Ever feel universities have too many online presences?

Digital estate the collections of websites, social media and content on third-party platforms that organizations own or are technically responsible for

Ever feel universities have too many online presences? Us, too. We weren’t sure how many was too many. So, we started counting them.

(First update: 1 April 2021, second update: 8 April 2021, third update: 15 April 2021 and final update: 22 April 2021)

During April 2021 we ran a series of stress tests while launching our Digital eQ* Insights service. We’ve been publishing the results here and on LinkedIn.

We wanted our content discovery algorithm to identify the five universities with the largest collections of websites, social media and content on third-party platforms: their digital estates.

We scooped a sample of universities by selecting top-ranked institutions from the Times Higher Education and QS rankings.

We put the shortlisted higher education institutions into our Digital Estate Discovery software and set it in motion. We constrained the discovery algorithm to run for a maximum of 48 hours of compute time. We also set a university website count limit of 3,750. The discovery exercise was stopped at whichever threshold was reached first.

Our estimates for the website totals are just that: estimates. A full scale exercise would need to run for longer than 48 hours processing time. 

Here are the five largest higher education digital estates — as measured by their estimated total number of websites:

Table of 5 largest university digital estates and their estimated number of websites

Do you know who many websites, social media accounts and content on third-party platforms your institution owns or maintains?