backlinks earned!

First, find agencies you could partner with. Reach out to them with proposals for projects or partnerships that can be mutually beneficial.

For instance, you can propose joint campaigns, community outreach programs, or educational initiatives. 

When a partnership is formed, it’s common for the government agency to acknowledge and link to your organization’s website to promote the collaborative effort.

This not only secures a gov backlink but also demonstrates your commitment to civic engagement.

If other people see this as well, you might earn additional backlinks from the press or other media coverage.

4. Participate in Government Initiatives

This approach is quite similar to the previous one, but the difference is that you participate in events instead of forming partnerships.

Government agencies and departments run various programs, campaigns, or events relevant to specific industries or issues.

You can do a simple Google search to try to find these:

Searching for government initiatives related to the internet on Google.

Engaging with these initiatives can lead to collaboration opportunities and backlinks from their official websites.

To get started, stay updated with government announcements and activities related to your field. Reach out to the relevant government officials or departments to express your interest in participating or supporting their initiatives.

Your active involvement in these programs, such as sponsoring events or providing resources, often results in them linking to your website to acknowledge your contribution. 

5. Interview A Government Agency Official or a Politician

First, you should identify potential interviewees. 

Research government officials or politicians who are relevant to your niche or industry. Consider those who have expertise or insights that align with your content.

We also suggest not shooting for very high-level officials. Lower-level officials will be much easier to land interviews with.

Think more about your local representatives than say, Barack Obama.

An anonymous government official anxiously waiting for the conclusion of interview.

Next, reach out to these officials through official government channels or their offices. Clearly explain your intent to interview them for your website and the potential benefits of the collaboration.

Develop a list of insightful and relevant questions for the interview. Ensure that the interview adds value to your audience and resonates with the interviewee’s expertise.

We also really recommend using ChatGPT to help brainstorm questions.

By feeding it the right information, you can get some really quality questions that haven’t been asked before. 

We often use this tactic to prepare for our own podcasts.

After conducting the interview, publish it on your website and promote it across your social media channels and email newsletters. Notify the interviewee and their organization about the publication.

Lastly, politely request the government official or politician to link to the interview on their official website or social media profiles, providing them with the necessary link and anchor text.

6. Do Guest Posting on Gov Blogs

Government agencies often have blogs or news sections on their websites. They use them to share information, updates, and articles about their work and interests.

This process works just like regular guest post link building, which is one of the most popular ways to earn quality backlinks used by SEOs.

And it also happens to be one of our most popular services due to its effectiveness in increasing rankings.

Reach out to relevant government departments and offer to contribute good guest posts on topics that fit your niche or industry.

Contact their content managers or webmasters to propose guest post ideas that provide value and insights.

Tools like Pitchbox or Hunter.io can speed this process up significantly, and like always, we highly recommend creating somewhat personalized outreach messages to increase your chances of success.

No one likes spam!

By crafting informative and well-researched articles, you can earn a spot on their blog, complete with a backlink to your website in the author’s bio or within the content itself.

The value of these guest posts may be diminished by the fact that we have seen several government CMS hacks or exploits that make it possible to get these links without any effort. 

Search engines are probably aware of this as well.

7. Run Charity Campaigns

Charitable initiatives show your commitment to social causes and can foster partnerships with government organizations that share similar objectives.

To establish this connection, identify government agencies that are involved in or support causes aligned with your charity campaign. 

Reach out to them with a well-structured proposal for collaboration. Describe your charitable efforts and how they can contribute to the agency’s mission or social responsibility.

Once you’ve gained their support, government agencies may acknowledge your charity campaign on their official websites, featuring your organization and providing a backlink to your site.

8. Get Listed On A Resource Page

Government resource pages are often dedicated to providing valuable information and references to the public. 

A type of resource page, a deals page, on miami.gov site, linking to a number of local business websites.

To get your website featured, follow these steps:

  1. Identify Relevant Resource Pages: Research government websites within your niche to find resource pages that list helpful links. Look for categories or sections that match your content or services.
  2. Contact Website Administrators: Reach out to the administrators of these resource pages via email or contact forms. Introduce your website and explain how it can be a valuable addition to their resource list.
  3. Provide Compelling Reasons: Highlight why your website deserves inclusion on their resource page. Emphasize the quality and relevance of your content, focusing on the benefit it brings to their audience.
  4. Stay Professional: Maintain a courteous and professional tone in your communication. Government websites value credibility and trustworthiness, so professionalism is key.
  5. Monitor and Follow-Up: After your website is listed, keep track of the backlink and periodically check if it is still active. If it gets removed, follow up with the administrators to address the issue.

We are not sure that there is a sufficient return on investment in these activities, but if you are skilled (or lucky), you may get a link that your competitors will not be able to replicate.

