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How to help your site be found by search tools (Google and our site search)

There are various ways that you can help your site be found and increase its relevancy in Google and other searches (including the University site-wide search).

First, make sure you add a site description and some keywords to your home teaser page. This feature was added in the early summer 2015 and everyone should check to make sure they are using it:

  • Go to the configuration page (Site setup > Site Customisation)

    teaser home page metadata

  • Fill in the boxes for Site description and Site keywords - make the description as pithy as possible to hook searches for phrases that people may search for. This may take a bit of thinking about.
  • Save the page before you leave it.

Second make sure your teaser home page has some meaningful text on it that can also be indexed.

Third, register the site with Google analytics and add the tracking code to your site by pasting it into the site configuration:

  • First register with Google analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics) and acquire a site code (you will need a Google account - it may be useful for you to start a specific Google account for these analytics so that it isn't tied to you personally and can be passed on if you change role).

    create ga account

  • Go to Site Setup (in grey bar)
  • Go to Plone configuration > Site, which shows you possible site-wide settings
  • Go to the section 'JavaScript for web statistics support' and paste in the Google analytics code. Other code you might need to add for analytics or site analysis can be pasted into this box as well, but make sure you find out if it is sensitive to the order in which it appears.

Fourth, link your site to Google webmaster tools (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home?hl=en) as that will kickstart indexing of your site, give you access to search data, and if need be give you a route to delete URLs from Google's index.

  • To Link your site, click the 'Add property' button, and then add the URL of your site (ensuring you use the http:// URL). You will need to click 'verify' to confirm you are the site owner. (If you are adding a site that has had Google Analytics code for some time you will have to add a file to the site rather than use verify.)
  • To kickstart indexing, go to the site in webmasters tools and click on 'Sitemaps'. All Falcon sites automatically have site maps, for which the URL is /sitemap.xml.gz. Click on 'Add/Test sitemap' and add the URL, then refresh, and indexing for the site will be queued.
  • To check your robots.txt file (see below) go to Crawl > robots.txt tester in the left navigation.

Notes