OSC Portalization meeting October 10, 2006 by bigmekahlo


									Search, findability and

                 OSC Portalization meeting
                         October 10, 2006
What is “findability”?

 Findability refers to the quality of being locatable or

 Wow, that’s a mouthful. How about going with the
  practical definition of "making information easier to

The Web presents unique findability
 Findability is not limited to the World Wide Web.

 The concept of findability is universal and timeless.

 With a distributed, heterogeneous collection of
  several billion items, the Web does present unique
  and important findability challenges.

Findability = Information Architecture

 Findability is not a synonym for information
  architecture (IA).
 Information architecture is a discipline concerned with
  the structural and semantic design of shared
  information spaces.
 Findability is a goal of IA, along with usability,
  desirability, credibility, and accessibility.
 Many people contribute to the findability of websites
  and intranets, including writers, designers, and

The importance of findability

 Findability is slowly becoming central to Web design
  and user experience on the Web.

 Peter Morville, who wrote the book Information
  Architecture for The Web and someone I like to call
  "Mr. Findability" says in his article "The Age of
  Findability" that:

      "findability will eventually be recognized as a central and defining
         challenge in the development of web sites, intranets, knowledge
         management systems and online communities."

Findability for a better experience

 A big part of providing a good user experience is taking
  the time to empathize with your user. One thing about
  findability is it's probably something we've all wished for in
  the past. My guess is that there isn't one person here who
  hasn't had a Google search gone wrong.
 It's important for anyone designing or publishing on the
  Web to take the time to make findability a priority. One of
  the best ways is to take the time to learn what people are
  actually looking for on your sites and then doing
  something with that information.

Focus on deep content

It is important to focus your energy when it comes to findability on
    every page of your site.

This means
 Writing clear metadata (keywords, titles, etc.)
 Making extensive use of interlinking between your pages
 Treating your home page as an information hub or index

While people might not start there, they will certainly head there if
  they're not finding what they want.

Tip: Make web pages for users, not for
search engines

 Create a useful, information-rich content site. Write
  pages that clearly and accurately describe your
 Don't load pages with irrelevant words.
 Think about the words users would type to find your
  pages, and make sure that your site includes those
  words within it.

Tip: Focus on text

 Focus on the text on your site.
 Make sure that your TITLE and ALT tags are
  descriptive and accurate.
 Since the Google crawler doesn't recognize text
  contained in images, avoid using graphical text and
  instead place information within the alt and anchor
  text of pictures.
 When linking to non-HTML documents, use strong
  descriptions within the anchor text that describe the
  links your site is making.

Tip: Make your site easy to navigate

 Make a site with a clear hierarchy of hypertext links.
 Every page should be reachable from at least one
  hypertext link.
 Offer a site map to your users with hypertext links that
  point to the important parts of your site.
 Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable
  number (fewer than 100).

Tip: Ensure that your site is linked

 Ensure that your site is linked from all relevant sites
  within your network.
 Interlinking between sites and within sites gives the
  Google crawler additional ability to find content, as
  well as improving the quality of the search.

Tip: Understand CMA and metadata

CMA (Mass.Gov’s content management application)
 provides you with the ability to add the following
 metadata (“data about data”) elements that will
 improve your search rankings:
      Title
      Description
      Keywords
      Language
      Government type
      Robots


            Paula Collins

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