Once upon a time, search was 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.

Today, however, a new roster of features & capabilities are changing the rules. Features include:

– 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

– Complete search results descriptions that allow users to quickly determine if the content meets their need.

The siteIQ evaluation team identifies and measures 105 search-related features & capabilities in four categories.  (Note: Professional services Websites are measured against 72 features & capabilities that represent services-related navigation requirements.)

Usability reviews focus on cross-site and cross–zone availability, accessibility, post-search manipulation features, and search results’ quality and usefulness.

This case study announces 2013’s leaders, laggers — and fast movers in the Search Features & Facilities category.

Want it to go? Download the report at the bottom of this post.

Search | Drum Roll Please!

In 2013 CA.com removed some search capabilities and paid the price.

Dell.com stole CA.com’s first place crown, and then doubled it in the Usability category by tying for first place with its Home/Home Office zone. But CA.com didn’t fall far—only 2 spots to 3rd place. Meanwhile, Cisco.com (2nd), IBM.com (4th), and Brocade.com (5th) clung to their spots.

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