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More value for non-US universities?

     
3:15 pm on May 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I maintain a site which ranked #2 for a certain keyword for ages now. It only got surpassed by a rather crude site which has an edu-backlink (some may recall my thread on this).

During the beginning of the recent update, the site continued to rank fine. I was offline for a new days now, and I just found that it now dropped #10 for the same query (note: for other - related - queries it still ranks in the top-3).

Bourbon - you might say - but what strikes me as odd is that with one single exeception ALL results which are in front of it right now come from German universities or museums! In Germany, the edu-domain is not used. Instead URL's along the line of *.uni-#*$!.de are used. The exeception was previosuly not on page one and is now in spot #9.

It leads me to think that Google might have selected German universities to be more "authoritive"?

4:41 pm on May 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Brilliant deduction from one small example.

Sorry, couldn't resist the sarcasm. Carry on...

8:30 pm on May 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for this helpful comment. Many of the pages now in front of mine were last updated in 2003 or older - almost all of them were not on my radar before (which means they were lower than SERP page #5), and the few which were were usually on pages 3 and 4.

It IS odd that they are all but one universities.

I digged a bit deeper. My usual query "widget" is a class-name for hardware devices. Up until recently, my sites and competitors sites were top results - all of us offering these widgets for sale. Now all of a sudden those universities are top positioned, all of them USING these widgets which they bough from us or our competition.

Now if I type in "buy widgets" (or in German "widgets kaufen") - the results are almost like they were before: my site in top positions and our competition following in the lower ranks on page 1.

My logfile stats show that people who come to our page usually do the same query like me - "widgets". It will be interesting to see if they shift to "buy widgets" soon.