Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for the University of Waterloo search results

Appearance of results

sample search resultA full search result pulls information from various parts of your web page. Knowing how and where to adjust these can help you optimize the display of your search result.

In addition to this, making sure this information is as relevant to your page as possible can help with search engine optimization (SEO).

Below, we show what comes from where, and how to modify this information in the WCMS (where possible). In most cases, the University's search uses the information from the Open Graph metatags. Be aware that any changes to this information will also affect any other service, such as Facebook, that uses the same metatags.

Title

sample search result focused on the titleThis is set from the meta tag "og:title".

In the WCMS, by default, this is set to "title of page | name of site".

In the meta tags section of the edit page, you can override this for all services - assuming you have not changed the default settings elsewhere - by changing the value of "page title" under "basic tags". To override only for Open Graph, change the value of "content title" in the "Open Graph" section.

URL

sample search result focused on the URLThis is set from the meta tag "og:url".

In the WCMS, this is set to use the URL of the page, and cannot be changed without changing the actual URL of the page.

Image

sample search result focused on the imageThis is set from the meta tag "og:image". If not present, no image is displayed.

In the WCMS, by default, this uses the image in the "listing page image for social media" field. If one is not set, this will fall back to the first image in the "upload an image" section. If neither is set, no image is used.

In the meta tags section of the edit page, you can override this for all services - assuming you have not changed the default settings elsewhere - by changing the value of "image" in the "advanced tags" section to the URL of the image you wish to use. To override only for Open Graph, change the value of "image" in the "Open Graph" section.

Description text

sample search focused on the description textThis is set from the meta tag "og:description" if it exists. If this meta tag does not exist, then this will pull from content within the body text.

In the WCMS, by default, this uses the summary for the body field. If one is not set, this will fall back to the teaser of the body field.

In the meta tags section of the edit page, you can override this for all services - assuming you have not changed the default settings elsewhere - by changing the value of "description" under "basic tags". To override only for Open Graph, change the value of "content description" in the "Open Graph" section.

Category/Site

sample search result focused on the categoryThis is set from the meta tag "og:site_name". If not present, no category is displayed.

In the WCMS, this is set to use the name of the site, and cannot be changed without renaming the site.

Ordering of results

In addition to the standard SEO tips, you can help boost your page's ranking in results by ensuring that the information that the University's search considers most important contains the key words you consider most relevant for the page. This information, in order of importance to the search, is:

  1. Title
  2. URL
  3. Description text
  4. Body

Pages where the key words are included in all of these pieces of information will be ranked higher than pages where the key words are only included in some, or one, of these pieces of information.