Visibility of government information

17 February 2008 at 21:17 Leave a comment

“Yet government websites rarely fit the way that people actually use the internet. A Google search for ‘UK‘ ‘government’ ‘childhood’ ‘obesity’ and ‘“help’ brings up a site that links to some mildly interesting statistics, but the excellent ‘children and healthy weight’ page on directgov does not come up among the first 100 results.” says Edward Lucas in an Economist special report “Look it up on the web

I’d comment on two fronts:

  • If you search for his keywords on Google (searching the whole web) there are relevant Directgov results at #7 and #11 – although not the article he refers to, they are relevant results. A search on Google restricted to UK gives the same results at #5 and #6. From these pages you can get to the article he refers to.
  • He seems, like many commentators, not to understand Directgov’s proposition to write content in the general public’s language. If you change the search to ‘UK government childhood weight’ or ‘children healthy weight’, the “Children and healthy weight” article comes top in whole web and UK. So the article is optimised for general language, rather than more official language.

Nevertheless, it is vital for government to recognise the importance of web search when citizens are looking for information and to start taking visibility in search engines seriously.

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Entry filed under: seo. Tags: .

Search behaviour patterns RSS feeds for search results

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