The Library as area of expertise comes from the emergence of the Library of Alexandria in 288 BC, created with to gather and classify all knowledge of the ancient world, recorded in documentary form
It is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary area of knowledge and studies the practices, perspectives and applications of methods of representation, and information and knowledge management, in different information environments, such as libraries, documentation centers, and research centers .
The 5 Laws of Library Science
One of the most important figures in Librarianship is Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan, a mathematician and librarian from India, considered the father of librarianship in the country.
He created the 5 laws of Ranganathan that until today guide much of the way information centers deal with the practice of work. He was the author of the book “The Five Laws of Library Science” (1931) which addresses the most important points of modern Librarianship with its five Laws.
These laws can be summarized as follows:
- The books are to be used – the book is a medium that drives the knowledge. And we can observe the importance of a library in the following sentence: “who has information , has power”. It points to the book as a means and not an end in itself.
- Every reader has his book – the librarian must study the users, observing the clientele in order to prepare the collection. Points to selection according to user profile.
- Every book has its reader – it refers to the dissemination of information, in which the existing books in each library must be disseminated. It points to the importance of disseminating the book, its dissemination , anticipating the reception aesthetic.
- Save the reader’s time – tidying up and cataloging documents reduces the time needed to find the desired information. It points to free access to the shelves, the reference service and the simplification of technical processes.
- A library is a growing organism – the librarian must control this growth by checking what information is being used, through query and borrowing statistics . It results from the bibliographic explosion that requires updating the collections and forecasting the growth of the area occupied by the library.
When I got in touch with these laws I started to realize their relationship with what we understand as fundamental in online projects and SEO . Based on them I created:
The 5 Laws of SEO
So, let’s go to the 5 laws of SEO based on the 5 laws of Library Science?
1 – Information is to be used
As in the laws defined by Ranganathan, where the book is the means by which knowledge is driven, here we have your website is the means by which information must flow and, through it, the knowledge of the user reached.
The phrase “who has information, has power” also makes sense in the case of the relationship between visitor, site and information. Your website is essential as it is the means by which the visitor gets in contact with information.
Think of your projects as not a means in themselves, but a way in which information must flow.
2 – Each visitor has their content
Like the librarian, the SEO analyst needs to do (or help do) study users. We have many tools to know the behavior and profile of your users.
If you work with UX professionals, you will have fundamental allies to get to know your users and visitors. Use analytics , BI and access monitoring tools . Observing how people arrive at your site and how they use the information displayed on it can guide how that information should be organized.
Categorize and organize like a librarian: according to user profile.
3 – Each content for your visitor
Organize information according to each visitor profile. This is not new.
Sites like the BBC already use technologies and techniques that (even for unlogged in visitors) shape the home according to the profile of each visitor.
Using technology (maybe a little machine intelligence) to use cohort to shape your site’s information, or encourage visitors to create accounts, to personalize the information delivered to each profile.
Disseminate information, according to each need, anticipating the aesthetics of its content .
4 – Save visitor time
This Librarianship rule fits perfectly for UX, Web Design , Information Architecture and SEO: save visitor time. Efficiently organizing, organizing and cataloging your website data reduces the time needed to find the desired information.
Using an efficient search engine on your website is one of the actions necessary to save the visitor’s time, simplifying menus and naming are also best practices.
5 – A website is a growing organism
Just like a library, a website must be a growing organism. The manager of a site must control and plan this growth, connecting it to the organization’s goals.
Validating how the information is being used is also the SEO’s job, analyzing statistics. Updating, maintaining and qualifying your website’s information, managing the project’s growth, is everyone’s job.
What did you think of the SEO laws?
Do you think these laws can be enacted?