by August 24th, 2012
Mashable’s Samantha Murphy has an interesting article on “Why We’re in the Early Days of Social Search“. She correctly notes that we haven’t seen anything yet from social search. While I personally use Google about 90% of the time. I find that I hit twitter about 5% of the time for very specific searches that involve more trend types of information. What I found very interesting was her description of Bing’s approach to social search
For example, Bing has been an innovator with social search. In fact, it was the first search engine to incorporate Facebook and Twitter into its core results.
“What we saw from customer research and feedback was that people were a bit overwhelmed at first with social results, so we wanted to make it easier for them to navigate and get the information they wanted,” says Lisa Gurry, senior director at Bing.
In May, Bing redesigned it social search strategy by pulling people from your social networks of search results and placing them in a dedicated social column via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn integration. For example, when doing a search for the TV show Breaking Bad, it now pulls up your Facebook friends who like the show, as well as relevant blogs and even the Twitter accounts of some of the cast members.
Bing Search with Social
Link through to the rest of the article for a deeper dive and a cool video of what Google does to personalize it’s search using info from your gmail for example.
by August 8th, 2012
You may be interested in the other parts of this series:
Search lately has become very important to almost every single portal client. Most users still complain about how bad the existing search is. They complain about it’s counter-intuitiveness. They complain about how you can’t find anything. Really what they are saying is that they want search to be as good as your internet searches. Here’s the thing, internal search may never be as good as internet searches. You can’t use the same algorithms to determine what’s relevant and what’s not.
That’s not to say that you can’t make search better. Relatively recent improvements on the consumer side of search has introduced some great possibilities for your company search. Think of:
- Tag based search: tags or keywords can become the missing ingredient in your bad internal search today. The good news is that it’s not just the people who create the content who can tag content.
- Faceted search: This is the idea that you do a search and the left navigation area breaks down your content. You have images, you have documents, you have items related to operations, you have items that are press releases, etc. Instead of having to deal with 50,000 results in .017 seconds. You have those results but broken down. It’s easier for you to drill down.
- Using search to automatically get you to maps, etc: Google, Bing, and others have done fantastic things in figuring out what you want to do when you type in a search term. No longer do you just get a list of possible results. You may automatically get a map or a dictionary definition. The same possibilities exist for your .com or intranet site.
Vertical Portals and Search
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by November 30th, 2011
I just read an interesting article about Google Plus as a search ranking tool by Kelvin Newman. He posted it back in July but for it’s age it’s still very interesting. I’ve wondered myself why Google decided to join the fray and compete against a facebook behemoth that already has the advantage of millions of users who form many social networks. Kevin posits that Google is just as interested in gaining insights from Google Plus that help improve its search as Google is interested in creating a new social networking tool.
There’s a group of people who Rand Fishkin affectionately calls the linkerati, these are the people who own and maintain websites and who have the ability to link to sites. These people are also very often the early adopters of technology and social networks.
In the past Google has been able to rely on this group to act as arbitrators of quality content online, if they linked to it, then the search engines could be confident of something’s quality.
The problem is that fewer of these people are actively maintaining websites as their attention is drawn towards social network sites that Google can’t really glean insight from.
This is an absolutely tiny sample of just fifteen articles, on just one website, which I imagine is far more likely to have Google + users than most. But the correlation was there.
Between G+ and FB 0.97
Between G+ and Tweets 0.94
Between G+ and LinkedIn Shares 0.95
1.0 is a perfect correlation, and this kind of correlation is pretty much unprecedented, and with more data I’m pretty sure the relationship would become weaker, but based on this miniscule sample, Google can already know a lot about how socially popular a piece of content is based on Google+ shares.
Please read his entire post for it to make complete sense. That said, I find it fascinating that because Google can control Google Plus better an even though it has far fewer users than facebook millions of users still give you enough data to understand trends and improve search. According to Paul Allen, Google Plus probably gained 50 million users in late September. I think that’s more than enough to gain insight into content.
by October 20th, 2011
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised about Oracle buying another company. Endeca has a great search engine. Years ago, mostly commerce sites running WebSphere Commerce and ATG used it but recently a lot of other companies have used them because they make faceted search easy. I’ll be curious to see how this Oracle acquisition affects Endeca’s use in WebSphere Commerce projects.
Oracle has acquired Endeca, a company that powers enterprise search for large companies. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Endeca has raised a total of $65 million from Bessemer, Venrock, Intel, SAP, Ampersand Capital Partners, DN Capital and Lehman Brothers.
Endeca’s core technology enables companies to correlate and analyze unstructured data and provides enterprise search for large companies including Borders, Boeing, the Census Bureau, the EPA, Ford, Hallmark, IBM, and Toshiba. The company specializes in guided search, and auto-categorizing results based on the keywords someone enters. Endeca charges from $100,000 to more than $10 million per installation.
by March 31st, 2011
Search is one of the most compelling features of a true enterprise SharePoint deployment. In the last 6 months, our clients have expressed more and more interest in looking across the entire spectrum of search options available with SharePoint. The question normally asked: SharePoint or FAST? In some cases, the choice is clear. Large document volume or particular functional requirements mandates use of FAST.
Our experience with FAST has been positive. Its important, however, to be aware of the learning curve associated with a FAST deployment (“with great power comes great responsibility”). Its ironic that those with SharePoint experience can, in some cases, find the first implementation of FAST more challenging than a SharePoint novice. Things that appear to work the same do, in some cases, work differently.
In subsequent postings, I will explore these similarities and differences. For now, I’ll summarize these along with some hints for getting started.
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by March 31st, 2011
More organizations are investing greater portions of their Intranet deployment budget on improved search functionalities. Within the SharePoint 2010 product stack, the FAST for SharePoint option provides a whole host of enterprise search capabilities. FAST for SharePoint not only supports more robust search results but more visual results including visual “previews”. In the case of MS Word documents, a thumbnail representation of a document’s first page can be included in search results. In the case of a MS PowerPoint presentation, a clickable preview is supported.
Recently, one of our clients requested that this preview functionality be included in their FAST for SharePoint deployment. I wanted to share what we learned in the process of honoring this request (as there were a few surprises along the way).
Dependency on Office Web Applications (OWA)
It turns out that these visuals are dependent on the installation of OWA within the SharePoint 2010 Farm. OWA must be installed on each and every web front end within your SharePoint 2010 Farm. In our case, the decision to include OWA was made AFTER completion of the Farm configuration, so a very specific sequence of steps needed to be followed to get OWA configured and working. Fortunately, the steps are well documented here but must be followed exactly. Unfortunately, the configuration has a surprising side effect of disabling the SSL connection between the SharePoint web front end and FAST. The Windows PowerShell script used to install the certificate (provided as part of the FAST setup) needs to be re-run to resolve this issue.
OWA Post Install/Configuration
After installation, the OWA feature needs to be activated (or not) for each existing site collection. If OWA is activated for a site collection, a choice of default document rendering – client or browser – must be made. In our case, we wanted to minimize the changes to the end user experience, so we choose to continue to display the documents using the MS Office client. Regardless of client default choice, a “view in browser” link will appear in both search results and document library views. Read the rest of this post »
by March 29th, 2011
Whit Andrews is a great presenter whose focus is on search, video, and a number of other topics.
Enterprise search is now mature. The number of Google searches for the term enterprise search peaked over 4 years ago. The point is that search is now an adult technology which should be granted a level of maturity. Question though, now that it’s all grown up, how can it achieve it’s potential.
Trends and future of search
Conversation – The conversation doesn’t start with the search result. It’s just reporting on it.
Transparency – why did I get these results back. In other words, how did these results get back to me? What drove that result
Federation – this is the recognition that it’s worthwhile to mesh different search results together in an overarching exercise. This can be very difficult.
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