Site Search: The Ultimate Mashup

July 24, 2007

So you’ve achieved 100% indexation of your site in all the main search engines. Great.

Now it’s time to recycle that content a bit to boost further the number of page. Yes, I’m talking about the same content, mashed up in creative ways. You can most likely create loads of category pages by segmenting your product catalogues (creating what’s called views); you can split content large pages and create subpages (especially if your pages are long, or if you use tab navigation within them). You can use the current tag cloud hysteria to organize your content by user-defined (or SEO-defined) criteria. And, you can create literally hundred of content pages by allowing SE bots to index the pages with site search results. Just how to go about it?

1. Optimize the onpage content of your site search results: review the title, metas, content. It must be relevant, it must convert (check out those bounce rates in GoogleAnalytics or whatever other web statistics program you use!).

2. Optimize the cross-linkingĀ  of your site search result pages (SSRP). Check out amazon: their “user who bought this also bought that” concept can be easily applied to SSRP (users who search for this also searched for that). If you don’t have user data, define the relation between search queries yourself, using some simple similarity algorithm. What queries you ask? There are at least three easily accessible sources: site search query logs(if you don’t have them, talk to your sysadmin or the person who programmed the site search) web server logs of queries people use in public SE to reach your site (again, your sysadmin will help), and other sources (such as the infamous AOL data leak etc.)

3. Optimize the linking of the new SSRP and your other landing pages. There are twofold benefits of extensive SSRP indexing. Additional direct traffic, and additional linking created to your regular landing pages (because the principal content element of your SSRP are links to your regular landing pages, right?) I dare to say that in 90% of cases of site search mashup I’ve analyzed the linking effect exceeds the direct traffic effect.

I would love to hear from people who’ve tried this recipe; drop me a comment/email if you are willing to share (in a strictly confidential manner) your results.

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