Search 2005 and Beyond

 

Avi Rappoport

Search Tools Consulting

 

About Me

  

Getting the Basics Right First

iceberg

The simplest Intranet search is much better than nothing, while complex knowledge systems can require too many resources and delay access to information. Finding the sweet spot in between is the key.

Challenges include finding your organization's true (often unspoken) information needs, understanding the content available, access to content, security, interfaces, processing, log analysis and more. The UI is only the beginning.

Beyond the Basics

Only once you know what you have and what your enterprise needs can you make a good roadmap for the future. New technologies, like multimedia search, personalization and content classification. Vendors will promise the earth -- you need to know what will provide a good investment

How Search Works

search process diagram
  

Information Needs

  

Content Issues

"ROT" was coined by Peter Morville and Lou Rosenfeld, who wrote the wonderful book, "Information Architecture for the World Wide Web" (O'Reilly). It's a great book, and very sound on how search fits with navigation and other aspects of IA, highly recommended.

Security & Access Control

  

Usability

  

Improving search interaction

Retrieval and relevance

Some search engines have good tools for adjusting weight by URL path or metadata, others don't. Check with your vendor before purchasing.

Example Results - Bad

bad example search results

This results page has the following flaws and a few good elements:

  • There is no context, no site header or footer, no navigation links.
  • The page title itself is mysterious: should include the site searched and the query term
  • The search field is fine, though who cares how long it took?
  • The sponsored links are weird and not obviously relevant
  • There are no unique page titles, so nothing to hint at topics
  • The page description is almost duplicates and not helpful
  • The match terms in context work very nicely
  • The match score and red dots are mysterious though might be OK for this audience
  • If there are no document dates, shouldn't say "No Date"
  • The URLs are fairly helpful, and hey! dates!

Example Results - Good

This results page has generally good attributes:

  • Site context on the title bar and the top banner, standard graphic and color elements
  • Search results field on left (could be more obvious)
  • Default to all results: options to choose more specialized tabs
  • Titles relatively helpful
  • Highlight and bolding of match terms in context very good
  • URL links clearly shown
  • Dates are nice but often wrong (see first result)

Search Engine Maintenance

  

Search Log Analysis

  

Going Beyond Simple Search

  

Alerting Systems

  

Metadata

  

More Metadata

  

Multimedia Search

  

Integration with IA, taxonomies

 

Faceted Metadata Search

For more information, see http://www.searchtools.com/info/faceted-metadata.html.

Example of Faceted Metadata Results

faceted metadata search reuslts example
Facets are department, color family and price.

Research Tools

  

Compliance

  

Social Networking

  

Personalization

Requirements and Limits based on lecture by the Dr. Sepandar Kamvar, formerly at Kaltix, now Google.

Conclusions - Search 2005