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published: March 2004
analytic scripts updated:  October 28, 2010

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0  License



Learning From Links: Content And Link Network Analysis
Fabio Gouveia, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), Brazil
Eleonora Kurtenbach, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janiewro, Brazil

Mini-Workshop: Learning from Links

One of today’s most widely used search engines, Google, is primarily based on the PageRank methodology described by Brin and Page (1998). As part of this methodology of indexing pages, there are some features that could be of great help for those looking to evaluate the impact of a Web site over the Internet. The network of links pointing to a particular URL (link network) can be obtained with a simple search query. In this paper, we present a methodology of analysis of link networks and the content of Web sites.

First of all, we must consider the approach of evaluating a Web site based on the results of a search engine. It must be clear that we must not compare an absolute value of the number of links the Web site has. A more qualitative analysis reveals the network relationship the Web site has developed by means of its strategies of communication, and of the information quality it offers.

Using one of the features included in Google, the list of links to Web sites can be retrieved and analysed. Structural pages and links from the same institution should be discarded from the list and the remaining links separated and analysed. With this valuable data ready, a qualitative examination can be conducted in order to understand the relationship of the Web site to its virtual community. A general evaluation of the kind of information the Web site offers must also be conducted in order to compare it to the kind of links the Web site presents. The content and the link network of the Web site can then be analysed together.The content represents the main objectives of the Web site, while the link network shows the network’s contribution to and use of the museum Web.