RNS SEO 2016: How 90 research networking sites perform on Google — and what that tells us

RNS SEO 2015 header

Research networking systems (RNS) like Vivo, Profiles, and Pure are often sometimes undiscoverable by real users because of poor search engine optimization (SEO).

Last year, we released RNS SEO 2015, the first-ever report describing how RNS performs in terms of real-world discoverability on Google.

We re-ran our analysis for 2016, to see which of 90 different research networking sites has the highest proportion of their people pages among the top 3 search results on Google.

1. Methodology

  • Pick 90 different VIVO, Profiles, Pure, and custom RNS websites
  • Retrieve a large number of people page URLs (via sitemaps, crawling)
  • Grab 100 random people names and URLs from each site
  • For each name, search Google for PersonName InstitutionName
    • e.g. “Jane Doe Harvard”
  • Count what % have pages come up in the top 3

2. Results

  1. Brown 93% [VIVO] [under official domain]
  2. University of California, San Francisco 90% [Profiles] [under official domain]
  3. University of Colorado Profiles 87% [Profiles] [under official domain]
  4. Stephenson Cancer Center 87% [Pure]
  5. Mayo Clinic 85% [Pure]
  6. University of Bristol 84% [Pure] [under official domain]
  7. Royal Holloway, University of London 83% [Pure] [under official domain]
  8. University of Stirling 83% [Custom] [under official domain]
  9. King’s College London 80% [Pure] [under official domain]
  10. Oregon Health & Science University 78% [Pure]
  11. University of the Highlands and Islands 76% [Pure] [under official domain]
  12. University of Melbourne 76% [Custom] [under official domain]
  13. Lancaster University 73% [Pure] [under official domain]
  14. University of New Mexico 72% [VIVO] [under official domain]
  15. Queen’s University Belfast 71% [Pure] [under official domain]
  16. University of Strathclyde 70% [Pure] [under official domain]
  17. University of St. Andrews 70% [Pure] [under official domain]
  18. Northern Arizona University 69% [Pure]
  19. Duke 69% [VIVO] [under official domain]
  20. MD Anderson Cancer Center 68% [Pure]
  21. University of Michigan 64% [Pure] [under official domain]
  22. UT Health Science Center at San Antonio 60% [Pure] [under official domain]
  23. University of Texas at Tyler 59% [Pure] [under official domain]
  24. University of York 59% [Pure] [under official domain]
  25. The University of Texas at Austin 56.% [Pure] [under official domain]
  26. Medical College of Wisconsin 56.% [Custom] [under official domain]
  27. Boston University 55.% [Profiles] [under official domain]
  28. Northwestern University 55.% [Pure] [under official domain]
  29. University of Texas at San Antonio 51% [Pure] [under official domain]
  30. University of Dundee 50% [Pure] [under official domain]
  31. University of Minnesota 50% [Pure] [under official domain]
  32. Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh 49% [Pure] [under official domain]
  33. UT Southwestern Medical Center 48% [Pure] [under official domain]
  34. Johns Hopkins University 48% [Pure]
  35. University of Miami 46% [Pure]
  36. University of Arizona 46% [Pure]
  37. University of Nebraska 45% [Pure]
  38. University of Utah 44% [Pure]
  39. Michigan State University 44% [Pure] [under official domain]
  40. University of Texas of the Permian Basin 44% [Pure] [under official domain]
  41. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center 42% [Profiles] [under official domain]
  42. University of Massachusetts 41% [Profiles] [under official domain]
  43. The University of Texas at Dallas 40% [Pure] [under official domain]
  44. UT Health Northeast 40% [Pure] [under official domain]
  45. Scripps 39% [VIVO] [under official domain]
  46. Case Western Reserve University 39% [Pure]
  47. Augusta University 38% [Pure]
  48. Western Michigan University 38% [Pure]
  49. University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston 38% [Pure] [under official domain]
  50. University of Illinois at Chicago 36% [Pure]
  51. Houston Methodist 35% [Pure] [under official domain]
  52. Albert Einstein College of Medicine 33% [Pure]
  53. University of Edinburgh 33% [Pure] [under official domain]
  54. University of Florida 32% [VIVO] [under official domain]
  55. Arizona State University 31% [Pure]
  56. University of Texas Arlington 30% [Pure] [under official domain]
  57. Stanford University 30% [Custom] [under official domain]
  58. Thomas Jefferson University 29.% [Profiles] [under official domain]
  59. The University of Texas at El Paso 28.% [Pure] [under official domain]
  60. Cornell 28.% [VIVO] [under official domain]
  61. University of Rochester 26% [Profiles] [under official domain]
  62. New York University 23% [Pure]
  63. University of Iowa 23% [Custom] [under official domain]
  64. Clemson University College 22% [Pure]
  65. Baylor College of Medicine 20% [Profiles]
  66. Indiana University School of Medicine 18% [Pure]
  67. Wayne State University 18% [Pure] [under official domain]
  68. University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston 17% [Pure] [under official domain]
  69. University of South Africa 12% [Pure]
  70. University of Idaho 10% [VIVO] [under official domain]
  71. Dartmouth 9% [VIVO] [under official domain]
  72. Griffith 8% [Custom] [under official domain]
  73. George Washington University 4% [VIVO] [under official domain]
  74. Tufts 4% [Profiles] [under official domain]
  75. US Department of Agriculture 3% [VIVO] [under official domain]
  76. University of Montana 2% [VIVO]
  77. East Carolina University 1% [VIVO] [under official domain]
  78. Texas A&M 0% [VIVO] [under official domain]
  79. Boise State 0% [VIVO]
  80. University of Hawai‘i 0% [VIVO]
  81. Idaho State 0% [VIVO]
  82. Montana State University 0% [VIVO]
  83. New Mexico State 0% [VIVO]
  84. University of Alaska Anchorage 0% [VIVO]
  85. UCLA School of Medicine 0% [Custom] [under official domain]
  86. University of Nevada, Las Vegas 0% [VIVO]
  87. University of Nevada, Reno 0% [VIVO]
  88. University of Pennsylvania 0% [VIVO] [under official domain]
  89. University of Wyoming 0% [VIVO]
  90. Virginia Commonwealth University 0% [VIVO] [under official domain]

3. Conclusions

Which software has the best real-world SEO performance?

Average scores by platform

  • Pure = 50%
  • Profiles RNS = 44%
  • Custom = 39%
  • VIVO = 15%

Average scores, by use of official vs. other domain

  • Official domain? (e.g. vivo.cornell.edu)
    average score = 44%
  • Other domain? (e.g. stephenson.pure.elsevier.com)
    average score = 30%

Average scores by platform, taking domain names into account (where n >= 5)

  • Pure + Institutional Domain = 53%
  • Profiles + Institutional Domain = 47%
  • Pure + other domain = 45%
  • Profiles + other domain = 35%*
  • Custom + Institutional Domain = 39%
  • VIVO + Institutional Domain = 26%
  • VIVO + other domain = 18%*

* includes some data from 2015 survey

Does getting lots of incoming links help?

It appears to. The top 10 sites have a median 560 linking root domains — one of several metrics related to incoming link diversity mentioned in the Moz Search Engine Ranking Factors 2015.

The correlation between linking root domains and search rankings holds true across our dataset:

RNS SEO 2016 root linking domains

4. How do you increase your site’s search rankings?

Read our helpful guides:

RNS SEO: How 52 research networking sites perform on Google, and what that tells us

Research networking systems (RNS) like Vivo, Profiles, SciVal, and Pure are meant to be used — but often fail to be discoverable by real users because of poor search engine optimization (SEO).

That’s why we’re releasing RNS SEO 2015, the first-ever report describing how RNS performs in terms of real-world discoverability on Google.

Continue reading

We’ve completed our NSF Grant! UCSF Profiles and its use by external partners

UCSF Profiles is an example of a Research networking system (RNS). These systems provide automated aggregation and mining of information to create profiles and networks of the people that make up an academic institution. RNS’s have in effect, become a new kind of ‘front door’ for the university, providing access to the university’s intellectual capital in a manner previously unattainable — i.e. one focused on expertise rather than schools or departments, thus intermingling experts regardless of where they’re officially housed. Against this backdrop, we wanted to understand how such a tool might enhance access to academic expertise by external partners, specifically industry, and improve UCSF’s response to industry interest. Continue reading

The 100 top researcher keywords at UCSF

I was looking to dig into some examples of collaboration patterns in different research areas, when I realized I didn’t even know the basics — what do UCSF researchers actually research?

UCSF Profiles uses PubMed data to extract MeSH keywords for every publication by every UCSF researcher in the system. We can use this to look at the most commonly used MeSH keywords across every researcher’s body of work. There are lots of caveats here (looking at all publications emphasizes past research interests over current ones; we’re not grouping related obscure MeSH terms with more popular ones; MeSH term assignment practices change over time; and this analysis ignores someone’s role as a first, middle, or last author). But this is certainly a start.

