Home » About Find-It! » Indexing Web Sites and Metadata

This page should answer most of your questions about Find-It’s structure, how it indexes and retrieves information, how to use the recommended metatags, and getting your Web site into the Find-It! Washington search engine. (If you have other questions, feel free to contact Find-It! Staff for assistance as well.)

Related resource:

Find-It! Subject Tree

Using Find-It! Washington and Find-It! Consumer

The State Library provides the Find-It! databases and search engines 24 hours each day. The public accesses these tools using an Internet connection and a browser. Washington residents can use either Find-It! Washington or Find-It! Consumer from a computer in their home, business, classroom or library.

How are the two search engines different?

Find-It! Washington (http://find-it.wa.gov) covers government in Washington State, including state agencies, county, city and regional government entities. The database also includes a selection of federal government Web sites.

Find-It! Consumer (http://finditconsumer.wa.gov/) is limited to consumer protection issues and includes information from state and federal government Web sites, as well as selected not-for-profit sites that deal with consumer protection issues.

Once connected to the Find-It! site, a searcher can chose to search all Web sites in the database, or limit their search to only state government, or counties, or cities. Users can choose the standard search or an advanced search screen, or they can choose from a list of subject headings. Find-It! allows users to search for an exact phrase, or to use Boolean search terms such as "AND", "OR", and "AND NOT".

Search results are displayed in lists in order of relevancy. Access to the source document is through a link to an agency's Web site.

Retrieval and Precision

The ultimate goal of any search engine is precise retrieval and increased relevance of results. Use of the Google Search Appliance has boosted Find-It’s ability to return relevant results. Agencies can increase that ability even further by the following steps:

Getting Started with Metadata

The chart below presents the recommended Dublin Core Metadata Set to be used in indexing.

Since Find-It! was first established, Web practices and search engine technologies have changed. At the beginning of the program a set of fifteen metatags was approved for use. It was not anticipated that all the tags would be used by Webmasters all the time, but was an attempt to cover all the bases. Since then experience has shown that a smaller list of tags have the most impact on retrieval and display. These are also the tags that will be most useful for internal management of an agency’s web content. We specifically recommend a minimum of seven Dublin Core elements be used.

Element Definition Description/ Reference HTML/XHTML Example
Title A name given to the resource. Title is the name of the resource <meta name="DC.title" content="Washington Apple Commission" />
Description An account of the content of the resource. i.e., abstract, table of contents, reference to a graphical representation of content, or a free-text account of the content. <meta name=”DC.description” content =”Washington’s apple growers and businesses.” />
Subject.Keywords* Words that describe function, content, etc. to help a user find your site Elements that define a comma-separated list of keywords/phrases <meta name=”DC.subject.keywords” content=”apple growing permits, apple inspections, apple businesses” />
Creator An entity primarily responsible for making the content of the resource. Agency Name followed by division or subgroup. <meta name="DC. creator" content=" Secretary of State – State Library " />
Date.Created* The initial date of the document’s inception. Dates should be in the form of YYYY-MM-DD. <meta name="DC. date.created" content="2006-06-20" />
Date.Modifed* The date of the last content change. Dates should be in the form of YYYY-MM-DD. <meta name="DC.date.modified" content="2001-07-18" />
Date.Reviewed* The date of the last review for accurate and/or up-to-date content. Dates should be in the form of YYYY-MM-DD. <meta name="DC. date.reviewed" content="2007-01-05" />
Language A language of the intellectual content of the resource. Use the ISO 639-2 three letter codes listed at: http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/php/code_list.php <meta name="DC.language" content="eng" />
Format The physical or digital manifestation of the resource. Use the IANA MIME Media Types at: http://www.iana.org/assignments/media-types/ <meta name="DC.format" content="html" />

Placing the Dublin Core elements in HTML/XHTML coding

It is important to use the following conventions when placing your index information in the Web page or document.

Using a text editor, type the Dublin Core elements in the section of the Web page or document:

<META NAME="DC.element" content="value">


<META NAME="DC.title" content="Indexing Websites and Metadata">
<META NAME="DC.description" content="This page should answer most of your questions about Find-It’s structure, how it indexes and retrieves information, how to use the Dublin Core elements, and getting your Web site into the Find-It! Washington search engine.">
<meta name=”DC.subject.keywords” content=”Dublin core, metadata, metatags” />
<META NAME="DC.creator" content="Secretary of State – State Library">
<META NAME="DC.Date.created" content="2007-02-14">
<meta name="DC.date.modified" content="2007-08-05" />
<META NAME="DC.Date.reviewed" content="2007-09-05">
<META NAME="DC.language"content="eng">
<META NAME="DC.format" content="html">

Find-It! Spidering

Contact the Find-It! Staff

The Washington State Library Find-It! Team:

Marlys Rudeen, Research and Development Program Manager
360.704.7132, mrudeen@secstate.wa.gov

Judy Pitchford, Electronic Government Information Librarian
360.704.5254, jpitchford@secstate.wa.gov

Fax: 360.586.7575

Find-It! Washington is a program of the Washington State Library, a Division of the Office of the Secretary of State
P.O. Box 42460
Olympia, WA 98504-2460

Washington State Library
PO Box 42460 6880 Capitol Blvd S
Tumwater, Washington 98501-5513, USA
(360)704- 5221