CHA in the news: On some basic metadata practices, US government gets an ‘F,’ per new online tracker (FedScoop)

FedScoop reported on our gov metadata project.

By Civic Hacking Agency / February 8, 2024

FedScoop reported on our gov metadata project:

The new government website evaluation tool, which is called “gov metadata,” was created by Luke Fretwell and his son, Elias, as part of the Civic Hacking Agency, a project focused on technology for the public good. The system works by scanning government websites and then analyzing the presence of metatags, which can help search engines and other portions of the web to interpret aspects of an online page. A metatag might be a reference to a title or help boost a page’s presence on social media; based on the number of metatags present, the project gives a “score” to each website.

“One of the driving goals of this major effort has been to improve the findability and search engine authority of these core sites through strong metadata tooling and training, and we believe this contributed to our report card score,” said Jennifer Dooren, the deputy news chief at NASA headquarters.

Overall, the project appears to provide further incentive to improve site metadata. Several agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Labor, noted the importance of the Civic Hacking Agency’s tool.

“The feedback from the ‘gov metadata’ scoring system is invaluable to us as it helps gauge our performance in implementing basic metadata principles,” said Ryan Honick, a public affairs specialist at the Department of Labor. “It acts as a catalyst for ongoing improvement, driving us to refine our strategies for making our websites as accessible and user-friendly as possible.”

Full story: On some basic metadata practices, US government gets an ‘F,’ per new online tracker