Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Quality of search - Fine tuning the search

There are many search engines, some are open source and some are paid. The trend in search technology shows an affinity towards cognitive and artificial intelligence now.
  • Solr
  • Elasticsearch
  • Google Search Appliance (GSA)
  • Oracle Endeca
  • Microsoft FAST
  • Attivio
  • Sinequa
  • Coveo
  • IBM Watson
  • Amazon CloudSearch
  • SharePoint Search
  • HP Autonomy
The common Big data used with searches are:
  • Apache Hadoop
  • Cloudera
  • Hortonworks
Quality of search(QoS)
Let us see how we can make a search effective. QoS is a term used with search implementation fine tuning. Once a search is implemented, next steps are to ensure the search performance. There are many ways we can do the fine tuning.

Query cleaning: 
Before search hits the index, ensure the query is cleaned and aligned to your index.

Add analytics:
Ensure you are using analytics hand in hand with search, which will definitely improve the effectiveness of search.

Rules: 
Rules like ranking, relevance etc can be adjusted to fine tune the search results.

Proper metadata mapping:
Re-verify the metadata mapping for index to ensure everything is done perfectly.

Dictionaries, Synonyms:
Some times we miss to configure dictionaries which will restrict the user from synonym search. Words with similar meaning does not come in result set at all. Confirm you have configured them well.

Excluded words:
Ensure the excluded word list is configured so that none of the unwanted queries fetch the result.

Restrictions:
There are cases where we have to skip some pages from search results. Ensure this restrictions are working as expected.

Once all above conditions are met, next step is to verify the search functionality ourselves to confirm the 'recent searches', 'search suggestion', 'auto complete'/ 'type ahead', 'null search results' are functioning as expected.

Finally don't miss to check the reports like Terms report, null search report, search requests, index reports, analytics reports,  crawl reports, content request reports.

Usually search technology is treated as 'once implement then ignore'. My recommendation is keep improving the configurations by constantly watching the reports often.

Read More
Steps to implement any search technology
AEM Dispatcher, why it  is needed?
AEM Desktop App
Figure out the best search technology or tool
Steps to implement search in Solr
Quality of Search - fine tuning search implementation

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