Lindsay, thanks for posting this. We are too early to help (just launched), but very interested in search engine optimization. We to are using our site as our Intranet and want to make sure the relevant content is easily found by our users. We will be interested in how this discussion unfolds.
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Our community has been around for a while, plus we are comprised of several largely independently-run companies, each with their own marketing, sales, HR, etc. departments. Search can be a challenge.
My recommendation - don't remove old content unless it really is no longer relevant. There are several other ways this can be addressed:
- Teach people to perform better searches. Make sure they understand that search here is not the same as in Google. In a Google search, you are looking for something more general - about a specific topic. In an intranet search, you know exactly what you are looking for, and this means making your search terms more specific.
- Make sure content is tagged and titled well. Sometimes finding things is made harder with generic content titles like, "Sales Tools"; or by not including the language the audience uses for the topic (referencing a spreadsheet instead of Excel, for example). Make sure your content creators recognize and address this.
- Show content consumers how easy it is to update tags if the existing tags are missing or incomplete.
- Suggest to space and/or group administrators that they curate content and add tags where applicable, as well as counseling with regard to content titles.
- Create navigational aids for finding content:
- Use categories within spaces and groups to simulate folder organization
- Create directory or index pages, which are essentially tables of contents that link to individual subjects.
- Insert a directory into a space or group widget. This can be done using either a Formatted Text widget, or a View Document widget. I prefer the latter because of document version history, and you can then delegate maintenance to someone other than the group/space admin.
Thanks, Tracy. We definitely encourage the use of effective titles, tags, and categories and provide training to content contributors for spaces. I think you hit the point by saying that search in here is not the same as search in Google. Our employees expect that it should be like Google, which we hear some complaints on.
We've had instances where employees type in the exact name of a specific document and it still does not show up. I think we will need to comb through some of the older blog posts (time specific) to weed out content.
What I meant to say was that search expectations are different in Google than they are in Jive. It isn’t that the Jive search doesn’t work well, it is that we as users have different expectations for results.
There is an area for improvement in Jive that they have addressed in Jive 5, where they will be taking clues about the kind of content each users typically consumes into account when they surface results. But to be honest, I won't really know how effective that is until we do our own upgrade and see how well it works with a large volume of content.
Best of luck!