Content Providers - Provide the Content Already

Jul 6, 2004 • 8:44 am | comments (0) by | Filed Under SEO Copywriting

Jakob Nielsen came out with a new one just a few days ago named Time for a Redesign where one area he discusses that his problems with search and where part of the fault lies with "[The content] does not explicitly say what you want to know."

There is currently a dialog taking place at the Search Engine Watch Forums where Associate Editor, Chris Sherman explains this quote as follows: "If information is missing, there's no way a search engine can manufacture it to help solve the need of the user. That's the fault of the content creator, not the search engine."

Ron Carnell then accurately points out "I think Nielsen's example of a hotel web site not providing more information on off-site parking exemplifies his own lack of understanding of real world business practice."

The scenario is that Dr. Nielsen conducted a search on a hotel, to find information on that hotel. Then Dr. Nielsen wanted to learn about the hotel's parking accommodations but was surprised to see that pricing was not available at the hotel's Web site. Ron points out that for the hotel to manage 3rd party pricing on their own Web site would be inefficient. As Ron said its a "lack of understanding of real world business practice." If you want to know about parking at the hotel, conduct a new search on parking in the area of the hotel. Most probably you will find what you are looking for.

Of course search has a long way to go but to blame it on content providers is not always accurate. Why? To get more general, when I write on a topic here, I make sure to answer the readers anticipated questions when they read the title of the entry. So with this entry, titled "Content Providers - Provide the Content Already", I expect you to think something to the affect of "What are content providers not doing? "What should they be doing?" I am not going to be covering topics such as where to post content, how much it costs to post content and why I post content. I might start a new topic on such a question, but that topic probably wont cover the answers to What content providers should be doing.

Get my point. The content is out there. The searcher can't expect one search to act as a catchall for all their questions to be answered.

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