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Taxonomy and seo sla 05-06-10(jc)



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  • 1. SLA Cincinnati Taxonomy, Metadata & Search Optimization
    May 6th, 2010
    Seth Earley
    Jeff Carr
    Senior Consultant
  • 2. Today’s Agenda
    Taxonomy and Enterprise Architecture
    Introduction & Overview of Taxonomy & SEO
    Importance of Aligning Different Perspectives
    Q&A Session
  • 3. Seth Earley, Founder & President, Earley & Associates
    • Co-author of Practical Knowledge Management from IBM Press
    • 4. 16 years experience building content and knowledge management systems, 25+ years experience in technology
    • 5. Former Co-Chair, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Science and Technology Council Metadata Project Committee
    • 6. Founder of the Boston Knowledge Management Forum
    • 7. Former adjunct professor at Northeastern University
    • 8. Currently working with enterprises to develop knowledge and digital asset management systems, taxonomy and metadata governance strategies
    • 9. Founder of Taxonomy Community of Practice – host monthly conference calls of case studies on taxonomy derivation and application.
    • 10. Co-founder Search Community of Practice:
  • 11. Jeff Carr, Senior Consultant, Earley & Associates
    • Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta with a major in Management Information Systems (MIS) and a minor in International Business
    • 12. Multi-disciplinary foundation in the areas of:
    • 13. search engine marketing
    • 14. information architecture
    • 15. web analytics
    • 16. project management
    • 17. business analysis
    • 18. web development
    • 19. Responsible for the strategy, development and implementation of numerous web-based initiatives
    • 20. Expert in SharePoint Information Architecture
    • 21. Expert in eCommerce taxonomies, faceted search and heuristic analysis
    • 22. All around good guy
  • 23. 5
    It’s all about…
  • Taxonomy and Enterprise Architecture Frameworks
  • 26. Taxonomy is a Foundation…
    It is a system for classification
    It allows for a means to organize documents, digital assets and web content
    Helps us fine tune search tools and mechanisms
    Creates a common language for sharing concepts
    Allows for a coherent approach to integrate information sources
    It is a common language for business processes
  • 27. Goals of a Taxonomy
    Allow for knowledge discovery
    Improve usability of applications as well as learnability of applications
    Reduce the cost of delivering services, developing products and conducting operations
    Improve operational efficiencies by allowing for reuse of information and assets rather than recreation
    Improve search results and applicability (both precision and recall)
  • 28. Taxonomy Definition
    Taxonomy is a system for organizing concepts and categorizing content
    Expresses hierarchical relationships (parent/child)
    Arranged in a tree-like structure, with top level categories that branch out to reveal sub-categories and terms in varying levels of depth
    Dictionary of preferred terminology
    Action figures
    Card games
    Board games
    Milton Bradley
  • 29. Taxonomy and Metadata
    It is the “is – ness” of a piece of content
    And the “about – ness” of a piece of content
    This is a Product Description
    It is about the Motorola Razr
    Taxonomies are the organizing principle behind metadata and the values that populate metadata fields
  • 30. FAQ
    Press release
    Taxonomy and Metadata
    “is – ness”
    Metadata for a product page in a content management system
    “about – ness”
    Assets in a content management system need to be tagged with metadata for retrieval and management of information
  • 31. The (Traditional) Data Architect View of Metadata
    Operational Metadata
    • Data source description
    • 32. Data fields
    • 33. Data structure
    • 34. File description
    • 35. Database definition (e.g. ddl)
    • 36. External files lineage
    ETL – Metadata
    • Rule descriptions
    • 37. Data cleansing
    • 38. Data extension
    • 39. Data transition
    Database Design/physicals
    Rules for
    Target database
    Source data
    ETL Tools
    BI Metadata
    • Norms for report creation
    • 44. Report-Folder
    • 45. Report-Format
    • 46. Report-Execution
    • 47. Data mining Process
    Modeling Tools
    BI/Reporting Tools
    Courtesy of Stu Carty – Gavlian Research
  • 48. Parallel Perspectives
    What is the difference between a data architect, a taxonomist and an information architect?
    Data architects are concerned with structured data and technical aspects of applications and database design
    Taxonomists are concerned with unstructured content semantics and the meaning of terms
    Information architects consider how structured data elements, unstructured content meaning and user intent combine to form the user experience
  • 49. The (Traditional) Taxonomist View of Metadata
    Taxonomy: system for organizing and classifying content
    Metadata: information about our content, housekeeping, as well as semantic and structural information
    Content Objects: groups of metadata that are assembled into components that are then assembled into pages or documents
    How will taxonomy surface on the front-facing application?
