Download WordPress and install it on your server (you will need to create a Wordpress account first). Set up a blog that will be part of your final project (please read the final project description before beginning this project). Each week write 1 blog post exploring findability topics. Each post should be at least 200 words in length and must be in your own words. Be sure to cite all sources.
Below are topics you might explore on your blog:
- SEO techniques and/or utilities
- Email marketing techniques and/or utilities
- Findability theory
- Flash and findability
- Online marketing
- Search engine friendly URLs
- Creating findable content with accessibility and web standards techniques
- News relating to any of the major search companies
- Pay Per Click advertising
- Traffic analysis
- 404 error pages
- Related books, magazines, or podcasts
Using the markup strategies discussed in class, create your own blog template to make your content more findable.
Recommended: Subscribe to your classmates blog RSS feeds using Google Reader, Netvibes, Bloglines, or another RSS reader of your choice so you can discover new findability concepts and strategies from your peers.
|0 points||1 point||2 points||3 points|
|Blog Posts (evaluated weekly)||Blog post was not published on time, is poorly written, does not contain content relevant to the course, or does not meet the post length requirement.||Blog post was published on time, contains some spelling and/or grammatical errors, meets the post length requirement, but content is not very relevant to the course, or does not expand upon course topics.||Blog post was published on time, contains no spelling and/or grammatical errors, meets the post length requirement, and the content expands upon course topics.||Blog post is published on time, is very well written with no typos, grammar, or spelling errors, expands upon course topics, and exceeds the minimum post length. Post contains images where relevant to the content, and links to plenty of sources and resources.|
|0 points||1 point||2 points|
|Setup||Markup is poorly written, and does not communicate the information hierarchy in a way that will help SEO. Search and the RSS subscription button are not prominently featured. The
||Markup is well written, and clearly communicates information hierarchy in a way that will help SEO. Search and the RSS subscription button are included in the interface. The
||Markup is exemplary, and clearly communicates information hierarchy in a way that will help SEO. Search and the RSS subscription button are prominently featured. The
|Design||The default blog software design is unmodified, or the design is poorly implemented with n thematic relevance to the topics of the course.||The design is professional and thematically relevant to the topics of the course.||The design is professional, intelligent, attractive, and thematically relevant to the topics of the course.|
Create a 10 minute (minimum) presentation discussing a findability topic of your choice. Please discuss your topic with your instructor before beginning research. Your presentation should be legible to a classroom of people and should include graphics, text, links, etc. illustrating your findings. Include a resources page with links to your sources and other useful places where your audience can learn more. Use Eric Meyer’s S5 tool to present your research in a findable format. This presentation content will ultimately be added to your final project.
Below are suggested research topics:
- Black hat SEO
- Using PHP and/or Modrewrite to create search engine friendly URLs
- Optimizing Flash content for search engines
- Detailed compare and contrast of 3 traffic analysis tools
- Generating revenue from a web site using advertising, affiliate programs, etc.
- Innovations in rich media search
- Viral marketing techniques
- Google AdWords or AdSense
- Image Replacement Techniques for better findability
- Creating custom 404 Pages with findability in mind
- Using RSS to reach and draw more users/customers
- Google Ajax Search API or Google CSE
- CPC services compare and contrast (Yahoo!, Google, MSN)
- Integrating search into your site
- Open Search
- Interview with a professional in a findability related field (other than our guest speakers)
- Suggest a topic to your instructor
|0 points||1 point||2 points|
|Presentation Content||Content was not cohesive, seemed incomplete, at times was irrelevant to course goals, was poorly researched, and was not backed by sources. Examples were not provided where necessary to clarify concepts presented or were provided but were of poor quality.||Content was relatively cohesive, relevant to course goals, somewhat well researched, and sometimes backed by sources. Some examples were provided to clarify concepts presented.||Content was cohesive, relevant to course goals, very well researched, and backed by sources. Examples were provided where necessary to clarify concepts presented.|
|Communication||Speaker was unprepared, stumbled through content, was hard to hear or understand, and did not keep the audience's attention. Slides were poorly designed, illegible, had an inappropriate amount of text, and did not present relevant content.||Speaker was prepared, did not stumble through content very often, spoke relatively clearly and audibly, and kept the audience's attention. Slides were relatively well designed, legible, but sometimes had an inappropriate amount of text.||Speaker was well prepared, did not stumble through content, spoke clearly and audibly, and kept the audience's attention. Slides were exceptionally well designed, legible, had the appropriate amount of text, and presented relevant content that made understanding the presentation easier.|
Throughout the course you have begun to develop portions of a website that presents content about the various topics we have explored in class. These smaller projects, our class discussions, and your research now will all combine to become a site about the various aspects of findability. Use the design created for your blog as the template for the rest of the pages. Below is a sitemap for the website you will be creating:
- 1.0 Home: Write keyword rich copy for the home page that sums up the content of this site. Define target keywords using Google's keyword tool or Wordtracker. Identify keywords that people search for, but have relatively low competition. Use the markup techniques discussed in the course to create effective keyword density, and clear information hierarchy for search engines and users alike. Evaluate the keyword density of your pages using the online Keyword density and prominence tool. The design of your home page should clearly direct traffic to the key areas of the site.
