Organisation - September 29, 2011

‘New website name will cost us students'

Next year the url www.wur.nl will be exchanged for www.wageningenur.nl. It will take months before Google rates the organization as highly as it does now, warns ICT specialist Wouter Gerritsma, who works at the library.


'Currently we are graded 7 by Google, which means we score relatively highly in searches. The new url will have to start from scratch and it will take months before we are back at a seven. Google places a lot of value on websites that mention you. We have 25,000 of those external links, and we shall have to write to them all. It will take months before it has all been changed. When wau.nl was changed into wur.nl, we had a dip in visitor numbers for months, too.'
Easier to find
It is very important to be easy to find, says Gerritsma. ‘Internationally, when people choose a course of studies, the website is the most important factor, after the opinions of friends and family. Soon you won't find us any more if you Google Wageningen and Biology. That will cost us some international students.'
Yno Papen, project leader for the new website, recognizes the Google problem. ‘The websites will be less easy to find for a little while, but that is temporary. We will make a redirect table so that old urls end up in the new url. The idea is precisely that we as Wageningen should be easier to find with this new url and domain structure.'
According to Papen, the new url is also needed because the current one is not in tune with the name of the organization. ´There is a trend for urls to become more and more communicative. The domain has to be be the name of the place where you end up: wageningenur.nl.'

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