Site Search

By Kusmer, Steven R. | Information Today, July/August 2004 | Go to article overview

Site Search


Kusmer, Steven R., Information Today


there are two primary ways to navigate a Web site: searching and browsing. According to Jupiter Research, 90% of consumers who have made an online purchase in the past six months said they used site search to access self-service content. With this in mind, choosing a site search or commerce search solution is one of the most important IT investment decisions an enterprise will make.

In this article we'll explore:

* The on-demand approach for site and commerce search;

* Why the on-demand approach is superior to the installed approach; and

* Why an enterprise should seriously consider an on-demand solution for its next search deployment.

On-Demand Site Search

The on-demand model for site and commerce search allows all Web pages from a site to be delivered directly to a customer's browser. Additionally, all search results pages are delivered directly to the customer's browser (see diagram).

The database behind the search results is created by crawling a company's Web site and indexing it in a highly efficient textfocused database, which is stored on the vendor's servers. When a search is performed, the search query is requested of the database, matched to a template, and delivered directly to the browser.

The search results are seamlessly blended with a company's Web site simply by employing a common look-and-feel, and by configuring its DNS to point to the vendor's site (e.g. search.yourcompany.com).

Deploying an on-demand solution can be accomplished inexpensively and quickly because there is no expensive hardware to purchase and no lengthy installation is required. With an on-demand vendor, an account on the network is easily allocated to the customer and total deployment time can be measured in days, rather than the weeks or months it can take with an installed solution.

On-demand solutions are generally based on a subscription model, which allows companies to spread the cost over yearly payments rather than making a large, up-front investment. Typically, on-demand solutions cost half that of installed solutions.

Twice the Results, 10 Times the Reliability

Companies will not only save significantly with an on-demand solution, they will also see a greater return on investment (ROI). An on-demand vendor is able to constantly monitor and upgrade software, allowing companies to leverage the latest innovations and best practices as soon as they are available.

The high levels of redundancy built into the vendor's software, servers and network provides a level of availability that is impossible for installed solutions to match. …

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