This has never been truer and one of the biggest “time sucks” happens every time we search for information. On the internet, we have to sort through ads from companies who pay for placement at the top of the search results page, regardless of relevance forcing some results that may be more relevant to the dreaded second page. According to Chitika Insights, after looking at 8 million clicks over 94% of the users clicked on a first page result and less than 6% actually went to the second page of search results.
At work, on our intranets, we are limited by a few factors, two important ones are: the effectiveness of our enterprise search software to bring back relevant results and how much time it takes to find the relevant info we are looking for, within the search results. The longer the documents, the more time it takes to read through them to find what we are looking for.
In the interest of saving time sorting through search results, now a few companies have introduced viewers to help you navigate the results that your search has returned. Again, not all software is created equal. There are “keyword” viewers that use the number of times the words within your query string appear on a page to determine relevance, and contextual viewers that consider the context of both the query and the pages within the documents.
The “keyword” viewer technology, which is based on the theory that the number of “hits per page” determines relevance, may miss important and relevant pages that contextually address the information without using the exact words in your query. They may also return irrelevant pages that include large numbers of hits on words that are less important within the query string. Some keyword based viewers require you to go through a second step of reducing the words within your query string that are considered in the search.
Contextual viewer technology, which is based on a contextual understanding of the meaning of the query and the text on the document pages, has a better chance of suggesting relevant search results due to its ability to return relevant pages regardless of the existence of keywords that appear in your query. Better relevance means better search results and les time spent looking for information. This could save most enterprises hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars per year by eliminating some of the time now spent reviewing irrelevant information.
Since we all agree that time is money, any enterprise or organization that employs over a few hundred knowledge workers who work on computers may want to look closely at a viewer for their intranet that can save time by suggesting the most relevant documents and more importantly the most relevant pages within the document.