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Keywords:

  • webometrics;
  • URL;
  • ranking

The aggregation of web performance data (page count and visibility) of internal university units could constitute a more precise indicator than the overall web performance of the universities and, therefore, be of use in the design of university web rankings. In order to test this hypothesis, a longitudinal analysis of the internal units of the Spanish university system was conducted over the course of 2010. For the 13,800 URLs identified, page count and visibility were calculated using the Yahoo! API. The internal values obtained were aggregated by university and compared with the values obtained from the analysis of the universities' general URLs. The results indicate that, although the correlations between general and internal values are high, internal performance is low in comparison to general performance, and that they give rise to different performance rankings. The conclusion is that the aggregation of unit performance is of limited use due to the low levels of internal development of the websites, and so its use is not recommended for the design of rankings. Despite this, the internal analysis enabled the detection of, among other things, a low correlation between page count and visibility due to the widespread use of subdirectories and problems accessing certain content.