Website Visibility - Are You Seen?

Kritzinger, W. & Weideman, M.

Poster presentation in: Proceedings of WWW Applications. Johannesburg, South Africa.

Kritzinger, W. & Weideman, M. 2004. Website Visibility - Are You Seen? Poster presentation in: Proceedings of WWW Applications. Johannesburg, South Africa. Go to for the full text of this poster.

Statement of the problem
Recent work indicates that the use of metadata elements plays an important part in making webpages more visible. Lack of refereed research on the usage of metadata on e-Commerce websites prompted the authors to inspect, experiment and report on whether e-Commerce websites make use of these metadata elements to enhance their visibility. Objectives of the research The purpose of this project was to inspect and report on the accuracy of one of the definitions of the relationships listed below. The remaining eleven could be inspected in detail in future research.

The authors intuitively defined a set of relationships between users, search engines, meta data and webpages. No claim is made in this project as to the accuracy of these definitions, as listed below. A decision was taken to inspect the occurrence and usage of those metatags considered to be relevant to website visibility. A scoring scheme was defined to measure the effective use of these metatags on the webpage.

Major findings
To summarize some of the basic results:
- average of webpages which used none of the three metatags at all: 42.3%
- average of webpages which used the three metatags effectively: 38%
- webpages which earned the minimum score: 9.95%
- webpages which earned the maximum score: 18.9%
- average overall score was 3.75 out of 6.

Conclusions & Recommendations
These figures indicate a lack of application of a basic but potentially effective methodology to increase webpage visibility. It is recommended that company management insist on the implementation of these metatags on mission critical websites. If this potential visibility enhancing mechanism is ignored, potential income opportunities are neglected.
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  2. Weideman, M. 2002. Effective application of metadata in South African HEI websites to enhance visibility to search engines. Proceedings of the 4th Annual Conference on World Wide Web Applications. 4-6 September. Cape Town, South Africa. Online:
  3. Weideman, M. & Strumpfer, C. 2004. The effect of search engine keyword choice and demographic features on Internet searching success. Information Technology and Libraries, 23(2): 58-65. Online:
Full text of Conference Poster No 0151: Website Visibility - Are You Seen?

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