Smashing silos ia-ux-meetup-mar112014

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While we have been busy trying to "define the damn thing" IA or answering the age old question of who rules, UX, IxDA or IA, the search engines have been busily transitioning to a machine mediated experience model for ranking. This means that SEO is now the responsibility of UX/IA whether we like it or not. This presentation lays out how search engines evaluate user experience and how we can influence this evaluation with an optimized design.

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Smashing silos ia-ux-meetup-mar112014

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  3. 3. I work at Portent where I am lucky to work with smart people (and not just because they help me with Excel). 3
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  5. 5. Funniest part: seeing IAs using the Toni Braxton store as an orientation point to find the conference venue Not-best-part: Getting locked out of my room in a 5000+ room hotel and having to wait, wait, wait for someone to come and let me back in. Best Part: getting called out by Rashmi Sinha in closing plenary for the call to action of broadening scope to include search optimization Some time after: Peter Morville comes up with “findability” and Lou Rosenfeld starts his Search Metrics workshops. This isn’t what I meant. 5
  6. 6. 6 Click Distance: the further from an authority page, the less important it must be URL Depth: the further from the homepage, the less important it must be
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  11. 11. More images More linked text Sidebar navigation accompanies Global navigation Yahoo becomes busier, more categories, international sites 11
  12. 12. Apple capitalizes on new search technology with more heavily “designed” look 12
  13. 13. Navigation dominance 13
  14. 14. Apple introduces site navigation for the first time 14
  15. 15. A true “home” page, start here and navigate to where you want to be 15
  16. 16. Apple…not so much 16
  17. 17. Broad band comes into its own and BIG pictures make a splash 17
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  19. 19. Why Google started moving away from link-based relevance 19
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  26. 26. I have presented at 2 UXPA DC UserFocus conferences Bird Bears Bs of Discoverability (well attended sessions) 26
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  29. 29. Using the Internet: Skill Related Problems in User Online Behavior; van Deursen & van Dijk; 2009 29
  30. 30. We’re constructing worse queries but feel that we’re getting better results. Which canary in what coal mine just died? 30
  31. 31. Pew Internet Trust Study of Search engine behavior http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Search-Engine-Use-2012/Summary-of- findings.aspx In January 2002, 52% of all Americans used search engines. In February 2012 that figure grew to 73% of all Americans. On any given day in early 2012, more than half of adults using the internet use a search engine (59%). That is double the 30% of internet users who were using search engines on a typical day in 2004. And people’s frequency of using search engines has jumped dramatically. Moreover, users report generally good outcomes and relatively high confidence in the capabilities of search engines: 91% of search engine users say they always or most of the time find the information they are seeking when they use search engines 73% of search engine users say that most or all the information they find as they use search engines is accurate and trustworthy 66% of search engine users say search engines are a fair and unbiased source of information 55% of search engine users say that, in their experience, the quality of search results is getting better over time, while just 4% say it has gotten worse 52% of search engine users say search engine results have gotten more relevant and useful over time, while just 7% report that results have gotten less relevant 31
  32. 32. Pew Internet Trust Study of Search engine behavior http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Search-Engine-Use-2012/Summary-of- findings.aspx 32
  33. 33. And Google’s response… 33
  34. 34. Personalization of results They Tracks: What is selected, Level of interaction, What is not-done (bounce rate) and use Signals: Location. Search history Dynamic query suggestions - displayed as searcher enters query Calculation of information from 3 sources User: previous search patterns Domain: countries, cultures, personalities GeoPersonalization: location-based results Metrics used for probability modeling on future searches Active: user actions in time Passive: user toolbar information (bookmarks), desktop information (files), IP location, cookies In 2002, Google acquired personalization technology Kaltix and founder Sep Kamver who has been head of Google personalization since Defines personalization: “product that can use information given by the user to provide tailored, more individualized experience” Personalization enables shorter, less specific queries set to change user behavior (easier, more natural queries) = search shorthand Tied direct user interaction with results (ability to promote/demote in results set, add comment) discontinued because too noisy & interest did not always equal searching for topic and used by SEO community for other purposes Only enable if signed in Only impacted future searches (if signed in) 34