Here’s what I found, using the latest UCSF Profiles data:

  1. 98 researchers have HIV Infections in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  2. 53 researchers have Breast Neoplasms in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  3. 42 researchers have Magnetic Resonance Imaging in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  4. 39 researchers have Tomography, X-Ray Computed in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  5. 39 researchers have Brain Neoplasms in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  6. 37 researchers have Internship and Residency in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  7. 37 researchers have HIV-1 in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  8. 34 researchers have Alzheimer Disease in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  9. 33 researchers have Prostatic Neoplasms in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  10. 32 researchers have Saccharomyces cerevisiae in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  11. 31 researchers have Brain in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  12. 31 researchers have Anti-HIV Agents in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  13. 30 researchers have Neoplasms in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  14. 30 researchers have Smoking in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  15. 29 researchers have Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  16. 29 researchers have Asthma in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  17. 28 researchers have Stroke in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  18. 28 researchers have Sexual Behavior in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  19. 27 researchers have Myocardial Infarction in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  20. 27 researchers have Proteins in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  21. 26 researchers have Neurons in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  22. 26 researchers have Skin Neoplasms in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  23. 26 researchers have Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  24. 25 researchers have Cognition Disorders in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  25. 25 researchers have Homosexuality, Male in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  26. 25 researchers have Emergency Service, Hospital in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  27. 25 researchers have Students, Medical in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  28. 24 researchers have Obesity in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  29. 24 researchers have Glioblastoma in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  30. 23 researchers have Epilepsy in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  31. 23 researchers have Pancreatic Neoplasms in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  32. 23 researchers have Dementia in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  33. 23 researchers have Liver Transplantation in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  34. 23 researchers have Hispanic Americans in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  35. 23 researchers have Education, Medical, Undergraduate in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  36. 22 researchers have Lung in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  37. 22 researchers have Genetic Predisposition to Disease in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  38. 22 researchers have Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  39. 22 researchers have Lung Neoplasms in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  40. 22 researchers have Glioma in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  41. 21 researchers have Drosophila in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  42. 21 researchers have Mass Screening in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  43. 21 researchers have Heart Defects, Congenital in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  44. 21 researchers have Anti-Bacterial Agents in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  45. 21 researchers have Liver in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  46. 21 researchers have Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  47. 21 researchers have Physician-Patient Relations in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  48. 21 researchers have Signal Transduction in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  49. 21 researchers have Primary Health Care in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  50. 21 researchers have Nerve Tissue Proteins in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  51. 21 researchers have Stem Cells in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  52. 21 researchers have Drosophila melanogaster in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  53. 20 researchers have Colorectal Neoplasms in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  54. 20 researchers have Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  55. 20 researchers have Calcium in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  56. 20 researchers have Health Services Accessibility in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  57. 20 researchers have Smoking Cessation in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  58. 20 researchers have Epithelial Cells in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  59. 20 researchers have Wounds and Injuries in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  60. 20 researchers have Drosophila Proteins in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  61. 20 researchers have Models, Molecular in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  62. 19 researchers have Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  63. 19 researchers have MicroRNAs in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  64. 19 researchers have Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Adult in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  65. 19 researchers have Curriculum in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  66. 19 researchers have Aging in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  67. 19 researchers have Embryonic Stem Cells in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  68. 19 researchers have Caenorhabditis elegans in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  69. 19 researchers have Kidney Transplantation in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  70. 18 researchers have Heart Failure in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  71. 18 researchers have Membrane Proteins in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  72. 18 researchers have Asian Americans in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  73. 18 researchers have DNA in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  74. 18 researchers have Tuberculosis in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  75. 18 researchers have Mental Disorders in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  76. 18 researchers have Transcription Factors in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  77. 18 researchers have Coronary Disease in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  78. 18 researchers have Gene Expression Profiling in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  79. 17 researchers have DNA-Binding Proteins in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  80. 17 researchers have CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  81. 17 researchers have Skin Diseases in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  82. 17 researchers have Bacterial Proteins in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  83. 17 researchers have Apoptosis in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  84. 17 researchers have Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  85. 17 researchers have Homeodomain Proteins in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  86. 17 researchers have Hypertension in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  87. 17 researchers have Stress, Psychological in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  88. 17 researchers have T-Lymphocytes in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  89. 17 researchers have Abortion, Induced in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  90. 17 researchers have Schizophrenia in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  91. 17 researchers have Antineoplastic Agents in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  92. 17 researchers have Proteomics in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  93. 17 researchers have Multiple Sclerosis in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  94. 17 researchers have Teaching in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  95. 17 researchers have Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  96. 17 researchers have Hepatitis C in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  97. 17 researchers have Laparoscopy in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  98. 16 researchers have Muscle, Skeletal in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  99. 16 researchers have Amyloid beta-Peptides in their top 5 MeSH keywords
  100. 16 researchers have Ovarian Neoplasms in their top 5 MeSH keywords

