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Using PageRank to evaluate a school's reputation?
martingale

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 12:39 am on Mar 16, 2007 (gmt 0)


I am in the process of searching for a business school to take a masters program. I was looking around at various rankings, trying to work out where to go. Randomly, I wondered whether I should check the PageRank of the schools I'm interested in. Most of them are 9's, a couple are 8's.

I'm thinking I should not go to a school with a PR of only 8... I should stick with the PR9's...

Is that crazy? Or is PR a good indication of brand/quality? How about Alexa rank?

 

walkman



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 12:19 am on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

and if the PR drops, will you transfer to the one with higher PR for that semester? This should be either a joke, or exhibit A of Posting Under Influence.

Essay Question: "What else would you like our admissions officer to know about you?"

Brief but concise answer: "In deciding whether to apply here or not, your web site's Page Rank played the deciding role...because I think on that level"

We have a winner here. Call him up and rush the acceptance package via FedEx same day delivery.

martingale

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 12:47 am on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

"at that level" referred to pagerank. I think it's pretty hard to SEO your way to a PR9, I think at that level of PageRank it is a good indication of reputation. Unlike PR4 or PR5 which anybody can get by link spamming for awhile.

Miamacs

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 1:12 am on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

God I was WIPING AWAY TEARS I laughed so hard, thank you all, this is the best thread on webmasterworld since I joined.

Why not choose a school based on the percentage of supplemental results of their sites? If you're after branding that has a whole lot more to do with it than pagerank.

Phil_S

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 1:17 am on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Why not choose a school based on the percentage of supplemental results"
------

LOL

I have to pee!

[edited by: Phil_S at 1:21 am (utc) on Mar. 17, 2007]

trinorthlighting

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 1:24 am on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

To funny

SincerelySandy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 1:28 am on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm at a loss, I can't decide if this is the funniest thread currently running here, or mabye it's farmboy's comment in this thread [webmasterworld.com] .
Since I can't decide I will wait a few weeks and see which page has the higher rank.

Staffa

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 7:57 am on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

exhibit A of Posting Under Influence

or exhibit B a specimen of the G brainwashed generation

nonni

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 3:11 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wait a minute! Are we talking about page rank for the school's overall homepage, or the college of business homepage for each school? There is a big difference!

And the fact is that big state schools naturally get more inbounds because they have larger populations of students and former students - we need an index that goes beyond page rank, one that measures page rank achievement as a function of the size of the school.

I smell a thesis in this! Get started now - it will free up time when you get into the program.

walkman



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 5:10 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

>> or exhibit B a specimen of the G brainwashed generation

So so you correcting me now? What's your school's PR smart@ss? Let's see how smart you really are.

;)

martingale

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 5:34 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Nonni, good point. I wondered that too.

I suppose I should be using PR of the internal business school page, but the trouble is those can be re-organized from time to time, whereas the school's main landing page will always be at the same URL. I worry that PR is less useful for comparing reputations on pages whose URLs can change.

The size of school issue is interesting, but, isn't it also true that the bigger schools are better known precisely for this reason? If I want to go to a well known school, the number of graduates out there touting it might be the reason that it is so well known?

At the end of the day most of the good schools are PR9 or in one case PR10. Using PR isn't a fine distinction between schools but rather a big blocky method of eliminating a set from consideration (the PR8's). I am pretty comfortable eliminating the PR8's from consideration. That still leaves a long list of schools to choose between along more conventional lines.

Using the Alexa ranking is more problematic for the school size reason--a big school has more current students and therefore more visitors from its own ranks, really the Alexa traffic number should be divided by the size of the school or something. I'm less sure that the Alexa rank is useful.

Phil_S

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 6:19 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

stop it

jomaxx

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 6:22 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Alexa rankings yet. Priceless. Maybe you should eliminate any school whose website fails W3C validation. Anyway, based on your continued insistence that this is somehow a good idea and your refusing to deal with the outright ridicule being heaped on you, it's apparent that you're simply a troll. Maybe you're trying to get the thread slashdotted or something.

In fact, based on your superhuman commitment to staying in character no matter what, I'm guessing you're Stephen Colbert. Am I right?

Miamacs

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 6:27 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you let me, I'm gonna break the TOS here, for major educational reasons. People will come by and think we're serious.

Since you're already entrusting your decision on the brand to Google...
Do this for me.

ENTER BUSINESS SCHOOL INTO THE D@MN SEARCH BOX!

...

Uh-oh, then comes the brainstorming:
Let's see... Harvard, we skip London... Michigan, Stanford. Hmm interesting... PR 8... 7... 8?!? There's Business Week's recommendations / articles on Business schools which is PR 7, but it's irrelevant to the quest so let's SKIP that... next on Columbia with PR 7... but WAIT! There's a REDIRECT TO A PR 8 page! What now?!?

[edited by: Miamacs at 6:32 pm (utc) on Mar. 17, 2007]

rocker

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 7:59 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm lost... I know I should have paid more attention in school :)

Phil_S, You should have chosen a school whose website had higher Page Rank :)

Phil_S

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 9:43 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ya, instead I went to one of those supplemental schools.

Next time I'll be sure it's a PR11 School so I get a better edumucation.

Staffa

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 9:51 pm on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Walkman >> What's your school's PR smart@ss?

My school closed long before the advent of the internet.
They ran out of qualified applicants ;o)

martingale

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 7:32 pm on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

WOW!

