Consistently Delivering High-Value ContentConsistently Delivering High-Value Content
We're all painfully aware that making high-quality, relevant content easy to find on your site can be a challenge. Ultimately, consistently delivering high-value content takes a mix of high- and low-tech approaches.
August 7, 2008
We're all painfully aware that making high-quality, relevant content easy to find on your site can be a challenge. Ultimately, consistently delivering high-value content takes a mix of high- and low-tech approaches.The high-tech part is making sure that the enterprise search tools you provide are configured correctly and that the underlying content is being tagged and indexed properly. The low-tech part? Archiving or even deleting low-value, low-quality, and out-of-date content.
Gerry McGovern does a nice job of covering this topic in his New Thinking column this week titled "Low value content is destroying your Web site." His main point boils down to the following: "Poor quality, low grade, minor-interest content is choking the usefulness of the search engine....One reason intranets have become such dumping grounds is because a great many organizations have no clear strategy in relation to how they manage their content/data. Because there is no other place to put 'stuff', many people simply store it on the intranet, which of course bulges and bulges and bulges." McGovern goes on to quote a few interesting statistics from Andrew Leung, a computer science researcher at the University of California: • More than 90% of the files (in typical content management systems) were never accessed. • Of those files accessed, 65% were only opened once. • Most of the rest were opened five or fewer times. • About a dozen files were opened 100,000 times or more. Here are a few of my thoughts on the issue: First, make sure you understand what people are looking for, And what they are looking at. You can do this by looking at the search logs for your site as well as analyzing what pages and content are accessed most often. There are literally dozens of third-party tools that can help with this and chances are your content management system has some basic analysis features built in. Second, work with content teams to take every opportunity to clear out old and and irrelevant content. You probably don't need the the 2003 corporate time off calendar on your site anymore, and you definitely don't want it coming up when people search for "time off calendar." Third, make sure that the content teams are properly tagging relevant content, and making popular content easy to find. Enterprise search walks a fine line between finding too much and finding too little. But understanding what people are looking for and clearing out the junk that they're not makes this process a lot easier.
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