Google has announced today some nice enhancements to their Site Search solution. Originally announced as Custom Search Business Edition, this product has now been rebranded as Google Site Search. The focus on site search solutions for web sites has been huge, with thousands of sites using it. In addition to the rebranding of the solution there are four product enhancements that Google is announcing:
- Synonym support - Google Site Search allows you to specify a custom list of synonyms. For example, if you are General Electric, you might want to let the search engine know that "GE" = General Electric. This is something that allows publishers using Google Site Search to notify the search engines of synonyms that Google Web Search does not know about.
- Date Biasing - With date biasing a publisher can tell Google Site Search to place great emphasis on "recency" than it would otherwise do. Publishers can specify Low, Medium, or High, where high is essentially a directive to base the results on recency as the most significant factor.
- Top Results Biasing - With top results biasing, a publisher can place great emphasis on a certain section of their site. For example, a site with a lot of different sections, including forums for example, might want to specify a higher priority for the product pages of the site to make them more likely to show up.
- Improved Indexing - This allows publishers to include in their site search pages from their site that Google knows about (i.e Google has crawled these pages), but for one reason or another does not include them in their web search index. Of course, with a site map file you can use this mechanism to make sure that your Google Site Search includes every page from your site.
I spoke earlier this evening with Nitin Mangtani, the Lead Product Manager for Google Enterprise Search. He provide me with some examples of how people were using Google Site Search today. For Example, EMC implemented Google Site Search on http://EMCInsignia.com, a site that previously had no site search solution.
The results were outstanding. EMC experienced a 20% increase in e-commerce sales on the site, and an 85% reduction in customer returns. In addition, by the end of the first week, 10% of site visitors were using site search.
Nitin also was duty bound to emphasize that implementing the new Google Site Search, including the enhanced features, would have no impact on Google's web search results. That said, this represents a nice set of incremental improvements to an already solid product.
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