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NCTech4Good Message Board › Thoughts on search terms

Thoughts on search terms

Margaret L.
user 14017508
Raleigh, NC
Post #: 11
Hi folks:

Hope I can tap the brain trust on an issue I'm having with a site I manage. The site includes a searchable database of professionals with various interests within a main interest area. The database was created about a year and a half ago (not by me) with a finite list of keywords from which the professionals could choose. Some were not happy about the limitations on their choices and wanted to describe their specific interests differently. This fall, when we updated the list, we invited people to offer their own interest terminology. For the most part the terms were not that different but there were a few outliers - nothing extreme. Now the person in charge of the agency for this site is unhappy with the variety of new terms and wants us to reload all the terms to fit in a list he has approved.

I have a few problems with this and would like to know if you all think they're valid:
- The search function ON this site is not a smart search; that is, if you enter "bunny" and a person has given "bunnies" as their interest, "bunnies" will not show up in the search results. Only "bunny" will show.
- This is a public database so I assume it will show up in Google and other general search engine results. Won't I increase my site's visibility by having a wider variety of search terms?

(My other problems include that people were told they could define their own interests and now we're saying they must adhere to one person's classifications, plus the fact that I must manually change each search term on each person's profile; there is no DB-wide search term repository.)

If you have any advice or other thoughts about my situation, please weigh in. If you'd like more details, email me at perg@panix.com - I don't want to discuss too much on a public forum.

Thanks

Margaret Lillard
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