• Can the Web give useful information about commercial uses of scientific research?

      Thelwall, Mike (Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2004)
      Invocations of pure and applied science journals in the Web were analysed, focussing on commercial sites, in order to assess whether the Web can yield useful information about university-industry knowledge transfer. On a macro level, evidence was found that applied research was more highly invoked on the non-academic Web than pure research, but only in one of the two fields studied. On a micro level, instances of clear evidence of the transfer of academic knowledge to a commercial setting were sparse. Science research on the Web seems to be invoked mainly for marketing purposes, although high technology companies can invoke published academic research as an organic part of a strategy to prove product effectiveness. It is conjectured that invoking academic research in business Web pages is rarely of clear commercial benefit to a company and that, except in unusual circumstances, benefits from research will be kept hidden to avoid giving intelligence to competitors.
    • Commercial Web site links.

      Thelwall, Mike (MCB UP Ltd, 2001)
      Every hyperlink pointing at a Web site is a potential source of new visitors, especially one near the top of a results page from a popular search engine. The order of the links in a search results page is often decided upon by an algorithm that takes into account the number and quality of links to all matching pages. The number of standard links targeted at a site is therefore doubly important, yet little research has touched on the actual interlinkage between business Web sites, which numerically dominate the Web. Discusses business use of the Web and related search engine design issues as well as research on general and academic links before reporting on a survey of the links published by a relatively random collection of business Web sites. The results indicate that around 66 percent of Web sites do carry external links, most of which are targeted at a specific purpose, but that about 17 percent publish general links, with implications for those designing and marketing Web sites.
    • Commercial Web sites: lost in cyberspace?

      Thelwall, Mike (MCB UP Ltd, 2000)
      How easy are business Web sites for potential customers to find? This paper reports on a survey of 60,087 Web sites from 42 of the major general and commercial domains around the world to extract statistics about their design and rate of search engine registration. Search engines are used by the majority of Web surfers to find information on the Web. However, 23 per cent of business Web sites in the survey were not registered at all in the five major search engines tested and 82 per cent were not registered in at least one, missing a sizeable potential audience. There are some simple steps that should also be taken to help a Web site to be indexed properly in search engines, primarily the use of HTML META tags for indexing, but only about a third of the site home pages in the survey used them. Wide national variations were found for both indexing and META tag inclusion.