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UPU 2015 Get Discovered By the Right Readers--Keywords

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3061 Fall 2009
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UPU 2015 Get Discovered By the Right Readers--Keywords

  1. 1. Keywords Ralph.Coviello@Bowker.com
  2. 2. 2 ISBNs Self-Publishing Solutions Barcodes QR Codes Ebooks
  3. 3. Keywords – Definition – Best Practices – Developing Standards 3
  4. 4. Keywords - Definition 4
  5. 5. Keywords - Definition • 1. a word that serves as a key, as to the meaning of another word, a sentence, passage, or the like. • 2. a word used to encipher or decipher a cryptogram, as a pattern for a transposition procedure or the basis for a complex substitution. • 3. Also called catchword. Library Science. a significant or memorable word or term in the title, abstract, or text of a document or other item being indexed, used as the index entry. • 4. Digital Technology . a word used to classify or organize digital content, or to facilitate an online search for information: Search the database for the keyword “Ireland.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014. 5
  6. 6. Keywords - Definition • 4. Digital Technology . a word used to classify or organize digital contentcontent, or to facilitate an online search for information: Search the database for the keyword “Ireland.” 6 to facilitate an online search for information
  7. 7. Keywords - Definition BISG Best Practices for Keywords in Metadata …“keyword” is defined as a word or phrase that describes the content or theme of a book product... 7
  8. 8. Keywords - Best Practices - Why Use? 8
  9. 9. Keywords - Best Practices - Why Use? To facilitate search by specific characters, places, or series names; for example: Possible keywords: Lisbeth Salander; Millennium Trilogy; Swedish crime novel 9
  10. 10. Keywords - Best Practices - Why Use? To communicate legitimate spelling variations of an important word that a consumer may include in their search; for example: Possible keywords: Hanukkah; Chanukah; Chanukkah 10
  11. 11. Keywords - Best Practices - Why Use? Consumers do not use BISAC subject classification, yet synonymous search terms can be used; for example: Possible keywords: manners; behavior; grooming; dress; social situations 11
  12. 12. Keywords - Best Practices - Why Use? To communicate a concept or theme that a consumer may include or exclude in their search; for example: Possible keywords: fantasy; young adult; magic; sequel; The Book of Dead Days 12
  13. 13. Keywords - Best Practices - Why Use? If a commonly known subject term is not referred to anywhere else in the metadata; for example: Possible keywords: Kate Middleton; Prince William; Prince George; royal family; Princess Charlotte 13
  14. 14. Keywords – Best Practices - How To Use • Choose keywords that are… – unique – consumer-oriented – relevant 14
  15. 15. Keywords - Best Practices - How To Use Choose unique keywords Possible keywords: WW2; Pacific Theater; Japan; Olympian; faith; Angelina Jolie; Track & Field; 100% effort 15
  16. 16. Keywords - Best Practices - How To Use Choose consumer-oriented keywords Possible keywords: World War 2; Second World War; WWII; European Theater; Pacific Theater; military history; Operation Overlord; Battle of the Bulge 16
  17. 17. Keywords - Best Practices - How To Use Choose relevant keywords Possible keywords: dr. seuss; rhyming; imagination; kids; rhyme; self-acceptance; spots; picture book; Harry Potter; Hunger Games 17
  18. 18. Keywords - Best Practices - How To Use 18
  19. 19. Keywords - Best Practices - Key Points 1) Single words and multiple-word phrases of 2-5 words are acceptable 2) Legitimate spelling variations of an important word 3) Use as many synonyms as are appropriate 4) Maximum number of characters is 500 5) Avoid using punctuation whenever possible 6) Use semicolons as delimiters to accommodate phrases 7) Unless relevant do not reference other notable titles 8) Flexible and can be updated 19
  20. 20. Keywords - Developing Standards BISG Best Practices for Keywords in Metadata: Guide for North American Data Senders and Receivers provides guidance on how best to utilize keywords in ONIX metadata to maximize the opportunities for book product discovery by consumers. 20 www.bisg.org/ best- practices- keywords- metadata

Editor's Notes

  • Bowker has connected with readers in the world of discovery for more than 140 years working with book publishers across all spectrums & genres – Higher Ed, Trade, Scholarly, Professional and 50 Shades of romance. Bowker is the ISBN source and the ISBN is the key identifier across the publishing infrastructure for connecting books to the consumers searching for them.

