The Irish Independent web portal has embarked on a new web strategy that embraces search engine optimisation (SEO) disciplines, greater use of RSS news feeds and an investment in semantic web technology.
Independent.ie, which publishes more than 300 articles a day online, has rolled out next-generation semantic web software from Inform Technologies that automatically identifies people, companies, places, organisations and products as they appear in Independent.ie content.
Ian Byrne, managing director, Independent Digital, said that the semantic web technology allows for an enriched and unparalleled user experience, unrivalled in Irish news portals.
“The Independent.ie website has become deeper and more engaging, meaning that readers spend more time on the site and view more pages,” Byrne explained.
He said that Independent.ie is also part of Independent Digital’s commitment to research and development of its online product mix. Tools such as RSS Feeds of all sections, along with newer features such as social bookmarks, allow users to store, tag and share links across the internet. The portal has also been updating its breaking news, and has also run a successful customised Galway Races project on Twitter.
Attention to SEO in 2008 meant that Independent.ie grew traffic considerably, and is consistently ranked at the top of search engine results pages.
“The ability to pull contextually related content from our own vast archives, as well as related articles, audio, video and blogs from sources all over the web, is a prime example of how Independent.ie is using state-of-the-art technology to provide our readers with a more comprehensive, timely and entertaining view of news and information,” Byrne added.
James Satloff, CEO of Inform Technologies, said the semantic web will create opportunities for the paper’s website, not only locally, but on a global stage.
“This ‘top down’ semantic web initiative is proof of Independent Digital’s ongoing commitment to innovation and to working with best-in-class technology partners,” said Patrick Lenehan, CTO, Independent Digital.
“Reader feedback is that they enjoy the new user experience because it helps them unlock more relevant information about subjects that interest them. The SEO boost is also very strong, as Independent.ie now has dedicated topics pages on thousands of subjects from Lehman Brothers to Manchester United,” Lenehan said.
By John Kennedy