I have seen the surveys. I have sat through the usability testing. And it comes up every time. Searchers on your company’s Web sites say that there are “too many results.” They did their search and they saw “1,000 found” or “Results 1-10 of 46,000″ and they feel overwhelmed. Why does this happen? And what are they really trying to tell you when they say there are too many results?
As a search marketing expert, you probably get asked all the time about what the secrets are to be a power searcher. I know I do. And I never had a very good answer. Yes, I know a slew of tips to pass along, but that makes for an uncomfortably long conversation. Now I have found the book that I want to recommend to every searcher who asks me that question.
Sometimes it’s not easy being a search expert. People expect that my Web site will have a great site search. And it should—after all, I do know how to do that. But up until now, I haven’t even put a search facility on my site, much less a good one. And I think my reasons are instructive for what drives decisions at lots of small sites.