Larry BraunerIn the past year, “findability” has become something of a buzzword, yet findability is much more than a buzzword.

Findability is people’s ability locate and engage with your web content through a combination of search and social mechanisms. And findability convergence is interaction you create and synergy you foster between search and social strategies and techniques.

Findability Trumps Quantity and Quality

Your web presence is at least as much governed by the findability of your content as it is by its quantity and quality. Findability activities need to be fully integrated with your web content production to permit your intended audience to find and interact with that content.

As I stated in Why Bad Things Happen to Good Content, “Sadly, very many potentially useful web sites languish in obscurity like proverbial trees falling in forests with no one around to hear them. While these web sites have excellent content, they have few readers to use or enjoy that content [i.e., they lack findability].

“Good content needs to be consumed. I would rather publish marginally good material that is highly consumed than top-notch content that merely gathers dust.”

Focus on Search and Social

Findability is necessary if your content is to be consumed and discussed. So if you’re content is good but isn’t getting enough reaction, your search and social initiatives are probably falling short.

Weekly Website Traffic from All SourcesThe New Website Traffic Case Study — Watch Company — Weeks 1-13 that I presented two weeks ago was an example of using search and social to increase content findability.

Focus as much on search and social as you do on content, and your web presence will grow.

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21 Responses to “Findability — Search and Social — and Your Web Presence”

  1. Steve on March 21st, 2011 8:46 am

    Larry, great information. I like the point about not only being able to find content, but making it more easy for people to engage with your content. The engagement piece is what I’m working on now.

  2. Kathy McNamara on March 21st, 2011 10:23 am

    Thanks for a great article. What are the top 3 things you do to enhance your findability? I am struggling with that right now, and would love your suggestions. Thanks so much, Kathy

  3. Marty on March 21st, 2011 2:38 pm

    This just makes so much sense. There is no use in hiding your light under a bushel as the saying goes. Thanks for the tips. Hey, in the spirit of promotion, come visit me. I write daily and I love feedback too.

  4. Dave Lucas on March 21st, 2011 2:39 pm

    Larry! There once was a wonderful blog I visited daily where the author engaged in nothing short of a forum-like dialog with her readers. Oh, how I wished I could get that kind of interaction going on my blog! Now that was back in 2005. To this day, I have rarely posted anything that gets more than 2 or 3 comments, let alone the 45 to 70 that gal was getting every single day!

    Fast forward to 2011 - I am still trying - and have tried - anything and everything suggested and imaginable to drive readers to my blog. [Google, ask.com, wikipedia, MyBlogLog, Entrecard, twitter, etc.] There are about 10 posts out of the more than 4000 I have uploaded in the last six years that bring in at least one reader a day. But I still can’t get that level of interactivity I desire!

    I appreciate your article: it is making me THINK!

    PS - the blogger I talked about is LaShawn Barber. She wrote a political blog that kicked butt! When she changed it to a more personal blog that was more about popular music and culture, that interactivity vanished… I just checked: she’s still writing a blog but now all comments are “closed” on every article!

  5. Jason on March 22nd, 2011 3:39 pm

    I agree with this very insightful post. As a beginner blogger, I’m still trying to find the balance between quantity and quality, but I seem to overlook findability. Reading your post has made me realize how significant the concept of findability is. Now I just have to find ways to increase findability. Thanks for the insightful read!

  6. Arash Khorsandi on March 26th, 2011 8:37 am

    This is a great article. It would enhance everyone’s knowledge on how to put their websites on a plus level. Thank you for such a great input.

  7. Debby Bruck on March 28th, 2011 1:56 am

    What Dave says is true. What is the best method for dialogue on a blog? There must be some guidelines we can use from all of your experience on the Social Networks. Thanks Larry. And Safe Travels.

  8. Cherry Rahtu on March 28th, 2011 6:30 am

    Hi Larry, Yes, I think findability or visibility on search engines is the most important thing, as most of people are still searching for information they need,. Social media works as a tool that speed up this process; that’s all. Search engine optimization is fundamental to any successful web presence. Therefore I 100% support your point.

  9. Brian Sundquist on March 28th, 2011 6:16 pm

    Larry like all your blog enteries BUT I would like you to do one on QR codes. Would this be good for business? I was considering using the QR codes on my web page plus providing the app if the person viewing the web page did not have the app on his phone. Is this good or not?

    Brian

  10. steven barbarich on March 30th, 2011 3:15 am

    I believe joining in Social Networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook helps increase a business’ online presence. Nowadays, almost everyone has an account on those sites.

  11. Rachel on March 31st, 2011 10:40 am

    I agree with Steven, Twitter and Facebook can help to increase awareness, however there are other ways to do it also.

    All the best,
    Rachel

  12. Craig on April 6th, 2011 3:05 pm

    What do you consider to be the difference between “Findability” and “SEO”? We might need to come up with a new acronym to be able to marry the idea of machines AND people locating us.

  13. Larry Brauner on April 6th, 2011 8:40 pm

    SEO is one aspect of findability. Social media is another. And it’s all about people in the end, not machines.

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  16. seo mauritius on June 9th, 2011 12:41 am

    Totally agree with you in this digital world even if you are genuine on giving unique informative content being not easily findable mean diving in the abyss of the net.

  17. Erika Simmons on September 27th, 2011 4:23 pm

    Optimizing the content is a must for it to find easily and quickly. Like what you said “Bad things happen to a good content”, maybe it’s because they are stuck or it may seen for the user to find it very hard.

  18. Christine on October 1st, 2011 11:43 pm

    You’re dead right! Quality and quantity count for nothing if nobody can find your web site and nobody reads what you’ve written.

  19. Mike Asus on October 6th, 2011 4:10 am

    If course these days with the Google Panda update, good content and “findability” are not quite as separate as they once were. Google keeps track of things like bounce rate these days, and if your website is not providing a good user experience (e.g. well designed website and good content) then your web presence is also going to be affected.

    So really good content and findability are more interconnected than many people think.

  20. Joe Thale on October 18th, 2011 6:20 pm

    Christine, totally agreed. Content is important. But the hardest part is getting yourself out there. I find writing articles quite useful. Hope this helps everyone out.

  21. Fredrickson on November 13th, 2011 5:07 pm

    You hit the nail on the head with this article. It’s the truth whether we like it or not. Findability is essential in the webspace and it does make it hard to have to worry about it, when also trying to write great quality and content, but it is of higher importance.

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