MajesticSEO Analysis of Russell Group University Repositories « UK Web Focus 2012-08-30


Use the link to access the data collected as follows: “The importance of SEO rankings for surfacing content hosted in institutional repositories can be gauged from the responses to the query I asked on the JISC-Repositories JISCMail list: “Does anyone have any statistics on the proportion of traffic which arrives at institutional repositories from Google?”. I asked a similar question on Twitter and found that mature research repositories seem to get about from 50-80% of their traffic from Google. This aligns with the findings reported by Les Carr for the University of Southampton back in 2006: ‘the majority of repository use, if I can equate eprint downloads with repository use, is due to external web search engines (64%)’. Indeed since it has been reported that direct downloads of PDFs hosted in repositories may not be reported unless Google Analytics has been configured appropriately such figures may be an underestimate!  In light of the importance of Google in supporting repositories in their mission of making research papers easily accessible to others it will be useful to gain a better understanding of the factors which contribute to supporting the discoverability of the content hosted in institutional repositories.  The survey described in this post reports on summary SEO findings for the 24 Russell Group universities. The aims of the survey are to provide a benchmark for comparisons with surveys which may be carried out in the future, to attempt to identify any interesting usage patterns which may help to enhance the effectiveness of institutional repositories and to identify the highest ranked domains which provide links to institutional repositories.  The data was collected on 27-28 August 2012 using the MajesticSEO service. Note that the current finding can be obtained by following the link in the final column. The findings can be viewed if you have signed up to the free service... Discussion ... In a previous post I suggested that since is so widely used across Russell Group Universities, encouraging researchers to provide links to their papers hosted in their institutional repository would enhance the visibility of papers to Google, especially since LinkedIn has such a high Alexa ranking...However it appears that LinkedIn does not appear to have a significant presence according to the findings provided in MajesticSEO...  Based on the information obtained in the survey it would appear that two blog platforms, and, are primarily responsible for driving traffic to institutional repositories, having both high Alexa rankings together with large numbers of links to the repositories.  Following these two platforms, but a long way behind, we find Wikipedia and the BBC and then, perhaps somewhat confusingly, Google itself (perhaps links from Google Scholar). The presence of media sites such as the BBC, CNN and the Guardian suggest that researchers (or their media advisers) are doing a good job in ensuring that these organisations provide links to original research papers when stories about university research are being covered in the media.  But perhaps the most noticeable findings is that only one University Web site – Oxford’s – is included in the list of the top 5 domains across all of the Russell Group Universities. The low Alexa ranking (6,764) for the Oxford University Web site in comparison with the other sites listed (which have an Alexa ranking ranging from 1 to 259) suggests that links from university Web sites, even prestigious universities such as Oxford, will not have a significant impact on Google search results. It should also be noted that links from the University of Oxford Web site will not provide SEO benefits to the University of Oxford’s repository, which is hosted in the same domain ( Limitations of this Survey...”


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Tags: oa.comment oa.surveys oa.usage oa.social_media oa.twitter oa.jisc oa.wordpress oa.rankings oa.wikipedia oa.russell_group oa.blogs oa.linkedin oa.u.southampton oa.benchmarks oa.majesticseo oa.alexa oa.blogspot oa.cnn oa.repositories

Date tagged:

08/30/2012, 19:46

Date published:

08/30/2012, 15:46