Web Statistics and the Final Four
Today, a lot of people around the United States are asking “Who is Virginia Commonwealth University?” and “Where is Virginia Commonwealth University?”. They’re turning to the Internet to find out more about this underdog basketball team and the university they represent.
Even before coach Shaka Smart and the men’s basketball team clinched their victory against Kansas on Sunday, March 27, searches for “virginia commonwealth university” and “vcu” topped [Google’s Hot Searches of the day](http://www.google.com/trends/hottrends?sa=X&date=2011-3-27). As sportscasters will be scrambling to compile information about VCU’s basketball players, potential students (and employees) are scouring the web to find out more about our university.
What does it mean to top Google’s Hot Searches of the Day? VCU received roughly 1.2 million impressions on Sunday, March 27, which translated to around 75,000 visitors.
As shown in the chart below, visits to the VCU website on Sunday (March 27) were more than double the monthly average.
Comparing the previous three Sundays by hour, traffic spikes occurred during both the Purdue and Kansas games. Note the difference in the total number of visitors and the average number per hour between a normal sunday, the Sunday VCU played Purdue, and the Sunday VCU played Kansas.
At the peak of the game on Sunday, March 27, the VCU search engine was receiving an average of nearly 60 searches per minute. The most common search queries show that visitors were interested in knowing more about the men’s basketball team and the basketball coach (unsurprisingly), but a surprising number also wanted to know more about the number of students at VCU, campus tour information, and the general university demographics. Many supporters searched for the bookstore where they could purchase t-shirts and other apparel; they also searched for final four tickets, and even for the fight song. Many people also searched for the Ram Cams, presumably to watch the revelry in action around campus.
Here’s a breakdown of the most popular search queries. (The number after each query represents the total number of users who searched for that particular query.)
bookstore 685, store 93, barnes and noble 91, book store 85, vcu bookstore 60, Bookstore 48, apparel 40, shop 36, t shirts 34, mascot 27, football 24, shirts 23, vcu store 23, fight song 19
tuition 275, enrollment 184, library 111, number of students 69, student population 50, student enrollment 37, Enrollment 36, Tuition 34, financial aid 33, how many students 28, history 26, cost 24
**The basketball team**
basketball 247, athletics 191, shaka smart 64, basketball coach 53, sports 48, men’s basketball 45, mens basketball 44, Basketball 35, joey rodriguez 24, final four 23, conference 23, basketball team 22, Athletics 22, final four tickets 22
**Watching from afar**
ram cam 88, ramcam 88, webcam 28