- 2.0 Findability Blog: Your research blog from the above assignment.
- 3.0 SEO Best Practices: Summarize the techniques you have learned in the class and in your own research to create a findable website.
- 4.0 Research Topic: Convert your research presentation into a web page using the same template design as is used in the rest of the site.
- 5.0 Findability Resources: Create a page with links to valuable findability resources. Split the links into the following categories: SEO, email marketing, search, traffic analysis, my classmates (links to each student's blog). You should have at least 20 resource links in addition to the classmate links.
- 6.0 Findability Vocabulary: Create a page using definition lists to create a findability vocabulary reference page. Include at least 10 definitions.
- 7.0 About This Site: Create a page that describes how your site was built to improve findability, what strategies you used to register it with search engines, how you built inbound links, how you'll analyze your traffic to discover findability problems, and generally how you are directing traffic to the site. Include on this page the evaluation methods you used to assess your success.
- 8.0 Contact: Create a contact page that presents your contact info in the hCard microformat. Include a link to download the information.
- 9.0 Sitemap: Create a sitemap linking to all pages in the site facilitating better usability and search engine indexing of your pages.
Your site should also have the following:
- sitemap.xml registered with Google, Yahoo, MSN Live, and Ask (link to it in the sitemap page so the instructor can evaluate it)
- robots.txt preventing certain content form being indexed, and directing search engines to your sitemap.xml file
- Google Analytics tracking
- Semantic, accessible markup that employs the recommendations of Chapter 2: Markup Strategies from the first recommended course text
- An integrated search tool with **OpenSearch** implemented so users can search without visiting your site
- Use image replacement techniques to ensure the logo, though graphical, is presented with clear markup hierarchy
- Creative commons licensing
- A custom 404 page that helps lost users get back on track
Your site should use valid (X)HTML and CSS. For accessibility, validate your site to WCAG 1.0 single A with TAWDIS, or Section 508 Priority 1 with WAVE, depending on what is more suitable for your situation (). Place validation links in the footer of each page. Use Raven's SEO tools to evaluate your web site's SEO success before submitting the assignment.
|0 points||1 point||2 points|
|Project Requirements||Many project requirements are incomplete, and/or executed with poor production values.||Most project requirements are met, but sometimes have poor production values.||All project requirements are met, and executed with exceptional detail and professionalism.|
|Markup||Markup is poorly written, and does not communicate the information hierarchy in a way that will help SEO.||Markup is relatively well written, and communicates information hierarchy in a way that will help SEO.||Markup is exemplary, and clearly communicates information hierarchy in a way that will help SEO.|
|Content||Content is not cohesive, is poorly written, contains typos spelling and grammar errors, and does not follow the content quality recommendations outlined in chapter 4 of the textbook.||Content is relatively cohesive, well-written, has a few minor typos spelling and grammar errors, and follows the content quality recommendations outlined in chapter 4 of the textbook.||Content is cohesive, exceptionally well-written, free of typos spelling and grammar errors, and follows the content quality recommendations outlined in chapter 4 of the textbook.|
|Design||The design is unprofessional, not usable, and does not employ basic design principles. The home page is not designed to funnel traffic to key areas of the website.||The design is professional, usable, intelligent, and relatively attractive. The home page is designed to funnel traffic to key areas of the website.||The design is professional, usable, intelligent, exceptionally attractive, and thematically relevant to the topics of the course. The home page is very well designed to funnel traffic to key areas of the website.|