Opportunities and challenges changable trends / rules : Google indexing rules change with new releases; social media and mobile demands; publishers must incorporate SEO expertise / techniques knowing your user(s) : “Build it, they will come” is outdated. We’re now investing in user studies to track behavioral changes and adapt to ensure we’re findable wherever readers may go online. cross-sector collaboration : SAGE whitepaper outlines discoverability benefits to end users that depend on partnerships across the scholarly community and makes specific recommendations What we’ve learned journal home page case study : SEO is more than driving in-bound links – e.g., of how SJO enhanced design to include human- and robot-readable descriptive text and saw a spike in home page visits, after years of decline. new product case study : Not sure what I’ll do here…probably something around the joy and pain of cross-product integration…TBD Measuring discovery quantitative metrics : Web analytics, COUNTER, etc. – comparing referral domains and their performance, etc. qualitative metrics : Listening to what students and librarians tell us, tracking popular social media, etc.
Google’s ‘Panda’ release – had significant effect across other industries and initially we saw a ‘blip’ but as our content is highly rated by Google (not “poor quality content”) so the effect on academia has been much less Social media – Google+ is an important new trends, pointing out that it’s not just social media activity that helps drive page rank, but also provides additional platforms for exposing search results to others via contacts / recommendations Mobile demands – apps are still a buzz, but we’re also seeing a steady increase of mobile web activity; standard websites must be either refined or new websites built to ensure quality user experience by handheld devices OA / ‘preview’ benefits – Google and Gscholar reward publishers that provide content without pay wall restrictions, as these obstacles amount to what they consider undesirable user experience; however, this poses a threat to publishers and we’re faced with cost of developing new tools, such as ‘first page preview’ which wasn’t as high a priority a few years ago In-house expertise / monitoring – SEO best practices keep changing and require dedicated staff to track trends, stay informed, and grow new expertise to support successful discovery of published content Semantics – others will cover in more detail, but it’s important to mention the new opportunities for improving SERPs with graphics and other assets that are more easily exposed with semantic data User research – tracking and making adjustments to suit new research habits are key
Analytics isn’t enough – a richer picture of how users discover content and how to optimize products for their needs requires integration of data with ethnographic market research techniques. For example, we can see that Google referral data is high for all SAGE products – but quotes from users about their experiences with open-web search is critical to having a well-rounded understanding of what these trends mean for our readers and how SAGE responds.
PSP 2012 Annual Conference To be – or not be – discovered