Powerful search capabilities have hit a tipping point. Time to get them on your five point plan.

Once upon a time, search was a lot like socks. One of the basics you need to operate a well-dressed Website.

Search has also been pretty simple. Put out a box, fiddle with some “advanced search” explanations, spend some quality man-months meta-tagging mountains of content — and let the rest take care of itself.

That is, until today.

Just in case you haven’t checked, search isn’t your father’s Oldsmobile anymore. A new roster of features & capabilities are changing the rules.

Features like . . .

  • Adaptive keyword search that allows visitors to hone in on the right term before they hit the “go” button.
  • Marketing optimized search that puts the right products front and center – along with the things you want visitors to do (like try or buy).
  • Powerful post search filtering that quickly divides the wheat from the chaff.
  • And last, but certainly not least, complete search results descriptions – instead of the truncated nonsense seen on most Websites these days.

2010 | Search Input Features & RestrictionsThis, of course, brings up two questions. Who does it now, and who does it best?

The first question can be answered by a couple of summary graphs to the right.

The second? Depends on your personal preference. Here’s my ‘must see’ list.

2010 | Search Output/Results Features | Best Practice Websites

  • Apple.com: adaptive search, best in class descriptions, and great marketing optimized behaviors;
  • Cisco.com: adaptive search & powerful post search filtering;
  • Adobe.com: amazing marketing optimized search capabilities; and
  • Dell.com: another post search filtering powerhouse.

Oh and one last thing. It’s time to start optimizing your search engine around your target audiences. Like socks, you’re going to need more than one pair.

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