One of the popular features we added to our new intranet template is the ability to create a ‘friendly’ URL to a content page (I’ve also seen this described as a ‘direct URL’; ‘vanity URL’; ‘short name URL’ etc). It allows the content publisher to set-up a URL which makes sense to the user, rather than be left to the complexities of the technology infrastructure to create the URL.
One of the results this function is the increasing ‘seeding’ of these URLs in other channels other than the intranet. Email is a prime example. Word documents, powerpoints, Excel etc all now have friendly URLs appearing in there – allowing intranet content to migrate seamlessly across our applications. Looking at the latest metrics nearly 1500 pages were used as entry point to intranet content. I blogged previously of the decreasing value of the homepage. We can see intranet behaviour now mirroring the external world where seeding of content is now far more important than trying to attract traffic to a corporate website. Publishing on the intranet is not enough. Its how and where you seed it that counts.