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Search

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  1. Search • Search Engines • Search Engine Optimization • Search Interfaces • The openness of the Web changes everything • Access • Technological progress • Expectation

  2. Designing search for USERS • Web Searching Metaphors • Are we there yet? • Is everything the same design? • How do people visualize the Web? • Is Browsing better? • Do we need new metaphors for using the Web? • Searching • Browsing • What else?

  3. How is IA for search different? • Links are the difference that makes the difference • Internal links on a page • Internal links on a site • Relationships between sites • Link freshness • Popularity is very different for types of users • Kleinberg’s HITS method (1998) • Hypertext Induced Topic Search • Number of pages that point to (processed) query • Authorities (relevant content by links) • Hubs (links to varied authorities)

  4. Problems with PageRank for SEO • Are more links always better? • What about pages without many outgoing links? • How do you count multiple links from within one page to another? • Do automatically generated sites/pages have an advantage? • CMS systems may have linking “fingerprints” • Metadata • How varied are the link weights? • Simple counts • Modified by other IR measures

  5. Popularity? • Do you always want the most popular information source? • Talk Radio • New York Times Bestseller List • “Lincoln’s Doctors Dog” • “The C.S.I. Diet and Cookbook” • Trend or Fad? • Blogs, Editorials and Propaganda vs. “Facts”? • Result Diversity • Death of the Mid-List

  6. Search Engine Optimization • Found by spiders and submissions • More links to and from site • Registration on major directories • Links to and from major directories • Real Contact information Helps prove validity • META tag • Header and footer of home page • About Us or Contact Us pages • Location/Map page

  7. Good Design is SEO • Basic interface • Well-structured links • Comprehensive Site Navigation • Updated and accurate links • Easy to find (via the Web or on the site itself) • Clear labels • TITLEs • Headings • Term consistency • Link consistency • Small sizes to download quickly

  8. Let’s look at some good pages • How well designed are these pages for SEO? • UT • iSchool Main page • My home page • Who else? • Why do blogs have good SEO rankings? • www.boingboing.net • Engadget.com • How do they use CSS, Metatags & XHTML?

  9. Web Search Tests • Perform searches with targeted keywords • Compare and contrast top results with your potential site • Similar terms • Links (external and internal) • Popularity (sites that link to the site) • Use Data to • Build a keyword list • Build an introductory text • Blurbs • Description (2 sentences max) • Any page found via a Web search engine should have search for the site itself • Regularly monitor Search with your terms

  10. Internal Search • Robots.txt • Log and analyze search results • Measure success and failure • Tune for click-through productivity • Keep list of terms • Match terms to pages • Add terms • Script terms to certain pages • Provide list (links) of most recent search terms • Provide list (links) of most popular search terms

  11. Page Design • Use CSS • <style type=“text/css”> • Keep content in pages, not CSS templates • Put JavaScript, etc. in external files • <script language=“JavaScript” src=“scripts/myscript.js” type=“text/javascript”> </script> • <noscript> tag too for alternate content • Continually verify external links • ALT tags & Accessibility Compliance • Index link on Splash page (if needed) • Exact consistency on internal links (ending “/”s) • <noframes> • Redirects <META HTTP-EQUIV=“refresh” content=“0”; URL=http://www.newsite.com/index.html>

  12. Search and MIME types • Flash now supports internal text • PDF files • Add comments and authorship info • Modify existing PDFs • Check Document PropertiesFonts with fonts shows that PDF can be indexed (not a group a graphics files) • Provide text abstract or summary of PDF • PPT, use text if possible • Java interfaces prove difficult • Dynamic pages should have key(word) static elements • FORMs not always completely indexed

  13. Track your Tracking • Keep list of sites submitted to • When, Who, Email address, exact URL submitted • Suggested categories, Current site description • Terms and Conditions • Keep list of “goal” keywords • Keep list of sites you check keywords • Keywords • Dates • Successes/Failures

  14. How can we re-design for SEO? • Good, consistent metatags • Mostly Dublin Core • Alternative search words & phrases • Good page naming conventions • External information in CSS, Javascript (& PHP) • Labels for links • Navigation • Anchor / link text on pages

  15. Analytics & SEO • Analytics (on Web server access logs) give us another type of insight into use • Learn about how the Web site is actually used • Learn about how ads get people to your Web site • And what they do once they’re there • Or what they’re missing once they’re there • Searching for your site, then searching within your site? • SEO - SEM - SEC?

  16. Search Analytics • for making site search better • Search is another way to get around a site • Just like the WWW, give non-sequential access to anyone (with the right keyword) • You can control what people find when they search on your site • Understanding users • Featuring content • Best bet - “what you really meant to search for was…” • Map specific terms to certain pages • “admissions” to www.ischool.utexas.edu/admissions/ • Look at REFERs to see how people got to your site • Do you have good query support for those same referring keywords?

  17. SA for your site, cont. • Change is good • As the site evolves • Topics are added • Seasons change • User sophistication with the content (understanding)

  18. Querying your Queries • What are the most common queries? • What do they have in common with other popular ones? • Number of query terms? • Matches to referring queries? • What’s the avg number of results for queries? • Common queries • Rare queries • Complex queries? • What’s the clickthrough rate on queries? (clickthrough = users clicked on a result) • Popular queries always = higher clickthrough?

  19. How can you help SA? • Better search engine • Better searc box (features) • Searching help • Modifying search results intefaces • Provide FAQs, indexes (A-Z), site maps • Often in the context of a search page • As part of the results page • Keep up with the latest ideas: • http://www.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/searchanalytics/

  20. From SA to Ads • Google does both, of course • How do you think they’re related? • AdSense • Contextual links on Web pages • AdWords • Sponsored links on Google.com • Both charge or pay when clicked • Google is experimenting with cost-per-action • (you don’t pay if they don’t buy)

  21. Using Adsense • Know your content • Is it something that there will be ads for? • How would your audience take ads? • Sign up • Configure your setup • Ads or links • Layout (designs) • Alternate ads? • Set up tracking with channels • Add in the adsense code • Evaluate & test appearance • Check results & monitor performance • Google has lots of help available

  22. Site advertising

  23. Issues with SEO & SEM • How do you see this changing over time? • More routine? • Advances in targeting users? • Site tuning for SEO • For ads • For better use on the site • How does privacy fit in? • What about ethics of advertising?