Use these tips to find, index, and rank pages on your company websites more effectively as you improve your
users’ search experience.
1. Keep your search users happy
People use tools that get the results they need, and avoid the ones that don’t work. Unless your employees actually
use the search tools you provide, the technology you deploy—and the information assets they would have found—
are wasted investments. So ask enterprise search users what they think of your current search tool, and what would
make it better.
2. Keep search speedy
Searching should be fast, and faster search encourages users to search more often. Choose a search technology
that’s simple to use and returns results quickly.
3. Make search ubiquitous
It should be easy for users to search for information from any page on your company sites. Every page should
include a search box or at least a link to a search page. And every results page should also include a search box
to facilitate subsequent searches.
4. Keep your search pages clean and simple
Layout matters. Keep your main search page simple. Put advanced search features on a separate page. On
results pages, try to keep navigational elements that aren’t search-related to a minimum.
5. Crawl as much content as possible
The biggest reason people don’t find things is that they aren’t there. If a document is important to the information flow
of your organization, make sure it gets into your index.
6. Don’t forget your non-HTML content
Besides crawling your company’s HTML pages, make sure you’re also crawling servers where other file types
(PDFs, Microsoft Office documents) reside. One way to web-enable file shares for crawler access is through
7. Publish, publish, publish
Too much information stays in employees’ heads or on their desktops because it’s “too muchwork” to put it where
others can find it. Do everything you can to lower the bar to publication.Saving to a crawlable server should be as
easy and routine as saving to your desktop.
8. Don’t be afraid to crawl secure content
Enable your search engine to crawl secure information (password-protected areas and HTTPS content, for
example). At the same time, don’t block documents that don’t need to be secure. Use authentication to display
protected documents only to authorized users, while giving everyone a single, coherent view of all generally
9. Run test queries against your content
After running a crawl, run test queries for important or representative documents, using keywords that seem likely to
make a given document appear in the search results. Use a search solution that allows you to easily troubleshoot
for missing URLs. Most importantly, get your users involved in testing.
10. Measure the benefit and look to the future
The amount of information inside companies is growing, and it’s harder than ever to find it all. Establish benchmarks
around number of searches per user, per day or other metrics that will help you understand enterprise search
improvements. Make sure your search solutionscales easily—without a painful increase in the time and expense
required to administer it.
For more information, visit http://www.google.com/appliance