Articles on

I write occasional articles on search and Ultraseek for, so I’ve collected links to them all from here. I’ve clipped the first paragraph or two of each one so you can see whether you’d like to read the entire article.

Relevance and User Satisfaction

Search relevance is usually thought of as a statistic that measures whether the search results match the query. That is useful in the lab, but not as useful for a search installation.

When search is part of a site, we need to understand how it helps the users of that site. Can they find things quickly? Are they comfortable with the search?

My Favorite Customer Problem

We are concerned about all of the problems reported by our customers, but there is one problem I don’t mind hearing about.

Keeping Your Index Fresh with Add URL

Everyone wants their search index to be an accurate, timely reflection of their content. Ultraseek automatically revisits pages to find new URLs, and that is very effective, but some sites have even stronger reqirements for how quickly documents need to be available in search results. This is called “index freshness.” A stale index frequently misses new pages and has old information including pages that have already been deleted, and old copies of pages that have changed since they were indexed. For maximum index freshness, use Ultraseek’s Add URL feature for notifications of deleted, changed, or new URLs.

Don’t Reindex Every Week!

If you have used other search engines, you probably had to manually configure your indexing schedule to make sure new content was found and indexed. This is not necessary with Ultraseek.

Ultraseek has “continuous spidering with real-time indexing and adaptive revisit intervals.” It sounds complicated, but it means that Ultraseek will automatically spider most pages at the right times.

Why Not Use “All Terms” Queries?

Google, Yahoo!, and MSN all default to matching all of your search terms, but Ultraseek does not. Why? What do you say when your users want Ultraseek to “work like Google”?

In most cases, it is good for an enterprise engine to behave like the WWW engines because users can intuitively transfer their searching skills. But, this is a case where doing the right thing is more expensive for the WWW engines, and more reasonable for enterprises.

It looks like I’ve been careful to write useful leads, because selecting the first few sentences makes a pretty fair intro to each article.

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