A recent study compared the “crawlability” of Localist to other popular university calendaring systems, 25Live and Trumba — that is, how well search engines can index the pages being served. It consistently found that search caches of Localist content at institutions outnumbered those of other systems by thousands. Any calendars served by 25Live or Trumba were virtually invisible.
Some examples of Google’s indexed pages:
Cornell University – Localist:
Individual events are cached discretely by Google, giving the calendar a rich presence on the Web. Since event calendars change frequently, Google will visit this site often, looking for new content.
California State University San Marcos – Trumba:
In this example, Google has found only the index page of the calendar. Google cannot see links to any individual events, or even RSS feeds. Therefore, none of the actual calendar content can be indexed by any search engine.
Chemeketa Community College calendar – 25Live:
Similar to the example above, only the index page was found by Google.
Working with over thirty five institutions across the US has allowed us to consistently measure how much traffic search engines generate when it comes to finding calendar information. On average, 45% of the traffic to Localist calendars is from search engines. If your institution uses a Google Appliance to manage the indexing of all the content on your website, it will pick up Localist content as well.
Even more importantly, most students are used to performing a search, not navigating through various menus on a school’s website, so having up-to-date calendar content available via search, not just on a website, is integral to getting a student more involved.
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