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Picking Keywords for UIC Search

The Head Crash WWW Everyone 
Asked on the REACH List:I forgot when I had to be at the Pavilion for commencement, and technophile that I am, I went to the UIC home page and did a UIC Search search on
    commencement AND spring AND 1998
and got bupkis. Why wasn't this page retrieved by the search engine? (I did find the commencement info, by the way, by looking up the UIC Pavilion.)

Reply #1:In this case, the search engine didn't find it because the word "spring" doesn't occur in the text or title of the page. That's okay, as there is only one commencement per year, so there's no need to call it "spring commencement". The lesson I see here: in a categorization approach, you would look for (a) commencements, then (b) this year's commencements, then (c) this spring's commencement, or for (a) events, then (b) 98 events, then (c) spring 98 events, then (d) spring 98 commencement.

In any case, you'd be following a decision tree. This is the approach you find at the site. The search engine at UIC uses keywords and text-matching, like most search engines on the Web (Lycos, Altavista, etc.).

Obviously the techniques here have to be different. In general, you want to start with a very broad search, then narrow it down until the list of documents returned is small and manageable enough to review them by hand. Exception: if you know a specific page and its content and just don't recall its location, you can be very specific. Keep in mind, however, that sites change rapidly and your site may have changed in such a way as not to match your search anymore, so don't get desperate if "it's gone."

Volker Kleinschmidt, Reply #2: "Spring" is a perfectly reasonable keyword to describe our commencement. Even if the people responsible for its Web pages didn't want to use it in the text, they could have added spring to the list of keywords in they specified in the <meta> tag in the page's <head> section:

<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="commencement, convocation, graduation, graduate, academic, attire, caps, and, gowns, resources">

By the way, they could have left out the "and"; words like that are ignored in searches.

And what about UIC Announce?They could have (and in fact they might have; can't tell now) put an announcement in UIC Announce pointing to the Web page; that's the perfect place to look for it. Connection

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