    What do the wireframes suggest?
    How do people interact with content?
    How does the content architecture deliver the front-end design?
  • 50. Enterprise Architecture Requires a Holistic View
    Enterprise architecture
    “A comprehensive framework used to manage and align an organization's Information Technology (IT) assets, people, operations, and projects with its operational characteristics. In other words, the enterprise architecture defines how information and technology will support the business operations and provide benefit for the business.”
    The National Institutes of Health
  • 51. Taxonomy Frameworks in Enterprise Architecture
    Related documents
    Browsing & filtering
    Compare product
    Financial reporting
    Case Example:
    Motorola’s Global
    Taxonomy Framework
    Served Multiple Processes
    Business intelligence
    Program Management
    Product Lifecycle Management
  • 52. 17
    From Technical Design to User Experience…
    Case Example:
    American Greetings
    …becomes the foundation for a flexible, intuitive user experience
    Developing a technical model of content, assets and processes…
  • 53. Example Trends Which Require Solid IA
    Business Intelligence needs metadata on structured data as the basis for quantitative analysis, taxonomy on unstructured content for the results of analysis
    Extend traditional quantitative BI with qualitative BI from unstructured content once a taxonomy is applied:
    analysis of risk/no risk claims by disease category
    analysis of call center issues by product to monitor a recall
    analysis of ad placement effectiveness by social media context
    Master Data Management needs taxonomy – both aim to define a “single version of the truth”
    MDM to eliminate structured data redundancy
    Taxonomy to eliminate unstructured content ambiguity
  • 54. Ideal Scenario: Master Taxonomy as a Service
    Example from another client – Taxonomy as a service
  • 55. Each group of stakeholders has different issues
    Different timelines
    Different terminology
    Battling old ways of working
    Different workflows
    Marketing & CMO
    Legal & CSO
    Finance & CFO
    Business Intelligence
    Merchant Team
    Customer Service
    IT Team & CIO
    Challenges in Enterprise Architecture
  • 56. Different Clock Speeds
  • 57. FAST
    E commerce suite
    Reconcile vendor product metadata with structure and format for catalog, merchandising, order management
    Digital Asset Management
    Guided navigation
    Facets and attributes based on taxonomy resolve with search user experience best practices
    Structure and terminology to support non text asset location and reuse
    Product taxonomy
    Cross sell/up sell
    Content management
    Semantic relationships for related products, controlled terminology for merchandisers to support specific promotions
    Content and document types, topics/subjects, audiences, etc to support unstructured information
    Different Terminology
  • 58. Different Workflows
    Brick and Mortar
    Product taxonomy
    Ad Campaigns
  • 59. Difficulty Changing Paradigms
    “We have everything we need to know about our products from the SKU…” Merchandiser
    “Taxonomy values are just a list of terms…” Data Architect
    Recipient = Father
    Occasion = Birthday
    Sender = Daughter
    “We can drive content semantics from composite database keys…” Database Architect
    “I’m more comfortable indexing content than dealing with back end systems…” Taxonomist
  • 60. Products & Services
    Policies &
    Customer Relationships
    • Taxonomy defines the unstructured half of Enterprise Architecture
    • 61. What unstructured information does the business need to organize?
    • 62. Which of these are shared among departments or business processes?
    • 63. Which are specific to a functional area or business initiative?
    Use Taxonomy to Unify Business Operations
  • 64. The Evolution of Taxonomy
    Taxonomy has evolved from a library science/ information architecture/ content organization perspective
    Used to improve the ability to find content once you arrive at a web site
    Perspective: internal, focused on “self selected” audiences
    Typically does not consider how people arrive on your site, just that they are there and tries to direct users down an appropriate path
  • 65. Why is Taxonomy Important?
    Main interaction customers have with your site
    They are a key element of good design and findability
    Even the best taxonomies need a little spring cleaning
    They can become disorganized, out of control over time
    They can fall out of line with industry trends and competitors
    They can be mismatched with user terminology and be ignored by search engines
    Taxonomy Heuristics are Best Practices that ensure:
    1. Content is findable
    2. Taxonomy maintenance and growth is based on methodology
  • 66. What is SEO?
    Part of Internet Marketing
    • Strategies used to conduct marketing activities on the web in an effort to attract and convert targeted visitors into customers
    • Website design, copywriting, online promotion, social media, and search engine optimization etc…
    • Leverage site terms and organizing principles
    • 67. Including preferred and variant terms, related terms (i.e.; taxonomy and thesaurus structures)
    • 68. Ultimate Goal
    • 69. To increase the amount of relevant and targeted traffic to your website
  • Why is SEO Important?
