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Test your site search engine

September 8, 2006 by  

Many of the clients we work with have site search engines that fail miserably at the job of making it easy to find content on the Web site. Usually that can be attributed to bad setup and long-term abandonment by the developers and marketers.

I visited the Mobile Marketing Association Web site and found their site search function to be very odd.

The advanced site search explicitly states “Keywords shorter than 5 characters will be ignored”

MMA site search screenshotWell, typical keywords for mobile marketing include: SMS, MMS, WAP, PSMS, TXT, text — all of which are 3-4 characters long. Plus, if a user tries some sort of natural language phrase like “how to …” or “new law” or “opt in rules”, he/she will get the same obnoxious message.

This just struck me as lacking in common sense and not very user friendly.

Marketers, be sure to check out your Web sites. Put a reminder in your To Do list to check it thoroughly, at least once a month. Click on random links. Search for common and obscure terms. Put yourself into the shoes of your user. You might be suprised what you find.

-Roland

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