Search is a Tool: Tips for Better Results
Anyone that enjoys making things with their hands will come to appreciate the benefit of quality tools and materials. They’ll also realize that learning how to use those tools properly can make all the difference in the end product:
The same is true with search: search is a tool after all! When you think about it this way, you’ll understand that the quality of your search results depends on:
- How you use search
- The quality of your search queries
With this in mind, here are some tips on how to improve your search experience:
Search for More 2 Terms or More
There are now trillions of pages and pieces content on the web to search from: do you really think a single word is enough to narrow down the results to exactly what your looking for? Put simply, you’ll get better results by entering two or more terms in your search queries–guaranteed! This is the reason why there is Google Autocomplete, which is also present on SCN Site Search.
ℹ On SCN site search, 19% of search queries are for a single term: 41% for 1 or 2 terms. While I’m happy to see the majority of site searches are for multiple terms, next time lets first discuss the quality of the search queries before discussing the quality of the site search results 😉 .
Different Search Tools for Difference Results
My wife bugs me every time I bring home a new cooking knife (“why do you need another one?”) to which I must explain how it serves a different and very specific function. Luckily, she backs down quickly given the quality of the results on Friday nights 😆 .
Similarly, there are different types of search tools available: there are external search engines such as Google and Bing, and then there are on site tools like site search, wiki search and filter by text. There’s even a custom Google search for SCN that harnesses the power of Google on selected SAP user resources.
SCN Search Options
- SCN Site Search
- Content Text Filtering
- SCN Wiki Search
- Custom SCN Google Search
- External Search Engines (Google, Bing, etc.)
➕ Additional Information
- Everything I know about… Searching SCN
- Getting the Most out of Google: Optimizing Your Search Queries
- Custom Google Search for the New SCN
Do Your Part: Rate, Comment & Share
Your active engagement is very valuable in helping optimize search results for others. Rating content, commenting and sharing in social media all have an impact in determining what should appear at the top of search results, for both on site and on search engines. It’s really easy to click like, give a stat rating and click one of the social share buttons to share on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook. As a bonus, write a comment: someone might even like that and grant you a few points for your effort!
If you do your part, other will be encouraged to do theirs. 😀
Anyone that spends more than a bit of time on the web is allowed to develop some big brother paranoia and worry about the train they’re leaving behind for all to see, whether malicious or not.
It’s no secret that Google and other search engines take into account your location, IP address and search history (especially if logged on) to tailor search results just for you. While there is cause for concern, I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to Google et al and assuming that they’re doing this for altruist and profit oriented reasons only: basically to give me better search results that I can use. Truthfully, there are still enough things in the physical world that deserve more attention than pondering on how much Google is spying on me.
❗ Be wary of free tool bars for your browser: unless it’s directly from a major brand, chances are there are some funny things going on in the background that you should be worried about!
Shout out to Trevor Carlow and Audrey Stevenson (the latter who shared with me “How social media activity influences your search engine ranking“) for getting me thinking about this topic.
thanks for this great blog. I appreciate your comments about using multiple search terms and the effects on the quality of the search results. This is really important to understand. And the weird thing is that on Google the average number of used terms is significantly higher than on SCN Site search.