    ISBNs can be secured through MyIdentifiers.com along with a range of Self-Publishing solutions for Barcodes, QR codes, Ebooks and other services. You can also connect there to Self Published Author.com, were we offer tools, advice, and resources to help you through the publishing process.
  • We are going to define what keywords mean today in particular for authors and publishers like yourselves.

    We’ll review some of the best practices and go over why and how to use keywords.

    In recognition of the growing importance of keywords the publishing industry has begun developing standards and I will touch on how that is done.


  • Keywords are used to increase the chance for discovery of your book. They are not a required field but can be used to supplement other metadata provided by authors and publishers.
  • The use of the term ‘key word’ traces back over 150 years and over time has acquired several definitions depending on the use by a writer, publisher or librarian. So it is important to understand the context… which in our case starts with definition number 4… Digital Technology.
  • a word used to classify or organize digital content, or…to facilitate an online search for information. Keywords can help to connect to consumers’ by providing everyday terms that they might typically use in an online search.

    More readers are turning online to look for a book. Consumers want to find better results. Want to find titles that are more relevant for them.
  • Today in our industry…”keyword” is defined as a word or phrase that describes the content or theme of a book product…
    The keyword ‘anchorman’ could bring back these disparate search results, so additional keywords such as ‘comedy’, ‘Will Ferrell’, ‘CBS’ or ‘biography’ can help connect the consumer to the book they really want whether that is the satirical musings of Ron Burgundy or a straight forward biography of Walter Cronkite.

    Now let’s take a look at some examples of Keywords with Best Practices and the question why use?
  • Why use them?
    To increase consumer discovery by improving results….: Within search engines, Retailer websites, Enhanced SEO for book products, Allows use of natural language favored by consumers, Group books with similar themes or ideas.

    Let’s look at some examples-
  • To facilitate search by specific characters, places, or series names; for example:

    The Girl Who Played with Fire
    Possible keywords: Lisbeth Salander; Millennium Trilogy; Swedish crime novel
    Key point - Single words and multiple-word phrases of 2-5 words are acceptable
  • To communicate legitimate spelling variations of an important word that a consumer may include in their search; for example:

    Feast of Lights / Possible keywords: Hanukkah, Chanukah, and Chanukkah

    Key point - Legitimate spelling variations of an important word
  • BISAC is an acronym for Book Industry Standards and Communications. Consumers do not use BISAC subject classification, yet synonymous search terms can be used; for example:

    Etiquette for Dummies - Possible keywords: manners; behavior; grooming; dress; social situations

    Key point - Use as many synonyms as are appropriate
  • To communicate a concept or theme that a consumer may include or exclude in their search; for example:

    The Dark Flight Down (sequel to The Book of Dead Days) / Possible keywords: fantasy; young adult; magic; sequel, The Book of Dead Days
  • If a commonly known subject term is not referred to anywhere else in the metadata; for example:

    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge: A Royal Souvenir

    Possible keywords:
    Kate Middleton; Prince William; Prince George; royal family; Princess Charlotte

    Key point - You cannot list the entire royal family. Maximum number of characters is 500. This is a recommendation because there is no standard practice among downstream partners. It is possible 500 will exceed their capabilities.
    Keywords should be ordered based on priority.

  • How To Use
    Choose keywords that are …
    Unique –
    Consumer-oriented –
    Relevant –
  • Choose unique keywords
    Keywords should be used to supplement (but not duplicate) words or phrases included within other data points. While publishers may find it useful to include a few of the same terms, characters, and places in keyword lists that are used in other fields, variety improves discoverability, and space is limited. Instead, information in the Title, Series Title, Description, Age Range, and Location fields can be diversified or qualified through the use of keywords.

