Re: Use of Navigational Tools in a Repository

From: Andy Powell <andy.powell_at_EDUSERV.ORG.UK>
Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2006 09:59:34 -0000

> What causes this difference? Is it an intrinsic feature of
> the repository software, or a side effect of the organisation
> of the repository and the interlinking of the pages that it
> exposes. Is it all down to the sets of navigational pages
> that are provided internally? (Does the subject
> classification pull its weight in this aspect of a
> repository?) Or is the difference rather in the context that
> the repository is situated? Will a repository that is well-
> linked into its community (with high pagerank scores) have
> different behaviour from an isolated repository?

To a search engine, the Web interface to a repository is just like any
other Web site, so conventional wisdom about improving site/page ranking
will apply. The kinds of recommendations under

and elsewhere will therefore be appropriate.

As far as I know, it is generally accepted that broad flat site
structures are more easily crawled than deep narrow ones, that
well-ranked sites are crawled more often and more thoroughly than
lower-ranked sites and that using the 'title', 'meta keywords' and 'meta
description' tags sensibly on the abstract (and other) pages will help,
as will ensuring that the important text on the abstract page comes

As a consequence, it makes sense to position the repository pages
closely within the institutional Web site (e.g. use, rather than or, worse, and then to try and keep the hierarchy below
that as flat as possible.

And as Les suggests, links to the pages in the repository (and anywhere
else on the site for that matter) from outside are important (e.g. from
Connotea) - though there is of course a chicken and egg problem
initially. Serving useful RSS feeds from the repository and trying to
ensure that they get picked up and embedded into other highly ranked
sites might help. As will manually, or automatically, submitting the
key repository pags directly to the search engines and directories (e.g.
Yahoo and Open Directory).

It'd be interesting to know whether encouraging linking based on
OpenURLs results in lower page-rank (or at least results in page-rank
not being increased) - ditto for other redirected links such as those
using I assume that the former harms the page-rank of pages
in the repository (though other benefits might outweigh this
consideration), but the latter is OK??

Head of Development, Eduserv Foundation
+44 (0)1225 474319
Received on Fri Mar 10 2006 - 15:53:33 GMT

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