Every researcher at UCSF — by department

Co-authorship networks can help us understand internal research collaboration patterns at UCSF. I used data from UCSF Profiles to create a visualization of (almost) every researcher currently at UCSF, and how their intra-UCSF co-authorship networks break out by department.

This visualization by department bears some more investigation than the previous one by school. Department of Medicine researchers are all over, collaborating with a wide variety of external departments. But an initial visual inspection suggests that almost all major departments have co-authorship relationships with members of other departments; some, like neurology, appear to form large standalone clusters, while others, like radiology, are more enmeshed in the work of others. This visualization flattens complex relationships into two dimensions, but it’s a starting point as we work to understand how UCSF collaborates.

View full-size visualization (PDF)

Every Researcher at UCSF, by department

Every researcher at UCSF — by school

Co-authorship networks can help us understand internal research collaboration patterns at UCSF. I used data from UCSF Profiles to create a visualization of (almost) every researcher currently at UCSF, and how their intra-UCSF co-authorship networks break out by school.

Unsurprisingly, the School of Medicine takes up most of the space, and the visualization is probably most interesting in terms of what it might suggest about the smaller schools. Researchers from the Schools of Nursing and Dentistry form their own visible clusters, who often work with each other, but also have co-authorship relationships with researchers at the School of Medicine. But I was surprised by the School of Pharmacy, whose researchers form a main clusters in the bottom right, as well as additional clusters in the middle and top left, due to strong collaborative relationships with School of Medicine researchers.

View full-size visualization (PDF)

Every Researcher at UCSF, by school

UCSF’s top 20 internally collaborative departments

Some UCSF departments consistently reach out out to collaborate with other members of the UCSF community. Here are the top 20 UCSF departments whose researchers have the highest proportion of publications co-authored with members of other UCSF departments from among departments whose researchers had a total of 100+ publications published between January 2012 and November 2013.

Details: Data is drawn from UCSF Profiles, and is based on a list of all publications listed on PubMed published between Jan 2012–Nov 2013 whose authors include groups of researchers with primary affiliations to more than one UCSF department. We counted only publications from researchers with a listed department, and departments with 100+ publications by current associated researchers between Jan 2012–Nov 2013. No attempt was made to account for the widely varying sizes and scopes of different departments, the fact that researchers may have multiple departmental affiliations, or the fact that some publications may have been authored before the researchers were affiliated with their current primary departments at UCSF. These are the top 20 departments, out of a total of 42 that match our criteria.

  1. Epidemiology & Biostatistics: 51.1%
    424 of 829 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments
  2. Proctor Foundation: 50.3%
    82 of 163 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments
  3. Pathology: 49.2%
    234 of 476 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments
  4. Physiological Nursing: 45.5%
    116 of 255 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments
  5. Neurological Surgery: 43.9%
    393 of 896 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments
  6. Orofacial Sciences: 42.7%
    53 of 124 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments
  7. Family Health Care Nursing: 37.0%
    47 of 127 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments
  8. Clinical Pharmacy: 36.9%
    58 of 157 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments
  9. Family & Community Medicine: 36.2%
    54 of 149 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments
  10. Radiology and Biomedical Imaging: 35.0%
    449 of 1284 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments
  11. Psychiatry: 33.5%
    252 of 753 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments
  12. Pharmaceutical Chemistry: 33.3%
    120 of 360 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments
  13. Pediatrics: 32.5%
    321 of 989 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments
  14. Anatomy: 31.8%
    55 of 173 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments
  15. Ob/Gyn & Reproductive Sciences: 30.7%
    185 of 602 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments
  16. Cell & Tissue Biology: 30.5%
    32 of 105 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments
  17. Dermatology: 30.1%
    129 of 429 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments
  18. Medicine: 27.7%
    1257 of 4545 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments
  19. Biochemistry & Biophysics: 26.8%
    75 of 280 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments
  20. Neurology: 26.8%
    400 of 1495 publications co-authored with other UCSF departments