This week we launched our Learning Navigation service. This is a natural extension to our Learning Search service. Learning Navigation makes it easier for your visitors to find what they’re looking for while they’re navigating your site because it brings the popular products to the top at all stages of the navigation.

We’ve designed the Learning Navigation with search engine optimization in mind:

  • The navigation pages have search engine friendly links – i.e. not too many parameters and there are useful keywords in the links themselves.
  • The navigational pages are easily crawlable – every valid combination of facets can be found by the spiders.
  • The navigation pages have meaningful titles that accurately describe the contents of the page.

    These are all fairly simple techniques which for some reason a lot of sites don’t follow. For example look at this URL from home depot (an Endeca customer):
    http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS/EN_US/diy_main/pg_diy.jsp?BV_SessionID=@@@@0696099881.1161203966@@@@&BV_EngineID=cccdaddjeejdfhdcgelceffdfgidglm.0&CNTTYPE=PROD_META&CNTKEY=misc/searchResults.jsp&MID=9876&N=2984+6633&pos=n10

    It’s frighteningly ugly and the page contains frames which makes it even more difficult for search engines. Home depot have had to create pages such as this so the search engines can index their content. This is a very bland page and should a person happen to find it when searching on Google I’m sure the conversion rate will be lower than it would be if this was their standard “Kids room” page (which is impossible to link to but here is an image). By making your navigation pages crawlable and search engine friendly you can eliminate the need to devise other schemes for getting your content indexed and the navigation pages themselves can rank well and serve as great landing pages.