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We unveiled our new A-Z web directory this morning. If you didn’t look closely, you might not have noticed much difference on the surface. Under the surface, however, the system is more powerful and more useful. It’s already a popular destination for finding websites at VCU. (It’s helped people visit over 600 websites in the first 6 hours it’s been available.) Here’s some of the changes you might notice:

  • There are a few more categories within the directory. We’ve added categories for campus life, online services, and the VCU Health System, and we expect to add departmental blogs soon.
  • More A-Z results show up in VCU search results. Webmasters can now add keywords to their website listing in the A-Z index that will help their sites show up for relevant searches. For instance, search VCU for “apply to vcu” and you’ll get the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
  • There will be more sites in the index. We’ve made it easier for webmasters to add their websites, and we hope they’ll continue to enrich the web directory with useful links.

For webmasters, we’ve added even more features on the backend that make it worthwhile to add your sites:

  • Adding your site to the index is easier than ever. Just log into the A-Z Web Directory manager, add a site, and it’s there. We review sites within 1-2 business days (often much less) and as soon as sites have been reviewed, they appear in the index.
  • Once they’re in the index, updating information is instantaneous. If you move your site to a new domain, change your organization name, or want to add new keywords, changing this information takes place in the A-Z index immediately.
  • Keywords and aliases make your site easier to find. Keywords let you set search-specific words and phrases that will return your site in the VCU search engine. Aliases let you provide alternate names for your site that will also appear in the A-Z index.
  • Track how many visits your site receives from the A-Z index. You can see how many people have clicked to your sites from the A-Z index, including how many people have visited your site today, this week, this month, and overall. You can even see how many people visit your site on a monthly basis.
  • Check whether your site complies with VCU web standards and easily resubmit it for review. The VCU web standards and guidelines are a basic set of guidelines to help VCU websites provide a useable and accessible experience for all users. Keeping your site in compliance with these guidelines is required (and simple to accomplish) – you can easily see your status and, when necessary, resubmit your site for review when you believe it is compliant.

We’re excited about the new possibilities of the updated A-Z index and look forward to releasing more useful features for it soon. We hope you’ll add any sites that you think might be missing!

Categories Applications, Web