    Search engine optimization is a key activity in acquiring qualified traffic to your site
    If ignored, technical and contextual factors can seriously impede performance
    Continuous process requiring constant monitoring
    Seasonal trends in search behavior
    Identifying new or hot products
    Informs site taxonomies to ensure:
    1. Effective landing pages
    2. Visits turn into conversions
  • 70. Why Taxonomy & SEO?
    Integrating internal and external perspectives
    Used to improve the ability to find content once you arrive at a web site
    Internal perspective focused on “self selected” audiences
    Typically does not consider how people arrive on your site, just that they are there and tries to direct users down an appropriate path
    Search Engine Optimization
    Used to improve the ability to find a web site at a macro level
    External perspective focused on driving traffic, attracting attention from a broader audience
    Typically does not consider how people find content once they are on your site, just that they find it
  • 71. They Should Work Together…
    Taxonomy drives information organization
    Powers navigation and search
    Enhances the user experience
    SEO informs taxonomy values
    Incorporates customer perspectives / searcher behaviors
  • 72. Misalignment of Terminology
    I’d like to pick up some new accessories for my PlayStation 3
    Not sure where to look so let’s do a search to see what’s out there
    Just saw an advertisement from Best Buy for PlayStation 3 Accessories
    I think PS3 =
    PlayStation 3
    “PS3 Accessories”
    “PS3 Accessories”
  • 73. Website Findability
    What’s the scope of the challenge?
    “More than 12 Billion searches conducted in July 2008”
    Search Engine Watch – Sep 2, 2008
    “1 trillion (as in 1,000,000,000,000) unique URLs”
    Official Google Blog – Jul 25, 2008
  • 74. Differing Perspectives
    From the perspective of the Searcher…
    An evolution from “give me what I said” to “give me what I want”
    Don’t always know what they want
    Often begin with ambiguous search queries followed by refinement
    Does the topic of each page on your site accurately represent the language potential customers are using to find your site?
  • 75. Search Result Delivery
    The process for serving a set of results for any search query includes the following elements:
    Query Analysis
    Evaluation of user input against query dependent factors
    (i.e. word order, proximity)
    Document Retrieval
    Fetching of documents that match the user query (1000)
    Document Ranking
    Ordering of the results retrieved
    Search engine result pages
  • 80. Differing Perspectives
    From the perspective of the search engine…
    Implicitly derives the topic or meaning of a page by analyzing and parsing page content
    Topic of this page is PlayStation 3, correct?
  • 81. Topical Analysis of Page Content
    Ideally, we’d like to see PlayStation related terminology dominating the text consumed by the search engine
    Inferred topic: limited item offers
    Supporting terminology – furniture, services, health, home et al. semantically unrelated to the intended concept
  • 82. 38
    Google Uses Over 200 Signals For Ranking”
  • 83. 39
  • 84. Overlap & Alignment
    Content Freshness
    Grouping principles
    Clean Coding
    URL Structure
    Label Choice
    Synonym Identification
    Terminology Research
    Metadata Optimization
    Balance & Term Volume
    Link Popularity
    Content Hierarchy
    Internal Link Structure
    Breadth & Depth
    Inbound Anchor Text
    Facet Construction
    Page Speed
  • 85. 41
    “Term Selection”
  • 86. Synonyms
    Important for both Taxonomy and SEO
    Label selection and user experience
    What’s will resonate best with your users?
