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Measuring corporate search

Having trouble measuring the success of your corporate Web site’s search engine? Avi Rappoport of Search Tools Consulting told the attendees at the Enterprise Search Summit what to do, in this speech on Wednesday.

Avi provided several tips about the right things to measure for your Web site’s search engine:

  • Pages indexed: Check a sudden decrease in pages for an error that is blocking the spider, but sudden unexplained increases can also be problematic—pages that should be password protected may have been inadvertantly exposed the spider.
  • Keyword popularity: What are your popular keywords? Keywords tend to follow a Zipf curve, with a few very popular keywords with a large number of keywords used only once or twice a month. Make sure that your most popular keywords are providing good results.
  • Keyword trends: Which words are becoming more popular? Which are declining? Your trends sometimes result from changes to your sites navigation—watch for navigation problems that drive people to search.
  • No-match keywords: Anytime a keyword yields no matches, you know the searcher was not satisfied. Find the most popular no-match queries and figure out what is wrong. Does the content not exist on the site? Or does it use different keywords? Misspellings? Analyze the problem and take action.

Avi reminded her audience that search metrics are critical to meeting your searchers’ needs. You can find what is working and what is not, and you can fix what;s wrong to improve your site search.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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