Filed under: Search tools
Search is often the greatest source of frustration on intranets. Irrelevant results, hard to read results pages and ‘untitled document’ entries plague many intranet searches.
With the size and scope of most intranets, search is a key tool used by staff to find information. While the expectation is that it should be quick and easy to find information on the intranet, this is often not the case.
Beyond generating staff frustration, these problems can reduce trust and confidence in the search tool. More broadly, the issues with search may be having a significant impact on the usage of the intranet as a whole.
This article therefore outlines nine steps that can be taken by all intranet teams to improve the effectiveness of search. References are made to previous articles that outline specific steps in greater detail.
Not a technology problem
On the whole, this is not a technology problem. Most modern search engines provide more than enough functionality for corporate intranet sites. The problem is that in too many cases, the search is simply installed ‘out of the box’, and then left untouched.
This default installation is rarely effective, and there is a modest amount of tuning and design work that is required to deliver a solution that matches the specific characteristics of the intranet being searched.
This article focuses on these design steps, and assumes that the currently-deployed search engine can be made to work much better without having to be replaced.
[May KM Column, read the full article]