    For example, “Unbroken” could have keywords in common with other World War Two titles, more specific ones for such a title could be used in the keyword list.
    WW2, Pacific Theater, Japan, Olympian, Faith, Angelina Jolie
    Key point - Avoid using punctuation whenever possible. Some punctuation may be unavoidable such as hyphenated words (self-aware, mother-in-law, award-winner), but some special characters such as “&” and “%”, may cause issues with web search tools, as this type of punctuation is often ignored by search engines, which can change the meaning of the keywords.

  • Choose consumer-oriented keywords
    In general, it is a good practice to choose keywords that offer alternative phrases, synonyms, or refinements, using language that is specifically consumer-oriented. While overloading the description with keywords may make the copy less enticing, the same words or phrases work well in a keyword list. To create keywords that are consumer-oriented, publishers should consider all the words and phrases consumers might use to search for a book on a particular topic.

    For example, for a title with World War II as the setting or context (either fiction or nonfiction), a set of keywords might include the following phrases, among others:
    World War 2, Second World War, WWII, European Theater, Pacific Theater, military history

    Key point - When delivering keywords use semicolons as delimiters to accommodate phrases such as Operation Overlord; Battle of the Bulge

  • Choose relevant keywords
    Keywords should be chosen because of their ability to describe a book’s content. Referencing an unrelated work or author to increase search results should be avoided. This includes the use of high-profile titles or their authors when the work bears little or no resemblance to the content of the title or product. Referencing an unrelated work is misleading and causes confusion throughout the supply chain, ending in fewer chances that consumers will find book products they are looking for.

    I want to Be Somebody New! Possible Keywords: dr. seuss; rhyming; imagination; kids; rhyme; self-acceptance; spots; picture book

    Key point - For example, publishers should use their best judgment as to whether keywords such as “Harry Potter” or “Hunger Games” are in fact highly relevant to their works. Per some retailer restrictions, keywords should also not include any reference to rank (“best-selling”) or promotions (“free” or “discounted”).
  • Here is an example of the flexibility keywords can offer as well as the need to update them over time. A well-known series in its own right, “A Dance with Dragons” is a title that is part of the basis for HBO’s TV show “Game of Thrones”. The official book series, “A Song of Ice and Fire”, may not be immediately recognizable to consumers search for books related to the show.
    Keywords that could be used include Game of Thrones, kingdoms, kings, magic, dragons, HBO series, medieval saga, Targaryen
    The book series started in 1996 with the publication of “A Game of Thrones” and now totals five volumes could have its keywords updated to reflect the HBO Series.




  • Key points
    Recommended for optimal search results
    1) Single words and multiple-word phrases of 2-5 words are acceptable
    2) Legitimate spelling variations of an important word (for example Hanukkah, Chanukah, and Chanukkah).
    3) Use as many synonyms as are appropriate
    4) Maximum number of characters is 500. This is a recommendation because there is no standard practice among downstream partners. It is possible 500 will exceed their capabilities, so keywords should be ordered based on priority.
    5) Avoid using punctuation whenever possible. Some punctuation may be unavoidable such as hyphenated words (self-aware, mother-in-law, award-winner), but some special characters such as “&” and “%”, may cause issues with web search tools, as this type of punctuation is often ignored by search engines, which can change the meaning of the keywords.
    Use semicolons as delimiters to accommodate phrases
    Unless relevant do not reference other notable titles
    Flexible and can be updated
  • BISG is the Book Industry Study Group which for nearly 40 years has been bringing together stakeholders across the industry to promote innovation and shared solutions. Bowker is a long time active participant in BISG. We meet in person and online in groups large and small on committees and working groups to develop Best Practices for the industry as a whole.

    Last year I participated in the BISG Keywords Working Group which resulted in a Best Practices for Keywords in Metadata published May 15, 2014.
    The need for a Best Practices document arose out of the fact that Keywords are not required data which has contributed to confusion on how to implement and utilize them.

    Best Practices for Keywords in Metadata is the latest in a series developed by BISG. The is guide is free to download from the BISG website and while it is focused on publisher’s communicating via ONIX, an XML-based standard for rich book metadata, the Best Practices for keywords could be applied by any indie author as a self-publisher or in support of the marketing efforts by their publisher.

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