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Last modified: Thursday, January 29, 2009

IU gateway page ranked among most visited web sites worldwide, according to a new survey

Jan. 29, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University has always strived to design its Web sites as invaluable communications tools for everyone wanting to know more about the Big Ten institution. A new ranking affirms how IU is seen by users of the Internet worldwide.

An international higher education search engine and directory of more than 8,750 universities and colleges in 200 countries -- -- announced Monday (Jan. 26) that IU ranks 12th worldwide and fourth among its Big Ten peers. Other Indiana schools in the rankings were Purdue University at sixth and the University of Notre Dame, at 198th.

The Australian firm bases its rankings on an algorithm of three independent Web metrics and indicators -- page rank, traffic rank and total link popularity -- as extracted from three popular search engines, Google, Alexa and Yahoo! In explaining the value of its rankings, the firm noted that international students look online to "understand how popular a specific university (or) college is in a foreign country."

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was ranked first, followed by Harvard University and the universities California at Berkeley, Michigan and Illinois, rounding out the top five. International universities ranked just ahead of IU were the University of Cambridge, China's Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the University of Oxford.

"It is notable that five great public institutions from the Midwest in the United States are among the top of this list," said Bradley C. Wheeler, IU vice president for information technology. "It speaks to the value of resources and strengths at IU and its peers."

IU's Web presence has grown exponentially over the last decade. Last year, for example, IU's gateway page -- -- alone had 21.3 million visitors. The Bloomington campus' home page -- -- had 33.4 million visitors and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis' site -- -- had 14 million. Back in 2000, the three sites had 17.7 million visitors combined.

"We continually strive to create a pleasant user experience for all of Indiana University's Web sites," said Mike Sample, IU vice president for public affairs and government relations. "We recognize that Web sites have become the preferred method for people looking to connect with and find information about institutions of higher learning. Therefore, it is important that we stay on the leading edge of technology and Web site architecture so that we can meet the expectations of today's Web user."