By Timo Selvaraj
While thousands of websites still rely on Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) for their website for a quick and dirty way to have a site search feature, most of the websites have outgrown the basic site search function and now need something beyond what they started out to accomplish. Site search is increasingly a basic need due to the volume of content and rising expectations from the website visitors. Finding the right content on a website now involves faceted search and federated search from all sub-domains and related content so web content owners can provide one search instead of driving visitors to various sub-domains and hosted sites for searching content.
Use cases where site owners have outgrown the basic search need :
– Content is now spread across multiple sites where the user may need to search the main site as well as sub-domains. Example – search www.mysite.com and also externally hosted sites like a forum or community. Users cannot be expected to be searching each sub-domain or externally hosted sites if it is not included in the main search.
– Company blogs or press new feeds that are externally hosted and now need integration so the visitors can find ALL content instead of just what is hosted on www.mysite.com
– Job search or career search results can be included as part of the main search if applicable. Job seekers can search through open jobs and also see results from content including benefits or press releases about the company to see why this company is a great place to work.
– Product search or catalog search needs to be integrated so there are no 2 separate search boxes on the same page. There are numerous instances of websites which have 2 search boxes, one for the website and another for the products or parts search. Combining a search query but providing faceted search results to distinguish the source of content can help save time and reduce frustration for the visitors so they can get everything in one search query.
Moving beyond the basic Google custom search engine towards a more sophisticated faceted search experience can help mitigate challenges with the above scenarios. SearchBlox offers an out of the box solution that replaces your basic custom search engine with a solution that can be tightly integrated with your website to federate multiple sources of content to provide one unified search interface for your visitors including a Google Adwords like feature called Featured Results that can help highlight text links or banners based on the right search terms. Contact us to learn more about how you can replace your Google Custom Search to take your website search to the next level and meet your visitors expectations!
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