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MANAGING THE DIGITAL ENTERPRISEMICHAEL RAPPA

<2>NAVIGATING THE WEB

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Things to watch:

__/ 03-02-2004 \__
Yahoo: Past, present
and future

Jerry Yang
Terry Semel

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Hungry minds:

The State of Search
Engine Marketing 2004

SEMPO

Placing Search in
Context

Lev Finkelstein, et al.

Search Systems in
Information Architecture
for the WWW

Louis Rosenfeld
Peter Morville

Accessibility of
Information on
the Web
Steve Lawrence
C. Lee Giles

Information on the
Fast Track
Bruce Schechter

Do Domain Names
Matter?

Francis Hwang

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Places to visit:

Search Engine Watch

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Previous topic:

Previous topicIntroductionspace

Introduction

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One of the most significant consequences of the widespread diffusion of digital technology is the vast amount of data generated as a result of ordinary things we do each day. One study has sought to quantify just how much data and came to a rough estimate of about 5 exabytes of new information produced annually and stored (mostly) on hard drives. Just how much data is that? If the seventeen million books in the Library of Congress were digitized it would yield about 136 terabytes of data. Using this as a benchmark, the annual information produced globally would be equivalent in size to the information contained in 37,000 new libraries the size of the U.S. Library of Congress book collections. Looked at another way, there is about 800 megabytes of recorded data produced per person annually. This is equivalent to a shelf of books 30 feet long. The amount of data produced each year is estimated to grow at a rate of about 30 percent.

Not long ago information was relatively scarce; the task of collecting, transmitting and storing data was costly and time-consuming. What data we did have at our disposal was cumbersome to evaluate. Although the value of carefully analyzed data was great, the opportunity to make good use of it in decision-making did not always avail itself. In contrast, today we exist in an environment that is data rich. The speed and declining cost of data collection, storage and transmission provide amble opportunities for managers to make decisions based on empirical data and analysis.

But soon we will be flooded with information--a digital tsunami. Individuals with access to the web already have millions of destinations, or domain namesInternet searchers are confident, satisfied and trusting – but they are also unaware and naïve. -- with more than 300 million host computers by January 2005 -- totaling more than eight billion publicly accessible web pages. In little more than a half-decade we have gone from information scarcity to an overabundance, and that fact alone has changed the way many of us go about our lives. Learning how to navigate this sea of information is paramount. As individuals, we need to understand how to find the information we seek with reasonable ease, speed, and accuracy. And businesses on the web must be confident that they can and will be found by potential customers who seek their goods and services.

The challenge of finding information has led to the early development of web directories and search engines. These tools have quickly become an indispensable feature of the Internet. The popularity of sites like Google and Yahoo! has given them a unique status because they serve users as a point of entry to the web. Knowing how they work is key to understanding how to search and how to be found on the web.

Number of Internet HostsFinding a business on the web may entail no more than adding ".com" to its name. But this is not necessarily always the case. The problem of finding what we want (and being found) becomes trickier when searching for a product or service instead of a particular company. A simple search of a major web directory can yield hundreds of resultant links. That is usually more than we have the time or energy to investigate. Typically, search accuracy, in terms of the actual number of useful sites, can be very low. This is unsatisfactory for both consumers and businesses, alike. The key to being found on the web is knowing some basic elements about how to code your web site. These include, but are not limited to: picking the right "keywords" and positioning them correctly on your web pages, using meta-tags, including html links along with graphics, and submitting only key pages to search engines.

GLOBAL INTERNET AUDIENCE METRICS - NOVEMBER 2006
Sessions/Visits per Person per Month
34
Domains Visited per Person per Month
70
Web Pages per Person per Month
1,493
Page Views per Surfing Session
43
PC Time Spent per Month
30:24:38
Time Spent During Surfing Session
0:53:30
Duration of a Web Page Viewed
0:00:44
Active Digital Media Universe

331,608,691

Current Digital Media Universe Estimate

488,865,738

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings (January 2007)
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Hear the podcast:

Podcast by Professor Michael Rappa

Audio | Transcript

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Things to read:

Learning Objectives

__/ 08-31-2005 \__
The Google Legacy:
Google Technology

Stephen E. Arnold

__/ 01-23-2005 \__
Search Engine Users
Deborah Fallows

__/ 04-02-2004 \__
Into the Mind of
the Searcher

Gord Hotchkiss

__/ 05-30-2003 \__
Buying Your Way In
Danny Sullivan

__/ 10-14-2002 \__
How Search Engines
Work
and
How Search Engines
Rank Web Pages

Danny Sullivan

__/ 10-27-2003 \__
How Much Information?
Peter Lyman
Hal R. Varian

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Case study:

Google

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Next topic:

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Digital Design

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© 2009 Michael Rappa

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