The right way to Improve Your Site Search

Making sure that your engine makes it as easy as possible for your customers to find what they are trying to find is business-critical. It is also very hard – very good search engines can cost an awful lot of money and require a lot of constant effort to hold them about scratch.

As an example: about Monday twelfth December 2005, I wanted to obtain a copy of Jamie Oliver’s new make book Jamie’s Italy by. So , I actually went to the “Books” area of their website and searched for “olivers italy” and these being unfaithful items came out on the results page:

1 . “The American Tractor” by Tanker W. Ertel 2 . “A Garden in Lucca: Finding Paradise in Tuscany” by Paul Gervais 3. “History in Exile: Memory and Identity at the Borders within the Balkans” simply by Pamela Ballinger 4. “Oliver Tractors” simply by Jeff Hackett, Mike Schaefer 5. “Wyoming (Moon Handbooks S. )” by Add Pitcher 6th. “Wines of Australia (Mitchell Beazley Wine beverages Guides)” by James Halliday 7. “All Music Tips for Jazz: The Definitive Tips for Jazz Music” by Ron Wynn (Editor), et al. 8. “Larousse Gastronomique: The World’s Very best Cookery Encyclopedia” by Prosper Montagne 9. “The Teacher’s Calendar: The Day-By-Day Directory website to Getaways, Historical Happenings, Birthdays and Special Days, Weeks and Months” by Holly McGuire (Compiler), ain al.

Jamie Oliver’s book failed to appear anywhere on the results page, although it had been Amazon’s 3rd best selling book in the previous 24 hours.

The problem is that I had tapped out “olivers italy”, instead of “oliver’s italy” (which would have delivered Jamie Oliver’s at the top of the search results list). That sole missing bruit was the only thing that it took to get Amazon’s expensive search engine to splutter, the fall season over and fail.

Consequently – whenever Amazon cannot do it, it should be impossible, correct?

Incorrect – here are several things the boys & girls in Amazon can – and should – possess thought about.

Two types of problems

There are two basic types of problems that a user may experience if they are searching for something:

– User-error – the correct key phrase is accessed incorrectly (i. e. the user intends to a search term that would trigger the search engine to come back results that are relevant to the requirements, but they enter it incorrectly). – Search engine error – the wrong search term is entered (i. e. the person enters a search term the search engine will not relate to their particular needs).

User problem

People generally your correct search term incorrectly since they either:

– Don’t know methods to spell it. – Make a keying in error

It’s important to realise that there are lots of potential customers who all can’t mean very well. For example , a the year 2003 survey on the literacy (i. e. studying and writing) estimated that there were 16% of English language adults (aged 16 to 65-year-olds) got literacy levels no higher than those expected of an 13 year-old (source: The Skills for a lifetime Survey).

Also, let’s not forget that according to the United kingdom Dyslexia Connection around 4% of the public are significantly dyslexic and a further 6% have slight to average dyslexia complications.

Therefore your search engine has to account for people making basic knowledge-based spelling blunders.

Your search engine also need to account for those that know how to spell what they are looking for, but help to make typing mistakes. The main kinds of typing problem are:

– Characters close to one other on the key pad being moved into erroneously (either in place of — or furthermore to — the correct letter). For example: wrong/wring; for/dfor. – Characters simply being omitted. To illustrate: missing/missng; oliver’s/olivers. – Heroes being joined too many situations. For example: impossible/imposssible. – People being moved into in the incorrect order. Including: disaply/display; being/ebing.

Your engine ought to allow visitors to make these mistakes and still return beneficial and relevant results.

Even though we have named these kind of issues? User error’, if the search engine does not return data that that your user wants to get into it is, naturally , your carelessness and not theirs!

Google search error

When people enter the wrong term into a search results, it is only incorrect because you could have not anticipated it. You should aim to cover as many bases and foresee as many numerous search terms as possible.

How to handle it

Another steps for making your search engine perform better are really basic:

– Sit down and make a list of all of the spelling mistakes, typing mistakes and alternate search terms that you just think might be relevant to your internet site (e. g. actually look at your computer keyboard and considercarefully what letters will be close to 1 another). — Ask others in your company to make identical lists. – Do some research into what search terms individuals are using on your own site (e. g. selection interviews, questionnaires, check your search engine wood logs, etc . ) – Apply everything you discover how to your search engine.

Which is it. You now have the information you need to begin improving your site’s search engine.

Different thoughts

– Advancements in word processing software have made persons lazy typists. Software that auto-corrects a large number of spelling and typing mistakes means that individuals are no longer forced to review and deal with their operate to the same extent as with the past. This means many people are getting away from the behavior of precise spelling/typing. Therefore , when they move out of an auto-correcting environment (and onto an online site, for example) they are more likely to make – and less susceptible to notice/correct – mistakes!

– Serp’s pages will need to display the search term the consumer entered in large textual content (e. g. 28pt). This could help people place any inadvertent errors. Results pages should also give you the telephone statistics for customer enquiries/assistance.