Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Why enterprise search is differnet from Web search

Gerry McGovern, CMS Wire
A major reason why Google is so successful on the Web is that websites really, really want to be found.

Almost every search result in the first page of search results for practically every important search has worked really hard to get into that first page. The owners of these websites have worked hard to make their content search friendly. They have worked hard to make their metadata search friendly. They have worked hard to get as many links as possible, knowing that every link increases their search rankings.

Having good search does not mean you shouldn’t have a good classification and navigation. In fact, a good classification will make for even better search results. Search and navigation are interdependent in many ways. People often use search to jump a couple of levels down into a website. Then, they like to navigate.

Technology is an essential driver of innovation and modernity. But the capabilities of a particular technology are nearly always oversold. And within many organizations there are those only too willing to believe that the latest cool technology will magically transform everything.

A great many organizations do not take search management seriously. They do not invest the necessary human and technical resources to increase findability. But at the other extreme, some managers think that all they need to do is choose the right search engine.

Technology on its own will transform nothing. Without human-designed and managed processes that focus on harnessing the technology, no improvements in efficiency and productivity can be made.

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