Making sure that your engine will make it as easy as possible to your customers to find what they are looking for is business-critical. It is also extremely tough – very good search engines can cost an awful lot of money and demand a lot of regular effort to keep them up to scratch.

As an example: upon Monday twelfth December 2005, I wanted to get a copy of Jamie Oliver’s new cook book Jamie’s Italy via. So , We went to the “Books” area of their website and searched for “olivers italy” and these being unfaithful items appeared on the benefits page:

1 . “The American Tractor” by Meat W. Ertel 2 . “A Garden in Lucca: Choosing Paradise in Tuscany” simply by Paul Gervais 3. “History in Exil: Memory and Identity at the Borders with the Balkans” by simply Pamela Ballinger 4. “Oliver Tractors” simply by Jeff Hackett, Mike Schaefer 5. “Wyoming (Moon Hand books S. )” by Add Pitcher 6th. “Wines of Australia (Mitchell Beazley Wines Guides)” by James Halliday 7. “All Music Guide to 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 being unfaithful. “The Teacher’s Calendar: The Day-By-Day Submission site to Getaways, Historical Situations, Birthdays and Special Days and nights, Weeks and Months” simply by Holly McGuire (Compiler), ain al.

Jamie Oliver’s book did not appear everywhere on the results page, though it had been Amazon’s 3rd best selling book in the earlier 24 hours.

The problem is that I had tapped out “olivers italy”, instead of “oliver’s italy” (which would have arrived Jamie Oliver’s at the top of the search results list). That one missing bruit was all those things it took with regards to Amazon’s high-priced search engine to splutter, show up over and are unsuccessful.

Consequently – whenever Amazon can’t do it, it should be impossible, right?

Incorrect – here are a few things the boys & girls for Amazon could – and really should – own thought about.

Two types of problems

There are two basic types of conditions that a user can experience when they are searching for a thing:

– User-error — the correct search phrase is accessed incorrectly (i. e. the person intends to enter a search term that would cause the search engine to return results that happen to be relevant to their needs, but they come in incorrectly). — Search engine mistake – the incorrect search term is entered (i. e. an individual enters a search term the search engine would not relate to their needs).

User error

People generally your correct search term incorrectly since they possibly:

– Don’t know tips on how to spell this. – Have made a typing error

It’s important to know that there are lots of potential customers so, who can’t cause very well. For instance , a 2003 survey from the literacy (i. e. browsing and writing) estimated that there were 16% of English adults (aged 16 to 65-year-olds) had literacy levels no higher than those expected of an 13 year-old (source: The Skills for lifetime Survey).

Also, let’s not forget that according to the British Dyslexia Relationship around 4% of the human population are greatly dyslexic and a further 6% have minor to moderate dyslexia concerns.

Consequently your search engine has to keep track of people producing basic knowledge-based spelling flaws.

Your engine should account for folks who know how to spell what they are looking for, but make typing mistakes. The main kinds of typing problem are:

– Characters close to the other on the computer keyboard being inserted erroneously (either in place of — or in addition to – the correct letter). For example: wrong/wring; for/dfor. — Characters simply being omitted. To illustrate: missing/missng; oliver’s/olivers. – Personalities being came into too many occasions. For example: impossible/imposssible. – Heroes being joined in the wrong order. One example is: disaply/display; being/ebing.

Your search engine should certainly allow visitors to make these mistakes but still return useful and relevant results.

Even though we now have named these kinds of issues? Customer error’, if your search engine does not return info that that your user wants to get into it is, of course , your negligence and not their own!

Google search error

When people your wrong term into a google search, it is only wrong because you have not expected it. You should aim to cover as many bottoms and anticipate as many varied search terms as it can be.

What you’ll do

The next steps in making your search engine perform better are really straightforward:

– Sit down and make a list of all the spelling errors, typing problems and alternative search terms that you think might be relevant to your internet site (e. g. actually check out your key pad and considercarefully what letters happen to be close to one another). – Ask other people in your enterprise to make identical lists. — Do some groundwork into what search terms people are using in your site (e. g. interviews, questionnaires, check your search engine logs, etc . ) – Apply everything you learn to your search engine.

Which is it. You now have the ability you need to begin enhancing your site’s search results.

Various other thoughts

– Improvements in expression processing application have made persons lazy typists. Software that auto-corrects many spelling and typing errors means that people are no longer required to review and address their work to the same extent as with the past. It means that many people are getting away from the behavior of exact spelling/typing. So , when they re-locate of an auto-correcting environment (and onto a site, for example) they are very likely to make — and less going to notice/correct – mistakes!

– Listings pages will need to display the search term the user entered in large text message (e. g. 28pt). This will help people spot any inadvertent errors. Results pages should also give you the telephone numbers for customer enquiries/assistance.