Query usability: advanced search Don’t put advance features on the normal search box. Link to advanced search page from –Search results –Near search box –No results page Page will help you –Choose scope (sources, products, dates, etc) –Construct Boolean queries –Select presentation options Ideally can remember preferences
Query usability: scope Suggest search everything by default On search results page indicate what was searched and give easy options to refine or expand search. Example from VERITAS 1 - 10 of 6514 results for exchange within Knowledge Base, Support PDF Documents & News Groups 1 - 10 of 592 results for exchange within Knowledge Base (search the whole support site)
Search results presentation Incorporate company branding What to show and what not to show Search suggestions How should the results be ordered?
Presentation: Branding Incorporate company branding and standard navigation on the search results page Search results page is one of the most viewed pages Do not use the default look and feel of your search engine
Presentation: What to show Show enough to make a decision Do not show: –Relevance indicators –Date –File size –URL Show titles and descriptions maybe category, related searches, image.
Improving Relevance: Titles and Descriptions Give every page on your site relevant title and description meta tags Give more weight to titles and descriptions Improves relevance, increases decision speed Can use intelligent indexing if fixing your site is too much
Improving Relevance: No index tags navigation - tells your indexer to ignore part of a page Normally header/footer/navigation elements. Only relevant content indexed Descriptions shown in search results have relevant content
Improving Relevance: Using click throughs Put the results people click on most at the top Uses the intelligence of your employees to continuously improve the search results Improves relevance metrics Works best when there are lots of people searching
Improving Relevance: using search statistics A lot of useful information
Summary Simple techniques make huge difference to the quality of your search experience Make it easy to search Make it easy to evaluate the search results with clear presentation Make the results as relevant as possible Shaun Ryan 1 866 240 2812 firstname.lastname@example.org