Is it true that to build value backlinks the links need to be in the form of text that has the link attached to it, or it http:// or okay?

I thought I read that it has to be in the form of text. For example one of my sites is Fairmount Pet Service - so those 3 works should be set up as a link, or is okay? There are sites where only the http or www versions are allowed, and I think they have helped raise my Google PageRank to 3. Any thoughts?

I ask because I'm about to embark on getting some .edu and .gov links and would like to do it correctly. As a side question, anyone have advice on getting those type of links? I'm going to ask some of my clients to post a link to my website on sites of their Alma Maters.

Thanks for any & all help!