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  36. 36. User profile phases 1. Gather raw information 2. Construct profile from user data 3. Allow application to exploit profile to construct personal results Keywords profiles represent areas of interest Extracted from documents or directly provided by user, weights are numerical representation of user interest Polysemy is a big problem for KW profiles Semantic networks Filtering system Network of concepts – unlinked nodes with each node representing a discrete concept Used by alta vista (used header that represented user personal data, set of stereotypes (prototypical user comprised of a set of interests represented by a frame of slots Each “slot” (made up of domain, topic & weight (domain =area of interest, topic = specific term used to identify area of interest, weight = degree of interest) that makes up frame weighted for relevance 35
  37. 37. Jaime Teevan MS Research (http://courses.ischool.berkeley.edu/i141/f07/lectures/teevan_personalization.pdf) Tools used Software agents: most reliable as more control over install and application Cookies: least invasive Login: more pervasive across machines and time Proxy Servers: limited to user register of machine with server Session IDs: limited to a single session Advantages: more data, better data (easier for system to consume and rationalize) Disadvantage: user has no control over what is collected 36
  38. 38. Advantage: User has more control over personal and private information Disadvantage: compliance, users have a hard time expressing interests, burdensome on user to fill out forms, false info from user 37
  39. 39. Vince update 2009 http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2288128/Vince-The-Google-Update-We- Should-Be-Talking-About Big brands can afford better sites Big brands spend more $$ in adwords “The internet is fast becoming a "cesspool" where false information thrives, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said yesterday. Speaking with an audience of magazine executives visiting the Google campus here as part of their annual industry conference, he said their brands were increasingly important signals that content can be trusted. …Brands are the solution, not the problem," Mr. Schmidt said. "Brands are how you sort out the cesspool….Brand affinity is clearly hard wired," he said. "It is so fundamental to human existence that it's not going away. It must have a genetic component.” Eric Schmidt, Google, October 2008 http://www.seobook.com/google-branding 38
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  41. 41. Google does not care about UX (just look at android) Like it or not, part of Google’s evil strategy in selecting the UX community is because they think that we have our heads in the clouds. 40
  42. 42. And sort of blames SEO for it (not outright but in a passive/aggressive) kind of way 2007 Google Patent: Methods and Systems for Identifying Manipulated Articles (November 2007) Manipulation: • Keyword stuffing (article text or metadata) • Unrelated links • Unrelated redirects • Auto-generated in-links • Guestbook pages (blog post comments) Followed up: Google Patent: Content Entity Management (May 2012) 41
  43. 43. Entity=anything that can be tagged as being associated with certain documents, e.g. Store, news source, product models, authors, artists, people, places thing The entity processing unit looks at “candidate strings and compares to query log to extract: most clicked entity, most time spent by user) Query logs (this is why they took away KW data – do not want us to reverse engineer as we have in past) User Behavior information: user profile, access to documents seen as related to original document, amount of time on domain associated with one or more entities, whole or partial conversions that took place 42
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  45. 45. Receives the query Applies user profile Extracts query terms Assigns entities Identifies candidate synonyms (synonym database Synonym engine assigns confidence score phrase term order placement on page (?) using phrase engine (?) compound terms often found together Compare to threshold Satisfied – use revised query as well Not satisfied – discard Submit to index for SERP 44
  46. 46. Screen capture of the software architecture from the patent filing 45
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  48. 48. http://stopdesign.com/archive/2009/03/20/goodbye-google.html Douglas Bowman on leaving as head of Google Visual Design (2009) Tested 41 shades of blue Debate over whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case. 47
