Subheading in search results

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Akitakoi, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. Akitakoi macrumors regular

    Akitakoi

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #1
    When you search Apple, the results show subheadings. Many sites show up this way.

    I have been searching for a tutorial or how to, anyone have a link or care to explain how to set this up?

    TIA
     
  2. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #3
    On Apple's site, I typed in "imac" and got many results organized into categories, i.e. "Products" with 635 results then "The Apple Store" with 23 results on so on. Is this what you mean?

    If so, here are two common ways to accomplish this (hypothetical examples below, not sure what Apple really uses)...

    The first depends on the design of the site, i.e. Apple uses categories which of course each ends up in the database uniquely. The developers then wrote a custom search tool that queries the database grouping by category and displaying the results that way. In essence, it's all about proper database design, i.e. add a field to distinguish one category from another, somehow.

    The second depends on a spider which searches and indexes a site much like Google does, but the developers configured weights to add priority to content that matches the search query. The weights could be keywords, i.e. if a match also contains "Products" assign it a token value of 10, otherwise it's value is 5. During the output, all the "10" valued content matched is displayed, followed by 20, 30 and so on for any other categories. The point is all this is handled by the spider, the categories and weights are configured by the developer in the indexer settings, and the whole thing is autonomous, i.e. it's not database dependent.

    Google Custom Search does this with a combination of filters and what they call sources, i.e. books/blogs/news. I am not sure if you can customize sources, however, but you can assign keywords and weights.

    -jim
     
  3. Akitakoi thread starter macrumors regular

    Akitakoi

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #4
    Hi JIm,
    Was actually referring to this, overanalyzer pointed me in the right direction but I'm still not understanding.
    "We only show sitelinks for results when we think they'll be useful to the user. If the structure of your site doesn't allow our algorithms to find good sitelinks, or we don't think that the sitelinks for your site are relevant for the user's query, we won't show them."

    So how would I structure a site so the algorithms find it?:confused:
     

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  4. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #5
    Specific to Google and "site links", that feature is automated and beyond your direct control other than to block or unblock them. That's what overanalyzer's link was all about.

    So I, like you, began to speculate exactly how one optimizes their site so Google creates those site links. As it turns out a lot of other people noticed that web page wasn't much help, so I looked around and found this excellent site which highlights suggestions and criteria that triggers Google to create site links for your site (excerpt):

    More details on that page - for better or worse.

    Now the advice I gave does explain methods that do pretty much the same thing in terms of the search results page and within the developers control. So if you follow the advice above and find your site still doesn't index with site links, or your site is too young or ranked low/stable, you've got an alternative approach.

    For example, follow my method and create categories based on your menu navigation (hint: if you use friendly URL's, that helps alot, i.e. lots of links with yoursite.com/products which contain products, yoursite.com/iphone which contains only content about iphone, etc. and use Google custom search to add keywords such as "products" and "google" and weigh them higher. Or consider using their "Promotions" feature to customize the result page, which allows you to create a simple XML file that controls how keywords and queries are optimized to show nice little headings at the top of the result page. Details on customizing the result page and promotions are here.

    Easier than designing your own spider and indexer, which I did mention as a possibility. For that, look into FastFind which is open source PHP/MySQL and highly customizable.

    So now you've got help on Google site links, Google Custom Search (alternative approach using Google) and a third party product you can customize for your own site as you see fit.

    -jim
     
  5. Akitakoi thread starter macrumors regular

    Akitakoi

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #6
    Wow, now that's an answer!
    Not exactly what I was hoping to hear but explains it pretty clearly.

    Site has to be #1 for the keyword:( Pretty much kills it for me at least for this site.

    Thanks again,
     

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