This article was written by Richard Robbins
Registering domain names is generally pretty easy if you’re looking for something that ends in .com, .net, .org, or one of the many other domain suffixes available out there. However, it you want to register a .edu domain, you’ll have to do more than just find a name nobody else has yet. If you’ve tried to register a domain ending in .edu through one of the rank and file internet registrars, you’re likely quite aware that they’re not so freely available.
Domains ending in .edu must be registered through Educause, a non-profit organization that was set up to promote higher education and information technology. The United States Department of Commerce awarded a contract to Educause in 2001 that makes them the governor of handing out .edu names for now. Setting up a website on a .edu domain requires you to have a postsecondary institution that has been accredited by one of the US Department of Education’s recognized accrediting agencies.
Regarding .edu domains and search engine optimization, it’s noteworthy that Google gives special consideration (more weight) to links that come from .edu domains. Knowing that the requirements (an accredited college or university) to obtain a .edu domain are significantly more stringent than those (a valid credit card and billing address) for purchasing a .com, .net, or .org domain, it makes sense that links to your website from an educational site carry more weight than those from a more watered-down content base.
By the way, in case you’re wondering, the same principle applies to .gov domains as well, which have to be registered through dotgov.gov.