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Best Practices - Enterprise Search

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As a rule of thumb, one-third to one-half of visitors will perform a search during a Web site visit. Given that the financial and technological barriers to implementing enterprise search are virtually non-existent, there is no reason that a company should refuse to offer this capability or make it difficult for its visitors to find.

In short, no company needs to remain in the Worst Practices category. Although high-end software solutions can cost tens of thousands of dollars and take weeks to implement, there are Application Service Provider (ASP) alternatives that are free and can be implemented in minutes. Two examples are Atomz Express and Google SiteSearch, which are implemented by signing up for the service and pasting some pre-defined code into a Web page header or footer.

Whether a company should work to move from Standard Practices to Best Practices is less clear. In many cases, depending on the Web site’s purpose and size, a search text box and an uncategorized list of results fit the company's business need and available resources. Enterprises that may want to consider moving to the next level are customer-centric small and medium-size businesses that are willing to invest money and analytics time to better compete in their markets.

Enterprise search capabilities continue to get better and less expensive all time. Companies that do not take advantage of this market evolution do so at their own peril.

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August 2004

© 2004, Ballardvale Research. All rights reserved. Reproduction without the express written consent of Ballardvale Research is strictly prohibited. Information is based on best available resources. Opinions reflect the analystís judgment at the time and are subject to change.


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