[thelist] Web site search

martin.p.burns at uk.pwcglobal.com martin.p.burns at uk.pwcglobal.com
Tue Nov 14 10:35:03 CST 2000

Memo from Martin P Burns of PricewaterhouseCoopers

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I've had very positive experiences with atomz - it's quick and easy, and the
reporting is good too. It also lets you use templates and set synonyms.
So anyone going to my site and looking for 'resume' (bloody Merkins...)
gets my CV page in the results.

Have a look:

Searches are useful because users have 2 modes of looking for stuff:
*) Browsing (where they know what they want and can drill down)
*) Searching (when they only have an idea of what they want, what it's
   called or where it is)

A good nav structure supports the 1st one, but not really the 2nd. Which
is why a (good) search is useful. Most of the bad press search engines
have got is for the big public ones which can return several million not
very useful results.

If you've built your meta tags right, and don't have too big a site (ie no
more than thousands of pages), then it'll be useful.


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To:   thelist <thelist at lists.evolt.org>

Subject:  [thelist] Web site search

I am looking into including a site search facility on our website.  And I
was wondering what experiences or advice anyone might have for such stuff?

Do people find it better to install software for a search facility, eg
Inktomi, or to use a remote search service that doesn't require any software
install, eg atomz.

This is the first time I am going to use a search facility on a web site, as
I have always believed that a good navigation structure is better than using
a search facility.  I have read so much about poor results and users getting
lost and confused by using searches on web sites, that I have, up till now,
avoided using them.  However, I have been asked to include this facility
both in our organisations Intranet and Internet sites.

So any advice, suggestions, experiences, help, etc, would be very gratefully

We are a non profit organisation and the web site will be an information
source, not ecommerce.

TIA for any help on this.

Zoe Oughton
zoe.oughton at btconnect.com

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