Probably in 5 years I will dislike Google as much as I currently do MSFT. But – until then, I love ’em.
Don’t get me started on Google Apps for Your Domain. Using it, love it. But the latest jackpot is a new feature in Google Analytics – internal site search tracking.
I should read their blog more often – but we activated the site tracking on nashuatelegraph.com about two weeks ago – and we have already made a number of changes to the site as a result.
The most obvious – being a newspaper site people are obviously anxious to keep up to date on the police logs that we run on an almost daily basis. But, go figure – the police logs do not actually say “Police Logs” in them, nor do the terms ‘police’ or ‘arrests’ or ‘crime’ return particularly helpful results every time.
Unfortunately – it never occured to me to try and figure this out since we did not have a good way to track search terms. Now that we do – a few quick tweaks to the search results page later – the “Police and Courts” section in now the top search result on those terms.
I am working my way through the top 50 most searched terms and looking for the gaps – and filling them in with useful results when possible.
And, go figure – people often search for content we can not put online – including syndicated columnists. So, we now have a page called basically ‘things we don’t have online.’ As soon as I finish making the updates – searching for ‘comics’ or ‘Dr. Gott’ will take you to the page listing all the stuff we don’t have. Not the most rewarding user experience – but a whole lot beter than a blank page and a reader frustrated that they can not make the site ‘work.’