9. Conduct a Research Study in Your Niche

This process involves:

  1. Research Planning: Create a detailed research plan outlining your objectives, methodology, data collection process, and analysis techniques. Ensure your study adheres to ethical research standards.
  2. Data Collection and Analysis: Collect data through surveys, experiments, or data mining, depending on your niche. Analyze the gathered information and generate meaningful results.
  3. Publishing the Study: Compile your research findings into a comprehensive report or whitepaper. Ensure it is well-structured, properly formatted, and contains valuable insights. Consider sharing a summary of the study’s findings on your website.
  4. Outreach to Government Agencies: Identify relevant government agencies or departments that may find your research valuable. Reach out to them and present your study’s findings, highlighting its significance for policy-making or public interest.
  5. Request a Backlink: Politely request the government agency to link to your research study from their official website or relevant resources. Emphasize how your study contributes to informed decision-making or supports their initiatives.

We believe you should also think about Plan B – an alternative way to get backlinks using this research in case you are not able to attract government links.

The good news is that this is pretty much the same thing as PR link building.

You can reach out to journalists who write about your niche with the help of a tool like Muckrack.

Using Muckrack to reach out ot journalists for your PR link building.

Content pieces like this that contain original research can be a huge hit and help build many backlinks.

10. Get a Contract or Form a Government Partnership

If you are someone like Elon Musk, obtaining gov backlinks can also be achieved by securing government contracts or forming partnerships with government agencies. 

This strategy involves establishing a formal working relationship with government entities, either as a contractor or a partner in specific projects or initiatives.

An Ahrefs screenshot showing 5 high DR .gov links pointing to  SpaceX website.

To pursue this approach, start by identifying relevant opportunities. Keep a close watch on government requests for proposals (RFPs) or partnership opportunities related to your industry or niche. 

Government agencies frequently seek external partners for various projects.

Once you’ve identified a suitable opportunity, prepare a comprehensive proposal. 

Clearly outline how your expertise, products, or services align with the government’s needs and objectives. Your proposal should highlight the value you can bring to the project or partnership.

Submit your proposal following the guidelines provided by the government agency. Make sure it stands out by emphasizing the unique contributions you can make.

Once the project or partnership is completed, approach the government agency and request a backlink to your website from their official page or resources, showcasing your collaboration.

Considerations to Keep in Mind While Getting Gov Links

Before stuffing your backlink profile with gov links, keep the following factors in mind:

Make Sure To Find A Worthy Gov Domain That’s Worth It

Ensure that the selected government domain is relevant to your niche.

Partnering with a government website that aligns with your content and industry is essential.

Relevance is super important when building backlinks, and it will also help your chances of success.

A screenshot featuring about 10 .gov websites from cisagov .gov sites database.

A few .gov sites from cisagov database

Also, consider their Domain Authority (DA) or Domain Rating (DR) to evaluate the power of a link from the domains

While a high DA and DR indicate more authority, a lower value doesn’t necessarily rule out the possibility of valuable backlinks.

Build A Diverse Backlink Profile

Diversity is key when it comes to building a strong backlink profile, and government backlinks can be a part of this mix. 

Having a broad array of backlinks from government sites, educational institutions, industry-specific sites, and more, can enhance your website’s credibility and reputation in the eyes of search engines.

A diverse backlink profile also makes your link-building strategy appear more natural, which is crucial to avoid raising any red flags with search engines like Google.

Avoid Building Solely Gov Backlinks

While government backlinks can be highly valuable, it’s essential to avoid focusing exclusively on them. 

Building solely government backlinks will seem unnatural and raise suspicions with search engines.

As I mentioned above, links from various sources, such as educational institutions, industry-related sites, and reputable .com domains, are crucial for a well-rounded and effective backlink profile.

The key is to strike a balance between government and other high-quality backlinks to ensure a more natural link profile and better SEO results.

What you really want to avoid is a backlink profile full of .gov backlinks that really have no business having them.

Many websites abused this tactic in the past, so Google knows what’s up! Proceed with caution.

Final Words

Gov backlinks stand out as a unique type of link, offering unmatched credibility and authority. 

They’re not the easiest links to acquire, but they can really help your SEO when used correctly.

We have explored several ways to get gov links, from creating content about government agencies to engaging directly with government officials and even leveraging charity campaigns. 

Each strategy has its nuances, but they take into consideration relevance, quality, and genuine engagement.

While gov backlinks are powerful, they should be part of a broader, well-rounded link building strategy that includes a mix of link sources. This balanced approach will help to ensure your backlink profile appears natural and effective, steering clear of any red flags from search engines.

Article by: Chris Tzitzis
Hey I'm Chris, one of the founders here at SirLinksalot. I'm into building internet money machines (affiliate websites) and specialize in building backlinks. Find out more about me and my link building team.

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