A new trend in search engines is ranking by reputation, or importance -- Instead of the random list of thousands of links produced by older search engines, some new search engines rank sites by the number of important pages that have links to them, thus providing a form of "automated peer review."
A leading example of these "reputation based" search engines is Google. We've been checking the ranking of Hardin MD pages in Google searches over the last 3 months, and have found that they consistently rank high, in several cases being in the top 10, in a list of several thousand links -- A Google search for the word "orthopedics," for example, retrieves a list of 26,000 sites, with the Hardin MD Orthopedics page consistently being one of the top 5 sites on the list. Other Hardin MD pages also rank high -- The following pages have consistently been in the top 10 sites (out of several thousand) in Google searches -- geriatrics, hematology, pediatrics, audiology, and pharmacy. We've been tracking 19 Hardin MD pages over the last 3 months, and have found that their median ranking is consistently in the top 15 sites in Google searches.
The job of the Hardin MD is to "provide access to the best directory sites in health and medicine," so it's not surprising that many of the sites on our pages are also rank high in Google searches. None of the multi-subject directory sites that we list, however, ranks higher than we do. Yahoo, in particular, has a median ranking of about number 50.
Other search engines that use reputation-based ranking also have Hardin MD high on their search lists -- Northern Light seems to rank sites according to reputation, though not as consistently as Google; on one occasion it ranked the Hardin MD Pharmacy page as high as number 13, out of 600,000 sites. Another search engine, SearchEdu.com, searches for sites in the education (.edu) domain, and ranks them by reputation -- Within its more restricted universe of educational sites, Hardin MD ranks even higher than in Google, usually in the top 5 sites on the list.
Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, University of Iowa
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Last updated Thursday, Dec 02, 2010