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  53. 53. Answered for us and the client Would this become the first deliverable after signing? Precipitate the client questionnaire? 52
  54. 54. If machines are methodical, as we’ve seen, and people are emotional, as we experience, where is the middle ground? Are we working harder to really find what we need or just taking what we get and calling it what we wanted in the first place? Google Patents •Improving Search using Population Information (November 2008) •Rendering Context Sensitive Ads for Multi-topic searchers (April 2008) •Presentation of Local Results (July 2008) •Detecting Novel Content (November 2008) •Document Scoring based on Document Content Update (May 2007) •Document Scoring based on Link-based Criteria (April 2007) Microsoft: Patents Launches “decision engine” with focus on multiple meaning (contexts) as well as term indexing and topic association and tracking -Lead researcher Susan Dumais at the forefront of user behavior for prediction on search relevance -Look to recent acquisition of Powerset (semantic indexing) and FAST ESP (semantic processing) Calculating Valence of Expressions within Docum0ents for Searching a Document Index (March 2009): System for natural language search and sentiment analysis through a breakdown of the valence manipulation in document Efficiently Representing Word Sense Probabilities (April 2009): Word sense probabilities stored in a semantic index and mapped to “buckets.” Tracking Storylines Around a Query (May 2008): Employ probabilistic or spectral techniques to discover themes within documents delivered over a stream of time Compares the query with the contents of each document to discover whether query exists implicitly or explicitly in received document Builds topic models Consolidate the plurality of info around certain subjects (track stories that continue over time) Collect results over time and sort (keeps track of the current themes and alerts to new) Track Rank (relevance) 53
  55. 55. Present abstracts 53
  56. 56. Users look to search engines for guidance. We can provide similar guidance with user controls Tools Suggestions as query is entered At page search box On search page Spell check/correction Best Bets Augmented Search results Awards Display PageRank score Sharing User Ratings 54
  57. 57. Jared Spool did a site search study some time ago that found users successful 37% of the time when using site search and 50+% of the time when navigating Users don’t like navigation at the outset but will use it if contextual and in a form that they can influence Buzzallions: Top Ranked, Bottom Ranked, Most Reviewed, Price: Low to High, Price: High to Low Tools Facets Filters More Like This… Always have opportunity to clear selections, return to original state 55
  58. 58. Remember that most of the site visitors do not come through the home page. 56
  59. 59. Search Metrics SEO Correlation factors 2013 Spearman Correlation – study of google result Keywords in title should be placed as close to front as possible 57
  60. 60. A descriptive, keyword-rich page title brings strong relevance weight to the page. Page title is the most important metadata field. It should always include the company name. It must map to the page content; you can’t just stuff irrelevant keywords in there. It does not appear ON the page [that is and <h1> tagged element within the <body> tags. And, NO copy and paste please! 58
  61. 61. Description may not have the favored status of <title>. Its importance comes in another form, helping the user to decide if they want to click through to the destination page. One of the not-content elements that search engines note is how many people click through to your site and how long they stay there before coming back. The more “sticky” your site is, the better your chances of getting in front of people who need to know. 59
  62. 62. Image search accounts for nearly 6% of Google searches That adds up to approximately 600 million searches in May 2009 Read by screen reader technology so cannot sound too weird 3/13/2014 60
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  64. 64. This client invests a lot of time and effort in their News & Events directory Customers are viewing the utility pages (Contact, etc) and the product justification/ROI section. 62
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  66. 66. Content Dashboard for Google Analytics https://www.google.com/analytics/web/template?uid=YNIE7uQ4R i-xjSid7V-q6Q 64
  67. 67. Mom and creampuffs The search engines think that we’re superfluous because we don’t “get search” That’s what I’m here to end. I want you to “get search.” We are information professionals, not mice! We’re going to use every neuron, synapsis and gray cell to fight back. We will shift from trying to optimize search engine behavior to optimizing what the search engines consume, move from search engine optimization to information optimization We will Focus We will be Collaborative We will get Connected We will stay Current Because we are user experience professionals, not Matt Cutts, Sergey Brin or Larry Page. 65
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