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10,000 visitors a month to your syllabus?

April 22nd, 2008 by mdmcginnis

When people search the Web, what searches brings them to our university web site? According to our latest Awstats report, the top terms are “texas a&m”, “tamu”, “texas a&m university”, “texas a & m”, and “texas a and m”. Naturally.

But after that? With 10 colleges, over 150 undergraduate degrees, and 240 graduate degrees at Texas A&M University, what knowledge, what information, are people finding at www.tamu.edu?

Well, they’re finding culture.

Specifically, after the standard searches for our school name, the next results include “definition of culture” and “culture definition.” Search Google for these terms, and the first result is “Culture” from Dr. Ifte Choudhury‘s online Construction Science course material. More than 10,000 people have viewed that Web page in a single month. In our list of the most popular Web pages, Dr. Choudhury’s page “/classes/cosc/choudhury/culture.html” comes in around #30, ahead of the Undergraduate Catalog and Maps/Directions to Texas A&M University.

Not bad. I’m sure that other pages on other servers have thousands of visitors as well, but on our server, this page stands out. I haven’t taken the time to analyze how Dr. Choudhury’s page became so popular, but I imagine that a lot of other Web sites are linking to it. You see the same kind of thing all the time on the AgriLife side, where the most authoritative Web pages for many plants and animals were “home-grown” right here at Texas A&M University.

The same results should be duplicated in every department. Every professor is an expert on something, and many professors know how to explain their expertise better than anyone else.

Apparently, in his own way, Dr. Choudhury is one of those professors.

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008 Search, www.tamu.edu
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