What Google Thinks of the OU…

More and more search boxes now try to help the user out by making search completion recommendations if you pause awhile when typing query terms into a search box.

So here’s how you get helped out on Youtube:

And here’s what Google suggest is offering on a default (not signed in) Google personal page:

Here’s Yahoo:

Google Insights for Search also provides some food for thought from a free tool you can run against any search terms that get searched on enough. So here for example is the worldwide report for searches on open university over the last 90 days:

Tunneling down to look at searches for open university from the UK, I notice quite a lot were actually looking for information about university open days… Hmmm… do we have a permanent “open day” like web page up onsite anywhere, I wonder?

Let’s see – after all, the OU search engine never fails…

… to provide amusement…

Google comes up with:

Would it make sense, I wonder, to try to capitalise on the name of the university and pull traffic in to a landing page specifically designed to siphon off Google search traffic from students looking for open days at other universities? ;-)

“The Open University: where every day is a university open day. From Newcastle to Bristol, London to Leeds, Oxford to Cambridge, Birmingham to Edinburgh, Cardiff to Nottingham, why not pop in to your local regional Open University center to see what Open University courses might be right for you?”, or somesuch?! Heh heh… :-)

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

3 thoughts on “What Google Thinks of the OU…”

  1. I think that’s a great idea. I know marketing have been looking at targeted advertising on Google.

    The results from searching the OU website are frighteningly irrelevant!

  2. The Itunes Open University ( http://www.open.ac.uk/itunes/ ) is a great effort which brings significant awareness simply through its high quality and popularity.
    Friends of mine with zero knowledge of open education and access as a whole have stumbled upon it and been instantly converted to the cause.
    When this is combined with other awareness programs (I was then able to direct him to some of the other great open access resources that are covered by this blog) it can be particularly potent.

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