    Search thesaurus
    Ensure appropriate query expansion
    Popular geographic references
    “Las Vegas” vs “Sin City”
    “Detroit” vs “Motor City”
    “FBI” and “Federal Bureau of Investigation”
    “SAT” and “Scholastic Achievement Test” or “Scholastic Aptitude Test”
  • 87. Misspellings
    Important for on-site search
    “did you mean…”
    May be a rich source of additional traffic
    Not recommended for inclusion in pagetext (do not intentionally misspell words)
    Plan carefully and be creative
    E.G. “blue-ray” vs “blu-ray”
  • 88. Term Proximity & Placement
    The closer together terms appear, the more closely related they are deemed
    Word order can matter
    Special formatting of terms in page content places a slightly higher importance on the word or phrase itself
    Page headlines (<h1> through <h5>)
    Bolding & italicizing
    Link text
  • 89. Related Terminology
    Identification of supporting words or phrases that should be used in conjunction with preferred terms
    Used to enhance and support the overall theme of the page by pulling together a tightly related topic
    E.G. LEED
    Acronym for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design
    Key themes include:
    Training, Accreditation, Certification, Exams
    Construction, Building, Architecture, Homes, Design
    Green, Energy, Rating, Sustainability
  • 90. The Importance of Metadata
    HTML elements that provide structured metadata about a web page (page source)
    Key attributes to consider include the page title (<title>) and the meta description (<meta name=“description>)
    Often forgotten or neglected
    Negatively affect the user experience
    <title>Hasbro Network</title><meta name="Description" content="“ />
    <meta name="Keywords" content="“ />
  • 91. The Importance of Metadata
    Opportunity to speak directly to potential visitors
    When done right, click-through rates increase
    <title>Enjoy Poker Online With - Play Holdem, Omaha and More!</title> <meta name="Description" content=“Play online poker at You'll find Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, 7 Card Stud &amp;amp; 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo. Huge Poker Tournaments and a Free Poker School. Choose the free poker software download or our new no download play in your browser poker game.“ />
    <meta name="Keywords" content=" poker, online poker, play poker, poker room, poker game, video poker, internet poker, texasholdem, poker rules, poker school, poker tournaments, free poker, download, partypoker, party poker,“ />
  • 92. Alignment of Terminology
    I’d like to pick up some new accessories for my PlayStation 3
    Not sure where to look so let’s do a search to see what’s out there
    Just saw an advertisement from Best Buy for PlayStation 3 accessories
    “PlayStation 3 Accessories”
    “PlayStation 3 Accessories”
  • 93. A Little SEO Knowledge Can Be Dangerous
    Don’t over do it!
    There’s no point in over-optimizing your site to obtain traffic that is not targeted
    Might get you more visits in the short term, but at what cost?
    Goal – attract qualifiedvisitors
  • 94. It Can Be a Delicate Balance
    Oftentimes there’s a trade-off between optimization, taxonomy and the user experience
    Long labels can cause navigation to wrap or be hidden from view
    Repetition of terminology reduces ability to scan
    Always consider the end-user perspective
    Research both terminology and related websites
  • 95. Sources For Keyword Research
    Search Logs
  • 96. 52
    Navigation Labels
    Header Tags
    Title Tag
    Page Content
    External Link Text
    Link Text
  • 97. 53
    • Primary or Target Keyword
    • 98. Supporting Terminology
    • 99. Includes words and phrases that often appear in conjunction with the primary keyword
  • Summary
    Taxonomy represents the internal perspective
    Drives the customer experience while on the site
    SEO represents the external perspective
    Influences how people find a site in the first place
    The alignment of perspectives
    Search essentially becomes a portal to your site by presenting a multitude of unique access points directly to relevant content at the exact moment in time when someone is searching for you
    Enhances the user experience by enabling findability at both the macro and micro levels
  • 100. Additional Resources
    Communities of Practice
    SharePoint IA:
    Upcoming Webinars
    Taxonomy Community of Practice series:
    Technology Showcase series
  • 101. About Earley & Associates
    • Focus: Information Architecture (“IA”) Services
    • 102. Founded: 1994
    • 103. Personnel: Twenty core team consultants, plus a network of other top industry experts
    • 104. ECM and KM experts
    • 105. taxonomy specialists
    • 106. search experts
    • 107. information architects
    • 108. usability professionals
    • 109. technology consultants
    • 110. business process experts
    • 111. Headquarters: Boston, MA
    • 112. Consulting Philosophy:
    • 113. Organizing Principles based on business context and goals
    • 114. Four Pillars - People, Content, Process, and Technology
  • Core Capabilities
    Content Management
    Portal Design,
    Search &
    Program Management
    Business Analysis /
    User Research
    Metadata, IA
    & Usability
    Digital Asset
    Records Management
    Technology Selection
    Implementation Support
    Workflow Management
    Socialization & Training
    Security & Privacy Management
    Success Metrics
  • 115. Information Organization and Access Courses
    AIIM Master Certification in IOA
    4-day classes being held in:
    Chicago: July 26th – 29th
    Toronto: August 9th – 12th
    Washington, DC: September 13th – 16th
    San Francisco: September 20th – 23rd
    Houston: October 18th – 21st
    Course Descriptions and Registration at:
  • 116. Seth Earley
    Follow me on twitter: sethearley
    Connect with me on LinkedIn:
    Jeff Carr
    Follow me on Twitter: siftonpark
    Connect with me on LinkedIn: