You may never have heard of the concept “search engine optimization,” but the topic has been addressed at numerous planning sessions around our offices. In a nutshell, it is simply making it easier for you, the reader, to find our website when searching Internet search engines. These pore over literally millions of pages to return the most relevant information to searches, but unfortunately, some sites are frequently missing or not prominently mentioned in search results. That is where optimization efforts come into play: making sure that search engines perceive the relevance of site information. When a site has an extensive array of components, this can present quite the challenge. Considering the sheer amount of information debuting on every month, the task can be that much more complicated.

To inform you about improvements and new elements, we have introduced an “Online Table of Contents” page in each issue, which will offer a glimpse of what will be appearing at during each month. The tools found on our site cover virtually all aspects of the food and beverage industry. It has grown to encompass much more than it did when Prepared Foods (PF) first began posting content in the mid-1990s, when the site consisted by and large of the print version of the magazine, with an occasional image or two from articles.

Now, the site offers every article from each month's magazine (in addition to an archive dating back to the early part of this decade); complete information on all of the events in PFs’ stable; details on sponsoring and subscribing to the magazine; and the daily industry news (a staple of the site for almost a decade).

Recently added components of the site will further assist and advise the industry. Video presentations address global new product, consumer and culinary trends, and the E-Learning Center provides a free resource to help further educate bench-level formulators on specific challenges and ingredient functionality issues. Routinely updated podcasts and Webcasts are just two of the innovative education tools found there.

So the question has to be asked, “How are we doing?” Is the site providing the information you need to help with the challenges facing you and your colleagues? What is missing? Should anything be retooled or dropped altogether? What industry elements would you like to see at Drop us a line at and let us know how the website can be improved.