This is not necessarily proven. Do you believe that Matt is completely honest and knows everything about G's algorithms? He is primarily a public relations rep and liaison to the SEO community. I see his job as one where he attempts to steer the SEO community into doing things the way that Google wants you do them.
Originally Posted by Aquarezz
There may actually be something to his claim that there is no advantage with .edu and .gov. .edu links have been abused for years. It may be a matter of what type of .gov or .edu link is obtained.
I had a client several years ago that was spending a fortune buying sitewide links on stanford.edu and other .edu sites. He had over 50,000 paid links pointing to his site. His site was in the top 5 for all of his major keywords. I warned him of an impeding change in G's algorithm and advised him to stop buying sitewide links because sitewide links were being discounted and obvious paid links were going to be penalized. He ignored my advice and dropped to about page 20 in Google.
In one of the rare occasions when I have seen a personal response when using Google's re-inclusion request, the Google rep indicated that the site had been penalized due to the use of suspicious linking, including excessive "link rings." I found the use of terminology to be interesting because "link rings" was a term from the 1990s. A G rep at one of Search Engine Strategies conferences told me that the term refers to sitewide links. That is not what it meant in the 1990s.
The site did eventually come back in the rankings, but it had to ride out a 6 month penalty.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin