Having trouble measuring the success of your corporate Web site’s search engine? Avi Rappoport of Search Tools Consulting told the attendees at the Enterprise Search Summit what to do, in this speech on Wednesday.
Avi provided several tips about the right things to measure for your Web site’s search engine:
- Pages indexed: Check a sudden decrease in pages for an error that is blocking the spider, but sudden unexplained increases can also be problematic—pages that should be password protected may have been inadvertantly exposed the spider.
- Keyword popularity: What are your popular keywords? Keywords tend to follow a Zipf curve, with a few very popular keywords with a large number of keywords used only once or twice a month. Make sure that your most popular keywords are providing good results.
- Keyword trends: Which words are becoming more popular? Which are declining? Your trends sometimes result from changes to your sites navigation—watch for navigation problems that drive people to search.
- No-match keywords: Anytime a keyword yields no matches, you know the searcher was not satisfied. Find the most popular no-match queries and figure out what is wrong. Does the content not exist on the site? Or does it use different keywords? Misspellings? Analyze the problem and take action.
Avi reminded her audience that search metrics are critical to meeting your searchers’ needs. You can find what is working and what is not, and you can fix what;s wrong to improve your site search.