THE ANALYTICS OF AUTOCOMPLETE
The public’s understanding of archaeology is limited to career misconceptions, news and World of Warcraft
“Autocomplete instantly tells us what other people are thinking, and where we fit in” — Amanda Hess (Slate)
As professionals, we are accustomed to writing about topics that only matter to other professionals. We solely publish our work in journals and at conferences. In return, colleagues critique and compare our work with others in the same realm. This is the traditional cycle of contributing and sharing knowledge in archaeology.
Digital content does not subscribe to these rules. It is written specifically towards the interests of the public. Specialized information has to be converted to match trending topics, hot hashtags and visual formats. The public, in this case, dictates what they want to know about you. Autocomplete is the ultimate gauge of what’s hot and what’s not.
Above are the top five related topics when people search “archaeology” on Google. Below are the contexts behind these results:
- “Archaeology” as in general interest in the field of archaeology
- “Archaeology Definition” as in “What is Archaeology?”
- “Archaeology News” as in top stories featured in non-academic, digital publications
- “Archaeology Jobs” as in Google’s aggregated employment listings
- “Archaeology wow” as in a secondary profession in the latest expansion of World of Warcraft
Why is Google Search important? Google gauges which websites can answer specific inquiries (i.e. Archaeology Definition). Those are websites become digitally visible on the first page of search results. In other words, first page websites are considered the most “valuable” or “authoritative” on the subject.
How to gain digital visibility
In cultural heritage, authoritativeness is measured within the professional community (via conferences, scholarly journals, appointments, etc). Unfortunately, this does not translate in the digital sphere. Web and social content is written for a specific audience in a specific format. Therefore, digital authoritativeness is only achievable through comprehensive, informative and socially relevant digital content.
Visit Archaeological Analytics to improve your institution’s digital presence on the web and social media.