How to optimize search

Kurt Kragh Sørensen's picture

Here are some of the most important messages about optimizing search from my presentation at “SharePoint w biznesie i IT” in Warsaw. The conference was arranged by Unity Group. 


You can optimize search by looking at the following in you analytics:

  • Zero result searches
  • Searches not clicked on
  • Most searched terms

Zero results searches

Zero results searches are when your colleagues search for something and get no search results. These searches can be used to find content you are either missing or have not optimized to the terms your colleagues are looking for.

Searches not clicked on

Searches not clicked on are when your colleagues search, gets a lot of results but do not click on any of them. This is probably because the search results are not relevant to your colleagues.

Most searched terms

You can use the most searched terms to learn a lot about your navigation. Most probably you should consider prioritizing the navigation so it fits the need of your colleagues.

Best bets

Best bets are like Google Adwords on Google search. In SharePoint search you can create best bets for zero result searches and searches not clicked on.

Feedback forms

If you want to improve your search you need to be able to listen to your colleagues. Several have a form in connection with their search where your employees can get help if they cannot find what they are looking for.

Too much content

Most organizations have too much content and outdated content. There are several ways to get rid of this content. One way is doing as Tetra Pak did some years back where they simply archived all content older than two years. They expected a storm on the phone and e-mail but only a few colleagues were missing something and they simply restored it from the archive. They improved the search and the everybody was happy.

When LM Ericsson years back migrated to a new intranet platform they only moved the content that they wanted to keep. None of the departments migrated more than 10% of the content so more than 90% where not migrated. This also improved search.

Putter it uppers

Search gets worse every day because your boss likes you when you produce content for your digital workplace. Gerry McGovern calls these for “putter it uppers”. He wants more “taker it downers” that reduce the amount of content.

Expiry date

A lot of organizations have an expiry date on the content that alerts the content owner that his or hers content is now x month old and is it still relevant or should it be archived or deleted. This improves the quality of the content and the search.

More about

My presentation on Slideshare 



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