External Search Engine Usability

So it's good to know people are hitting your site with A, B and C keywords from certain search engines... but how good is that information... what is the user really looking for? Jeff Lash explains the Three Ways to Improve External Search Engine Usability.

There are three methods that can be used in improving how links to your site appears on external search engines, and how relevant and useful the resulting pages those links point to are:

  • Recreating search logs
  • Cognitive walkthrough
  • Usability testing

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testing on enterprise search engine usability


We, at Albert, did some testing on enterprise search engine usability, where we combined disciplines of usability testing and the TREC IR methodology. (Normalised data with "right" and "wrong" answers).

The objective was to actually view the search processes from starting with a real-world information need. We compared a number of different underlying technologies. Syntax-free interfaces proved to be the most powerful. Research is available here.. I also have 26 hours of video tapes of the testing (devoted nuts only!!).