Newspaper site search is broken.It’s never been anything but broken.
Search is the primary way people navigate the web, and the way a lot of people (about 50 percent) do or want to navigate any given web site.
With all due respect to my friends at Planet Discover, PD has not fixed newspaper site search. The algorithms have never been great, and the way it is implemented on most newspaper sites isn’t exactly user friendly.
Most people are used to search working the way Google works — a simple interface with one set of results, but as Google is demonstrating, the web is no longer text based. It is a combination of text, databases and multimedia.
That is an issue, to its credit, that PD tried to address with its original “integrated search” solution, what Google calls “universal search.”
For newspapers, you have discreet collections that people might want to search:
- Current articles
- Verticals (auto, real estate, jobs)
- Local web sites
- Local businesses/Advertising
At a minimum.
If you’re aware of the intention-driven way people use the web (think pull, rather than push), you’ll understand why this can’t all be shoved together in one neat search solution.
But I’m not aware of any newspaper site that has yet really figured out how to create a satisfying search experience within the context of a robust news and community web site.
Starting in Q4, this will be one of my projects.Â If you have any suggestions, want to brainstorm on this a bit, leave a comment or contact me through Facebook or LinkedIn.