How important is search analytics?

At the core of it’s function for a search engine, is the ability to connect a search query with the right result. Relevance being subjective to the user’s search query, a constant feedback loop is required to keep connecting the “dots” between the search term and the right document or page. I have always said that a search function which provides no insight into what users are looking for is pretty useless as you are essentially hoping that the user finds what they need, without actually knowing that they found what they needed. Taking it a step further, it is also important to understand what queries don’t yield any results so that we can check the content (SEO for your own website or intranet) to ¬†ensure the right language is used as the users are not typically synced up with the same terminology the publisher uses. Once we are able to see what users are finding and clicking on or what is ending up with a “no results” page, it is a “discovery” process to do some of the following :

  • Type in the query to see what the users are seeing for atleast the top 10 search terms
  • See what queries are not yielding any results
  • See what collections or areas of intranet or website receive the queries which do or don’t provide the right results

    Based on your “discovery” process, you can see the what gaps exist in connecting the dots. SearchBlox provides the basic tenets to connecting the dots through the its reporting framework as also provides the ability to “feature” results to ensure the user connects with the relevant information they are looking for. At a minimum, a monthly review of the search analytics and adjustment of the featured results can help “connect the dots”.

    Do you have any search analytics best practices to share? Post them here!