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Search Analytics for Your Site: Conversations With Your Customers

“Any organization that has a searchable web site or intranet is sitting on top of hugely valuable and usually under-exploited data: logs that capture what users are searching for, how often each query was searched, and how many results each query retrieved. Search queries are gold: they are real data that show us exactly what users are searching for in their own words. This book shows you how to use search analytics to carry on a conversation with your customers: listen to and understand their needs, and improve your content, navigation and search performance to meet those needs.”

(Louis Rosenfeld a.k.a. @louisrosenfeld ~ Rosenfeld Media)

Are SEO practitioners the digital equivalent of bankers?

“When I think about the banking industry, I’m reminded of the world of Search Engine Marketing. They too are trying to find weaknesses in a set of rules designed to level the playing field, in order to create a competitive advantage for their clients. It’s just that rather than these rules being laid down by central government, they have been developed in the labs at Google.” (Andy Budd ~ Blogography)

Lou Rosenfeld On Search Analytics

“So one thing I encourage people to do is to try to categorise the data in other words gee it seems like there is a lot of queries here about physical places, maybe our organisation has different offices or campuses or different buildings, look for things that seem to be people or different topics that emerge what you start doing is that you force yourself to get very close to the way users are thinking because you are looking at what their needs are, and actually it is a good way of looking at what sort of metadata your site ought to have and what kinds of content type people seem to be asking for and it might even help you do things like prioritise your next content migration because you start getting a sense of what are the really important content types that people seem to be requesting when they are searching so there are other things which you might delve into.” (Boagworld)

Beyond Findability: Search-Enhanced IA for Content-Intensive RIAs

“This paper details a way to extend classic information architecture for web-based applications. The goal is to enhance traditional user experiences, mainly based on navigation or search, to new ones (also relevant for stakeholders’ requirements). Examples are sense making, at a glance understanding, playful exploration, serendipitous browsing, and brand communication. These new experiences are often unmet by current information architecture solutions, which may be stiff and difficult to scale, especially in the case of large or very large websites. A heavy reliance upon search engines seems not to offer a viable solution: it supports, in fact, a limited range of user experiences. We propose to transform (parts of) websites into Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), based, beside other features, upon interaction-rich interfaces and semantic browsing across content. We introduce SEE-IA (SEarch-Enhanced Information Architecture), a coherent set of information architecture design strategies, which innovatively blend and extend IA and search paradigms.” (Spagnolo, L., Bolchini, D., Paolini, P., & Di Blas, N. ~ Journal of Information Architecture No. 3)

Innovation at Google: The physics of data

“Today, we measure the size of the Web in exabytes and are uploading to it 15 times more data than we were 3 years ago. Technologies for sensing, storing, and sharing information are driving innovation in the tools available to help us understand our world in greater detail and accuracy than ever before. The implications of analyzing data on a massive scale transcend the tech industry, impacting the environmental sector, social justice issues, health and science research, and more. When coupled with astute technical insight, data is dynamic, accessible, and ultimately, creative.” (Marissa Mayer)

In Search of Novel Ways to Design Large Cultural Web Sites

“In this paper, we illustrate how Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), combining lightweight information architecture with advanced search paradigms (like faceted search) and interactive visualization strategies, can be used to better support a number of communication goals. The examples are taken from the new Web site for the Directorate General of Antiquity of the Italian Ministry for Culture Heritage (to become public in Autumn 2010), where both a huge amount of content (the Italian archeological heritage) and a variety of users’ profiles (from scholars to amateurs and tourists) are managed.” (Stefano De Caro, Nicoletta Di Blas, and Luigi Spagnolo ~ Museums And The Web 2010) courtesy of petermorville

Search Patterns is Customer Behavior and Business Insights

Interview with Peter Morville about his new book Search Patterns – “(…) I’m a skeptic when it comes to grand visions of The Semantic Web. In narrow domains such as medicine, we can develop thesauri (or ‘ontologies’) that define terms precisely and map hierarchical, equivalent, and associative relationships. But these approaches simply don’t scale, and they can’t keep up with the rapid evolution of language and knowledge.” (Bridgeline Digital)

Designing Mobile Search: Turning Limitations into Opportunities

“Thinking of porting your Web finding experience to iPhone, Android, or Windows Mobile? Just forget about the fact that these devices are basically full-featured computers with tiny screens. Having gone through this design exercise a few times, I have realized that designing a great mobile finding experience requires a way of thinking that is quite different from our typical approach to designing search for Web or desktop applications. To put it simply, designing a mobile finding experience requires thinking in terms of turning limitations into opportunities. In this column, I’ll discuss some of the limitations of mobile platforms, as well as the opportunities they afford, and share a few design ideas that might come in handy for your own projects.” (Greg NudelmanUXmatters)

Search is the Web’s fun and wicked problem

“Search is the Web’s most powerful and frustrating tool. It’s the conduit to unfathomable amounts of information, yet it requires a fair degree of user education to reach its full potential. It’s odd that something so important is so hard to harness. And it’s not going to get easier anytime soon. We may think of search as static and mature because we’ve used those ubiquitous boxes for years. But it’s a tool in flux. Developments in mobile, augmented reality, and social graphs — to name a few — signal big changes ahead.” (Mac Slocum – O’Reilly Radar)

Browse Is The New Black

“Search, search, search. Everyone is talking about search these days. Bing, semantic search, site search. That’s all you hear. Don’t get me wrong: search is wildly important to our daily experiences on the web. I’ve written a bit on search on this blog. (…) But at the same time were seeing a lot of new products and interfaces that offer enhanced online browsing experiences. Browsing it totally underrated, I believe. What’s more, looking broadly across human information behavior, we see that browsing is more than an accident, impulsive activity–it’s not just aimless surfing.” (James KalbachExperiencing Information)

Workshop on Search and Social Media

“It is my pleasure to report on the 3rd Annual Workshop on Search in Social Media, a gathering of information retrieval and social media researchers and practitioners in an area that has captured the interest of computer scientists, social scientists, and even the broader public.” (Daniel Tunkelang)

Search Patterns

“Search is among the most disruptive innovations of our time. It influences what we buy and where we go. It shapes how we learn and what we believe. This provocative and inspiring book explores design patterns that apply across the categories of web, e-commerce, enterprise, desktop, mobile, social, and real time search and discovery. Using colorful illustrations and examples, the authors bring modern information retrieval to life, covering such diverse topics as relevance ranking, faceted navigation, multi-touch, and mixed reality. Search Patterns challenges us to invent the future of discovery while serving as a practical guide to help us make search applications better today.” (Peter Morville & Jeffery Callender)

People don’t remember what was said: People remember how they felt

“This mantra has been one of my favourites for a good 7 years now. Working with a range of companies, charities and individuals, and having been in many board rooms, held live events, and developed digital strategy, I can certainly say it’s true. I’m not trying to brag here, but point out through experience I’ve learned that Experience itself is a big a deal. The other people who know how big a deal experience is are restaurant owners. They know that it’s not only the food they serve that people are paying for – it’s everything else that goes with it – and the things that go before and after it.” (Search Engine People Blog)

Search and Browse

“Historically I had been taught and understood search and browse as distinct elements – which they are visually and from a UI elements standpoint – but from a behavioral perspective, they really are not, rather, they are part of a continuum. A spectrum of discovery behaviors if you will.” (Livia Labate)