Improved search relevance and access to new multi-lingual
Java-based public website http://www.australia.com
Implemented by: Intology
Tourism Australia's consumer website australia.com
is the information platform for the organization responsible for Australia's
international and domestic tourism marketing activities. The australia.com
site, which offers a wealth of information about Australian destinations
and tourist facilities, receives an average of 130,000 page views per
day, and is published in over 60 tailored language/country combinations.
The website also acts as a key promotional channel for approximately
20,000 tourism-based businesses contained in the Australian Tourism
Database Warehouse (www.atdw.com.au).
Hotels, tourist attractions, transportation providers and many more
contribute to the databases, thus ensuring their details are available
for prospective visitors. The Java-based site also contains an extensive
range of multi-lingual HTML content published via an Interwoven content
Tourism Australia was seeking to improve the basic search functionality
on the site, to expand to include key data sources previously excluded
in the original search function, and to improve relevance to the queries
entered. Tourism Australia decided to invest in a new, customized search
engine, and conducted a comprehensive vendor evaluation and selection
Evaluation criteria included both product and vendor capabilities.
ISYS integration partner Intology, based in Canberra, Australia, bid
for the project, and won with its proposed solution incorporating ISYS:sdk
Graham Middleton, Acting Director, Marketing Operations at Tourism
Australia, explains: "Search is a vital piece of functionality
for the australia.com site because we have so many stakeholders,
including those who rely on the site for information to plan their trip
as well as businesses whose products are featured on the site. We needed
to invest in both technology and implementation expertise in order to
get the right outcome."
The ISYS and Intology combination was selected because it best met
Tourism Australia's criteria. Key components of the solution included
support for the various structured and unstructured content included
in the site, multi-language support including double-byte Asian characters,
as well as the ability to categorize information into relevant content
groups. The categorization feature enables visitors to search only within
selected groups such as accommodation, attractions, tours, events and
motivational articles or protected content areas for registered international
media. For example, visitors can now search for "Wagga Wagga"
in the accommodation category, enabling them to find a place to stay
in Wagga Wagga.
An important requirement for Tourism Australia was for the solution
to incorporate a robust algorithm for relevancy. With so many businesses
depending on the website for promotion to potential visitors, it was
critical that the search engine ensure that relevant content be found
and displayed when users entered a query. The project team carefully
tested the relevancy algorithms of the different contenders, using test
cases to check that particular queries returned the expected results.
The ISYS solution demonstrated its ability to deliver on this key requirement.
An interesting feature of australia.com is the analytics that
provide a breakdown of the searches being conducted by visitors to the
site. Using these analytics, Tourism Australia Content Managers can
better understand the information being sought by visitors, and they
have already used these results to fine-tune the content offered on
"Having the search analytics available has allowed us to refine
our content strategy to better meet user needs from different markets
around the world," says Middleton, "now we can determine more
accurately the type of content people are seeking by looking at the
popularity of different key words. We can then use this information
to make certain content more or less prominent on the site."