Wanted: Enterprise Search Gods
Lately, I’ve been feeling like a grade schooler punished along with the rest of the class for one student’s bad behavior. With Google’s Pandas, Penguins and other pandemonium-producing updates yet to come, we’re all Bart Simpson being forced to write on the SEO chalkboard, “I will not outsource link building to third-world countries that spam blogs.” Sheesh!
It’s times like that that my mind turns to flights of fancy… If I could make Google do whatever I wanted… Well, I can and so can you — just not for the whole Web. We can control search engine performance inside our workplaces or the United Airlines site so that it can find a flight from Seattle to New York that does not take six connections over two days.
Enterprise SEO Rules, Web SEO Drools
With Web SEO, there’s Google throwing the proverbial wrench into site rankings with algorithm changes that drop results from view like stones falling from the sky causing grown SEO strategists to cry and the black hatters to sharpen their stilettos. With enterprise SEO, the strategist or developer is the one to tune the algorithm to the behavior, culture or whims of the users.
Do you like keyword metadata? With enterprise search optimization, you can make that a significant ranking factor because you are the search god and do not have to compensate for spam content. With enterprise search optimization, the strategist can create a relevant landscape that functions for their workforce, not everyone with a copy of Dreamweaver and an FTP connection.
- Not enough linking between internal documents? Not a problem, manually designate authority pages and create number one results by mapping best bets (or editorialized results) to specific queries.
- Worried about spelling and term variations? Stop. Most of the quality enterprise search engines will let you map terms so the same results come up no matter which spelling variation your clueless colleague used.
- Can’t figure out what keywords to optimize? Just ask the users sitting right next to you and all around you, because they are your coworkers and colleagues.
Be the Hero, Not the Goat
International Data Group (IDG) estimates that the average worker spends 2.5 hours a day looking for information needed to do their job. One Fortune 500 company estimated that improving internal search would contribute $2 million a month in productivity gains. There is money to be made from figuring out how to make search within the workplace work as well as search outside of the workplace. And that, my friends, is raise-worthy.
I will be giving out more details on how to design a perfect enterprise search experience with enterprise-specific data mining and user-centered design at the Enterprise Search Summit this week in New York City.
Marianne considers herself fortunate to be able to combine her passions for search and user experience as a Search Strategist at Portent. Springtime finds her teaching Introduction to Information Retrieval at the University of Washington iSchool. Her aspiration is to regain her Google Adwords certification.