Google Search Appliance adds new features to customize enterprise search

Earlier today, Google announced some new features for the Google Search Appliance that give enterprise customers the ability to customize search results for their individual corporate environments. The Google Search Appliance now also offers improved integration with Google services as well as additional content sources.

New features of the Google Search Appliance include:

-- "Results Hit Clustering," which are groups of dynamically formed sub-categories based on the results of each search query. These clusters appear at the top of search results and help searchers refine their queries from possibly ambiguous terms. For example, if an employee searches for "customer" on the company network, a set of categories could appear at the top of the results with groups of topics such as "customer support" or "customer contacts" to help guide the search. Administrators can customize the location and appearance of Results Hit Clustering within search results.

-- "Source Biasing," which enables administrators to assign various weights to search results on their corporate network, based on source or type of content. For instance, if a company has multiple Documentum servers, the site administrator can strengthen the content from the primary Documentum server. The same is true for types of content. If a financial services corporation values content in .pdf form more than content in a word processing document, administrators can use Source Biasing to increase the weight of .pdfs in the search results. A menu-driven interface allows weak or strong increases or decreases, and requires no complex coding or scripting.

The new version of the Google Search Appliance also adds improved integration with Google Sitemaps export for simpler export of information about web pages available for crawling, as well as open source connectors for indexing content in SharePoint 2003 and SharePoint 2007.

The Google Search Appliance starts at $30,000 to search up to 500,000 documents.