Categories vs. Keyword Search For IT Buyers
Organizing more than 100,000 content assets in the WBG is very challenging. For many years, we debated internally whether our search engine would be driven by keyword algorithms or by guided categories. The results are in – we need both types of search.
Keywords have demonstrated that they serve an undeniable search function. Entering any word that crosses your mind has proven to offer incredible precision searching in some situations -- and to be an enormous waste of time in others. We now power search on the WBG with the Google Search Appliance and find it to be incredibly useful as a starting point for search. Users are familiar with the interface [the little box] and satisfied with the results. It provides them with a great window into our content resources.
But many need the guidance of our editors, and that is why Directory Categories are so critical. Users who are less familiar with a type of technology, who are looking for some guidance about exactly what product they need to solve their problem, or who want to build a "short list" of products to consider for purchase can use directory categories to guide their search. The WBG directory categories were built by the leading IT minds in the field - the editorial staff of the Ziff Davis enterprise group (some of them are pictured here) -- and are another useful tool on the WBG site.
An analogy – sometimes you travel to familiar destinations and you need nothing more than a toothbrush and a good memory as your guide. Other times, it is important to bring a good tour book – that can direct you to specific attractions and help you organize your time around best practices for your trip. You choose – WBG has both.