Search

Implementing search in a website has one big problem associated with it:

People think search is like Google and relatively easy to implement. If you have read some of the history about Google, you this is not true: giving good answers to users search queries is very hard. Google has done exceptionally well in hiding something very complex behind a very compelling and easy to use interface. An interface that seems to just work. Google is a perfect example of how users behave, it is not about optimal results it is about good enough results.

So lesson # 1: do not underestimate the complexity of implementing a good search solution for your website. As a consequence think up front how important search is, what kind of search your visitors expect, how you want to use search to guide navigation and how much time, effort, resources and thus money you want to spent.

In subsequent posts I will talk about meta versus free text search, and non organic search algorithms.

A great book about the history of Google is “The Google Story” by David Vise.

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