Transcript of "How We Incrementally Improved Search"
How We Incrementally Improved Search Ravi Mynampaty @ravimynampaty
Agenda Background• Roadmap• Implementation• Analytics• Benefits• Challenges• Next Steps
Background: A few years ago…• Out-of-the-box Ultraseek• No optimization, no customization• Fraction of HBS content indexed / searchable• Many dead ends• Proliferation of different search tools• User sentiment • “search sucks” • “why can’t it be more like Google”
Background: Our Vision• One Search Box to Rule Them All• The long term goal: enterprise search• One-stop searching• Google-like simplicity• Handle refinement / navigation on results page
Agenda• Background Roadmap• Implementation• Analytics• Benefits• Challenges• Next Steps
Roadmap: Preliminary Steps• Inventory document collections• Inventory search-type tools• Of the above, identify – most heavily used – strategically significant – high impact – Low Hanging Fruit (LHF)
Roadmap: Implementation Plan• Prioritize tasks by ease of content access and implementation (LHF)• Develop timeline• Build prototypes and iterate the design
Agenda• Background• Roadmap Implementation• Analytics• Benefits• Challenges• Next Steps
Implementation: How we built it• Customized Ultraseek’s results display code• Worked with owners of software apps –Provided JSON APIs –Allowed us to spider their app/repository• HTML is the API !!• In other words: No rocket science involved
Implementation: Three Integration Approaches• Blended Search (e.g., Faculty/Staff Directory)• Brokered Query (e.g., Video Catalog)• Query Resubmit (e.g., Alumni Directory)
Implementation: Blended SearchSpider HBS web content outside of HBS.EDU• Harbus.org (student newspaper)• Club and affiliated sitesSpider HBS content located in other applications• Faculty and staff phone book• Alumni Class Notes application
Implementation : Optimize and clean up search indexes Work with content owners to create good HTML page titles • Faculty Publications pages • 20th Century Leadership database • Address MS-Office / PDF files too Eliminating duplicate search results / use filters Adjusting Relevance per collection / source / file path
Implementation : Create Best BetsTop 10 QueriesOct – Dec
Agenda• Background• Roadmap• Implementation• Analytics Benefits• Challenges• Next Steps
Benefits• Single point of access for various repositories• Shortcomings of underlying tools overcome• Better access to content from rest of Harvard• Traffic boost to e-commerce site
Agenda• Background• Roadmap• Implementation• Analytics• Benefits Challenges• Next Steps
Challenges• Search is never done• Complex permissions issues• SERP design convergence• SharePoint
Agenda• Background• Roadmap• Implementation• Analytics• Benefits• Challenges Next Steps
Next Steps• Tackling the mixed-mode situation• Integration with taxonomies• Search experience within HBS applications• Faceted search where rich metadata available• Analytics feeding website design and vocabulary development
Conclusion• Tactical, iterative approach enabled significant progress• Implementing simpler features/tweaks may have higher impact• Your existing search engine may have more gas in it than you realize
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