Filed under: Search tools
Search is broken on many websites and intranets. Search results pages are confusing and cluttered, and users can’t easily find what they are looking for. It is tempting to think that this is a technology problem. Certainly, if there is a very old or very limited search engine in place, this will need to be replaced with a modern solution.
The danger, however, is that it can be believed that simply purchasing and installing a new search engine will solve all these problems. The reality is that search doesn’t work ‘out-of-the-box’, and that there is a small (but vital) piece of work needed to design and tune the search engine to make it effective.
This briefing outlines some of the activities needed to make search effective, highlighting key steps that can be completed within just a few days.
Not just a technology problem
Every site (website or intranet) is different, with a unique mix of documents, content and metadata. The nature of searches will also vary, depending on the tasks of site visitors. For this reason, the search engine must be configured to match the characteristics of the site that is being searched. Only when this is done can the search engine return meaningful results.
For this reason, there is no single ‘best’ way to configure search. Instead, there are key aspects to be tested and refined on a case-by-case basis.
[CM Briefing 2006-02, read the full article]