Google has fundamentally changed the nature of SEO by the emphasis it gives to localization. It has ways of recognizing where you are located and returning results that are tailored for you. Type in “restaurant” or “hotel” into Google, for example, and most of the results will be specific to your area. This makes search engines much more useful for the user, but skews the results to make nation-wide results inconsistent.
Bing does the same to some extent, but is much less sophisticated and much less of the return is customized. It can, then, be a better tool for assessing our SEO effort’s reach outside of our local area. We can see from our earlier statistics, though, that Google dominates our user base. We can assume, then, that unless our pages score very high in topic relevance that most of our best results will be localized at least to within the state or at best the state.
The size and general nature of these topics represent a challenge for us to crack the front page of search results without also including a reference to Texas A&M in the search query. Searches for any one of the names on their own turn up sites that are significantly larger in scope and audience reach than our own university site.
The exception to this is One Health, where our onehealth.tamu.edu (maintained by the College of Veterinary Medicine) does return on the front page (but only by adding the specific format “One Health” (quotes included in the query string to force it to be returned as one concept.) Even this might be a construction of Google’s localization, as it falls to the middle of the second page on Bing.
We could probably also make headway with STEM Education. A search for “STEM education university” does pull up a number of other university sites covering the issue, but nothing from Texas A&M.
As an overall recommendation, we should work with the team setting forth the grand challenges and find specific areas that are being addressed. Then we can use sites like the CVM’s One Health site, TAMUtimes, and other college news articles to focus attention on the topics.