Someone beat me to this idea. If you search for "G-Factor school rankings" you will find several pages using Google to rank schools. The top twenty by G-Factor are:

1 Massachusetts Inst Tech (MIT)
2 Harvard Univ
3 Univ California - Berkeley
4 Stanford Univ
5 Princeton Univ
6 Univ Pennsylvania
7 Univ Washington - Seattle
8 Univ Illinois - Urbana Champaign
9 Carnegie Mellon Univ
10 Rutgers State Univ - New Brunswick
11 Univ Cambridge
12 Univ Michigan - Ann Arbor
13 Univ Wisconsin - Madison
14 Cornell Univ
15 Univ Arizona
16 California Inst Tech
17 Swiss Fed Inst Tech - Zurich
18 Univ California - Los Angeles
19 Univ Minnesota - Twin Cities
20 Univ Oxford

There's a second effort, "webometrics", that ranks Universities based on the amount of "rich content" on their websites (interpreted as the output of academic work). It appears to be an automatic process given that it ranks 3000 schools worldwide. The top twenty via webometrics are:

1 MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
2 STANFORD UNIVERSITY
3 HARVARD UNIVERSITY
4 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY
5 PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
6 UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
7 CORNELL UNIVERSITY
7 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS URBANA CHAMPAIGN
9 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MADISON
9 UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AUSTIN
11 UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
12 CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY
12 UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
14 COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY NEW YORK
15 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
16 UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
17 TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
18 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES
19 UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
20 UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

walkman



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 7:56 pm on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>Someone beat me to this idea.

don't lose hope, something tells me you'll come up with plenty more, like how to convince your employer that a degree from Rutgers is better than one from Cambridge.

As for rich content: that means nothing. Well, almost nothing; published work and citations are key for Academia. See this article: [osu.edu...] and this study [politicalstudies.org...]

jomaxx

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 8:22 pm on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Cross-reference these to Playboy's list of "Top 10 Party Business Schools" and I think you've got a pretty solid selection process.

SullySEO

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 8:43 pm on Mar 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

In fact, based on your superhuman commitment to staying in character no matter what, I'm guessing you're Stephen Colbert. Am I right?

LMAO

Note to Google: See what you've done with your silly PR? Thanks so much for your contributions to the dumbing-down of the general public.

Phil_S

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 12:50 am on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm waiting to see if this makes it to

"WebmasterWorld Highlighted Posts"

on the home page

martingale

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 12:15 pm on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

jomaxx -- let's see, Playboy's top ten party schools:

1. University of Texas at Austin
2. Penn State University
3. West Virginia University
4. University of Wisconsin-Madison
5. University of Mississippi
6. Ohio University
7. University of Massachusetts-Amherst
8. Louisiana State University
9. University of Iowa
10. University of California, Santa Barbara

So Wisconsin-Madison made both the G-Factor list (as #13) and the Playboy list (as #4) but none of the other top ten Playboy schools appear in the G-Factor top 20. On the other hand, of USNews top ten b-school, seven (Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Berkeley, Dartmouth, and UCLA) made both lists while only three (Chicago, Columbia, and Dartmouth) fail to appear on the G-Factor top 20, though the ordering is different.

I'd conclude G-Factor is pretty good. I'd conclude that Dartmouth, Columbia, and Chicago have a branding problem and should be avoided by b-school students who can get into the other schools and who are concerned that their MBA be from a widely recognized school.

I'd also conclude that Princeton, U Washington, U Illinois, and Rutgers, which made the top-ten G-Factor list but not the USNews list, punch above their weight in terms of brand recognition despite being not as widely respected among "in the know" types who compile ranking lists.

Green_Grass

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 12:37 pm on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks Martingale for all the effort you are putting in, to keep this thread alive.

This is indeed an excellent post for all the webmasters unhappy about recent EPC falls. It is important to inject some humour in our daily lives. And you just made my day today.

:-)

calumniate

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 3:00 pm on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

omg.. i wonder how many universities actively try to recruit students based on seo? hey i search 'university' in google and i get the university of toronto (PR 9!), followed by other canadian u's. I guess you better head north for the great friendly education eh?!

tamar

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 5:16 pm on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Here's the real question: you might be considering business school at the present, and you might be eliminating sites based on criteria which in my opinion is ridiculous, but are your future employers really going to care what school you attended based on its brand name or reputation? Isn't your desire for schooling to hopefully get a career?

Just a note: I personally attended a "PR9 school" and I don't flaunt it, nor do I even talk about it anymore. Further, I didn't graduate that long ago!

The fact that you're considering the possibility of eliminating schools based on a low PR is silly. You don't want a school solely based on reputation. You want it based on it fulfilling the needs of your particular goals as a student.

At the end of the day, future employers hardly care about your education beyond perhaps your first 2-3 employers. But among those who care, you grades will also be a factor. It's better to get a 4.0 GPA at a "PR8 or lower" school than a lower GPA at a "PR9" school.

Considering my own history, would I have been happier if I chose a different school? Probably. Reputation is not the only thing that you need to acknowledge, and I certainly would never eliminate a school simply because it was lesser-known.

What are you ultimately trying to achieve? Do you have the goal to wow your employer with a "brand name" school? Really, they don't care!

walkman



 
Msg#: 3283298 posted 5:18 pm on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

tamar,
totally agree. Once you get the job, forget about the school you went to. But, it helps you to get it.

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