I don’t know how many of you know this but you can get keyword matches (keymatches) for terms associated with your website for free from the Library.

The library controls the Google Search Appliance, which powers the university’s overall search here on campus.  So if you go to nd.edu and type something into search, the search engine results page will display everything that it deems a match.  But this search is in a controlled environment – mainly every website and database that the library points the search appliance at.

Over the course of a year, this search gets hit about 2 million times by about 500K people or individual computers.  That’s a lot.  Are you showing up for the terms best associated with your terms?

For example let’s take the term “photography”.  When you search for photography on nd.edu, agency.nd.edu shows up first along with artdept.nd.edu and onmessage.nd.edu.  These are relevant but we would also like photo.nd.edu to show up.  But since this website is mostly photos without a lot of text (and it’s a newer site), it doesn’t show up.

So we asked for the keymatch “photography” to be associated with photos.nd.edu.  Now it shows up first like a Google Adwords advertisement – except you don’t have to pay for this term.  That’s the best thing about us owning our own search appliance.  We control the internal search.

How do you get a keymatch for your website?  The friendly folks at the Library are more than happy to help you.  Just send your keymatches to gsa-admin@listserv.nd.edu.  They will set them up for you.

How do you know which keymatches to set?  Well, that’s a whole new post and I promise to get to it soon.  But for now, I would use your best judgement  on this.  It’s better to get the keymatches and be found then to wonder why no one ever visits your website.

Any questions?