Trade Union Website League Table 2013
However, I also do a lot of consultancy work with unions and I feel search engine optimisation is an overlooked area where unions can win influence by being more visible online.
I've written about my feeling on this before, and this table is an attempt to highlight the importance of search engine optimisation to unions. The league table reflects how important the websites are considered to be by search engines, and it's a good predictor of how well they will rank on services like Google.
I’ve estimated importance using a number of industry standard metrics, including Google page rank and something called Domain Authority. Domain Authority estimates how important a website is by the number and quality of links pointing to it on the internet.
One change I've made is I'm now using the Domain Mozrank as opposed to the home page Mozrank, as this more accurately reflects the whole website rather than the home page.
|No||Union||Page Authority||Domain Authority||Mozrank||Google Page Rank||Average out of 100|
|3 (4)||Chartered Society of Physiotherapy||76||71||5.87||6||66.425|
|6 (7)||Musicians’ Union||72||68||5.75||6||64.375|
|13 (15)||The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain||67||59||5.09||6||59.225|
|17 (11)||Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists||68||62||5.59||4||56.475|
|20 (19)||Society of Radiographers||60||52||5.37||5||53.925|
|35 (31)||BOS TU||52||42||4.94||4||45.85|
Source: moz.com and Google, June 2013
There is no movement at the very top of the table, with UNISON and Unite in first and second place again. However, there has been movement elsewhere.
One of the biggest movers is the GMB, who are now ranked 11th, a big improvement on 18th last year. Similarly the POA has moved up from 48th to 34th. Some unions have slipped down though.
|Union||Positions moved up|
|AEP. BFAWU, Nautilus||3|
|Union||Positions moved down|
|Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists||6|
|NUT, BOS TU||4|
Search engines estimate how important a website is by analysing how many times they are linked to across the web, and where these links come from. For example, if a search engine sees a link to a union from the BBC website, then it will assume that the union website is important as the BBC website is very trusted.
If the search engine finds links to a union from a lesser known blog, then it will still see this as a vote of confidence in the union website, but to a lesser extent.
The value of search engine performance to unions should not be underestimated. By pushing the union’s message higher in search engine results, they are exerting greater influence and getting their message across to a larger audience. The web is the place where most people now go to for information, and so appearing at the top of their search results has never been more important.
Why has the ranking of unions changed over the last year? If a union has received lots of press coverage, published great content or added a really useful online tool during the last year, then we can expect the website to receive many more links, boosting its perceived authority.
Similarly, if the website has been engaging less people, or perhaps allowing links to break without redirecting them, then their ranking will fall.