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Online Directory - Keywords FAQ

This article explains answers to a set of frequently asked questions by directory reviewers regarding Online Directory Keywords. It describes how keywords are used in the Directory and their purpose, as well as how Directory Reviewers may add keywords to their departments and divisions.

What are keywords?

Keywords are words or names that people searching the Directory might try when looking for your organization. They can be former names for a department (“NSIT” for “IT Services” for example); they can be commonly used names that are different from the official name of the organization, for example: “Police” instead of “Department of Safety and Security.” They can even be common misspellings or typos ("ITServices" for "IT Services").

You may enter as many keywords as you would like for your organization. Please remember that keywords match exactly as written— if both “ITServices” and “IT Services” should be keywords for “Information Technology Services,” both must be added as keywords. Likewise, if the keyword is “Safety Office” a search of “Safety” or of “Office” individually will not yield results.

How do I add/delete keywords for my department/division?

Log in to the Directory Update System. In the left hand column, select View My Departments/Divisions. A Keywords box appears directly under the Contact Information box. Click on the Add Keyword button in the right upper corner of the box to add. Then click the Save button.

You may delete keywords at any time by choosing the Delete button next to each of your keywords.

Why should I use a keyword?

Keywords allow users searching the online Directory to more easily locate your organization by accounting for the variety of ways a user might attempt to search for your organization on the Directory, such as searching for your organization's old or abbreviated name. E.g., “Information Technology Services” also has the keywords “NSIT” (our old name) and “ITServices” (no space – a common typo). Another example: “OB/GYN” could have the keyword term “obgyn” (no slash) or “babies.” Users searching the Directory for the “OB/GYN” department would be directed to it if they entered either of the above keywords.

Without these keywords, if a user attempts to find your organization by a non-standard but common name, abbreviation, common misspelling or typo etc., they will NOT be able to locate your organization using that common or abbreviated name because departments are listed by their official and formal names in the online Directory. Keywords circumvent this by allowing users to search for a variety of terms related to your organization as long as you include those terms as keywords for your organization.

Search terms provided by the user of the Directory match to the keywords that have been input by the Reviewer. You might think of them as a hidden cross-reference.

Is there an example of how to use a keyword?

Yes, as mentioned above, when a person uses the online Directory to find the University IT services department, he might search for "IT Services" using the search field. He will not find the organization that he is searching for, however, because the official name of that department in the Directory is "Information Technology Services." In this case, the Directory Reviewer should assign the keyword "IT Services", "ITS", "Information Technology", and other phrases that people are likely to try.

The next time someone searches for "IT Services," any organization with that specific keyword will appear in the results. In fact, all keywords for your organization that people search for will direct them to your organization. For example, "ITS," "IT Services," "ITServices," and "NSIT" in the case of "Information Technology Services" will all direct the user to the "Information Technology Services" online Directory page.

Are keywords alternate names for our organization?

No, but the concept is very similar. The only purpose of a keyword is to enable users searching the online Directory to more easily find your organization. Keywords direct people to your organization's Directory listing, but they will not appear IN the Directory listing for your organization.

Can keywords be used like "tags"— that is, can they help me guide people to our department who only know our function but not our name?

Yes. Keywords can be defined for anything that you believe users might search for when looking for your organization:

Keyword Examples

Department of Safety and Security


Department of Safety and Security


Department of Safety and Security

Safety Office

Department of Safety and Security

Crime Prevention

Can I use keywords when searching for people or is it just for departments?

Keywords work on both the Department search and the People search. If you are looking for an individual who works in the Department of Safety and Security, using the keyword "Safety Office" will enable you to find him or her. Likewise, if you use the department search, you can use the keyword “Safety Office” to find the departmental listing for the Department of Safety and Security

How many keywords can I create?

You can create as many keywords as your organization needs.

Is there anything I should avoid in creating a keyword?

Yes. You should avoid generic keywords that do not clearly define or specifically relate to your organization, such as "the," "department," or "office," etc. Using a common word alone (like the above-mentioned examples) as a keyword could result in misleading search results on the online Directory and would not make it easier for users to search.

See Also

Directory Reviewer FAQs

Keywords:searching, search, reviewer, phonebook   Doc ID:25213
Owner:Astrid F.Group:University of Chicago
Created:2012-07-18 14:36 CDTUpdated:2017-04-05 08:39 CDT
Sites:University of Chicago, University of Chicago - Sandbox
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