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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
      Caption = BDY FATHER FRM DAUGH
      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: