The Internet is full of myths about how Google ranks pages. One of my oldest articles written, originally for SitePoint before being published here, was about Google Myths. In this article I dispel the myth about Google giving special bonuses to DMOZ or Yahoo listed sites, outside of the normal bonus the page would get from such a nice incoming link.
Since that time a very similar myth, one believed by many professional SEOs, developed. I’ve always disagreed with it but never had any proof. The theory goes that links from .edu or .gov sites are worth more to Google because they’re seen as special or non-commercial. I disagree with this because it isn’t the type of elegant solution a computer scientist would implement. They have an existing system, PageRank, to judge the quality of each individual page. There is no need for special bonuses for quality sites because if they’re quality sites they’ll have high PageRank anyways. Nevertheless the myth persists.
Today Matt Cutts posted a video Q&A that dispels this myth. Specifically he says they do not have a system to give .gov or .edu sites a special boost, but rather those types of sites just tend to have more PageRank naturally.
There you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth.
The actual quote from the video is:
“..fact we don’t really have much in the way to say “Oh this is a link from the ODP, or .gov, or .edu, so give that some sort of special boost.” Its just those sites tend to have higher PageRank because-because more people link to them and reputable people link to them.”