Online Northwest 2011

The First Principles of Web Search: A Primer On Search Engine Optimization

by Nicholas Schiller is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

This presentation was given at the 2011 Online Northwest conference on February 11 in Corvallis, Oregon.


Our users’ changing information habits mean that Search Engine Optimization has become a practical skill for librarians in a wide range of job roles. Unfortunately, SEO has been relegated as a niche skill for librarians who do web design or marketing work. I want to correct this misnomer and make a case for re-defining SEO as understanding the fundamental principles of web search. Increasing numbers of library users rely on web search to filter the information they receive. Librarians who understand Internet search with the same level of detail as they understand catalog searching or database searching will be much better prepared to assist this kind of library user. In this session, we will visualize basic search engine functionality and discuss the difference between keyword matching and Pagerank algorithms. We’ll examine how web-scale discovery and next-generation catalogs use these concepts to make our collections available to our patrons. Finally, we’ll engage in a guided discussion of how these concepts are integrated into the daily practices of public, special, and academic librarians specializing in reference, technical, and access services.


Download presentation slides. The presentation was created and delivered in Keynote, and is saved in .PPT (PowerPoint) format here to give it wider access. In the transistion, some formatting was lost. Please contact me if you'd like an original copy.  The presentation makes use of Creative Commons licensed content and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike license.

Creative Commons License

Leave a Reply