How do I ensure content can be found?

by Marijn van der Zaag, on Nov 5, 2013 4:46:00 PM

Managing an internal knowledge sharing platform? "My users complain they can't find what they're looking for," sounding familiar? 3 steps to better findability.

1. HTML where possible

Set your content free by publishing it as - properly structured - HTML as much as possible. HTML is the easiest format to index for any search engine (external or internal). HTML is the easiest accessible file format online. Period. So many devices are equipped with a browser these days. Much less with Microsoft Office or Acrobat Reader. Plus: how is a PDF ever social (easy to share and comment on)?


2. Care about metadata

Metadata are not only a hot topic thanks to the NSA. Properly filling out basic metadata increases the chance of content being found exponentially. Fill out those standard fields nobody pays attention to:

  • Title (no, not the same as the file title)
  • Description (no, not the same as the introduction)
  • Author (no, not the machine name).

Enterprise search solutions like the Google Search Appliance offer nice features to filter search results, but these will only work if metadata are in place.

3. Govern your information

Easier said than done for many organizations, but please, don't publish too much content. You really don't need 10 versions of the same document on SharePoint. It is not an archiving tool. The latest version will do. Agree to remove older versions of a document when uploading a later one. Because the more content you put online, the longer it takes for search results to appear. And the harder it becomes to assess the relevancy of the provided results.


Example of Automated classification and metadata enrichment


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