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Improved Access to Government Information

I’ve now written a number of different posts for Marketing Pilgrim and not once have I referenced the name Google. Not because I believe that they are not news worthy or that they aren’t doing things that I believe are interesting but rather because everyone else seems to focus on and cover Google so well. On Tuesday Google finally forced my hand and did something compelling enough to motivate me to write about them.

The Google policy blog made a post that initially felt a bit like a rah-rah speech, because Google reminded all of it’s readers that it has been and is assisting state governments in making their public domain information more accessible. Google notes their work with states like Arizona, California, and Virginia and while this is all well and good for everyone.

Learning that the government itself is working on legislation, in which part, directs the Office of Management and Budget to create guidance and best practices to make their data more accessible to search engine crawlers is fascinating. The part that really interested me is the following:

“`(i) GUIDELINES- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the E-Government Reauthorization Act of 2007, the Director shall promulgate guidance and best practices to ensure that publicly available online Federal Government information and services are made more accessible to external search capabilities, including commercial and governmental search capabilities. The guidance and best practices shall include guidelines for each agency to test the accessibility of the websites of that agency to external search capabilities.”

It makes me wonder other than Google? What resources will the government access to help develop these guidelines and best practices? Is this a project where SEMPO or another Internet marketing body or bodies could step up and assist the government, as well as have our industry perform a useful service for everyone? What do you think?