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What are the best ways to improve searchability?

  • 22 December 2021
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I’ve used tags, a list of ‘similar queries’ in the card body, and keyword stuffing.

 

Are there other best practices?

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Best answer by Cassie Haughey 27 December 2021, 18:08

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Hey John - 

 

I have a few things that have worked for us I’ll share. 

 

I find it’s helpful to keep an eye on search terms from the Analytics tab and add those to cards if you realize someone is searching for the “cats” card by searching for “furball”. Sometimes you’ll see weird searches in the “Searches with no results” tab and you have to reach out and ask "why were you searching furball??”. This can help get the terms updated!

Our support team generally searches Guru first then asks in our support slack channel if they can’t find it. This helps us understand what people were searching for as well to add more words to the title and/or the search terms on the card. Also depending on your openness to allowing anyone to edit a card, people can add the terms they initially searched for once they find the card via help from Slack or someone else. Or they could leave a comment doing an @ mention of the group that is to verify the card with the same info if they can’t edit.

Also - Longer titles shouldn’t matter - if the long title makes it more recognizable as the target card in the extension, it’s a win! 


 “Cats who love to run around at 3am / furballs/ might yodelers” vs “Cats” means that someone using the Chrome extension won’t know that the term “yodelers” was on the “Cats” card because currently there is not search term highlighting like in the web app. If you rely on the extension like my team does, longer titles are the most helpful. 

I find that having too many tags on a single card can make the tags not as useful anymore so I try to not use tags that would only apply to a single card. 

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Hi John! I’m going to share a recent post where I shared some suggestions on increasing searchability/findability of content. The two-pronged approach I usually take involves both proactively taking steps to make it easier to find the specific content needed in the moment (more specific titles, etc.) and also training teams to use your specific lingo and Guru advanced search functionality to pin-point the exact content they need. 

Here’s a link to the post, I hope it helps!  

 

Userlevel 3

Hi @John Josi, PM for search & discovery here!

Thank you @Siobhan Hyser and @Cassie Haughey for sharing your excellent suggestions, checking information collected in analytics, and refining card content and titles are two of the best options available today. 

In addition to those I’ll add that it’s important to share new content so that people know it’s available in Guru, and to ask for feedback on existing content. Sharing could look like announcing new Cards on something like Slack or in team newsletters, and gathering feedback could be done by leaving comments on Cards or having a chat channel where people can flag content that should be clarified or updated. We know from investigating search performance that as people use Guru and become familiar with the content available, they become more successful when searching. Alerting people to new content and seeking feedback are two ways to support that process of gaining familiarity. 

Apart from actions you can take, I’ll mention that we’re working on a few user experience updates that should help significantly:

I’ll continue to share updates on those posts as we make progress on those efforts. 

Alongside user experience updates, we’re also working on updates to the search algorithm and bringing in more machine learning components to search. These improvements will be highlighted in Product Updates when they are released.

I hope this helps! 

 

Hi @John Josi, PM for search & discovery here!

Thank you @Siobhan Hyser and @Cassie Haughey for sharing your excellent suggestions, checking information collected in analytics, and refining card content and titles are two of the best options available today. 

In addition to those I’ll add that it’s important to share new content so that people know it’s available in Guru, and to ask for feedback on existing content. Sharing could look like announcing new Cards on something like Slack or in team newsletters, and gathering feedback could be done by leaving comments on Cards or having a chat channel where people can flag content that should be clarified or updated. We know from investigating search performance that as people use Guru and become familiar with the content available, they become more successful when searching. Alerting people to new content and seeking feedback are two ways to support that process of gaining familiarity. 

Apart from actions you can take, I’ll mention that we’re working on a few user experience updates that should help significantly:

I’ll continue to share updates on those posts as we make progress on those efforts. 

Alongside user experience updates, we’re also working on updates to the search algorithm and bringing in more machine learning components to search. These improvements will be highlighted in Product Updates when they are released.

I hope this helps! 

 

Great to meet, and thanks for the suggestions. Serendipitously, we discussed a separate Guru request channel today. It would be great if there were a Slack integration where a user could /guru a question, and if it isn’t answered, it would generate a ‘Ask An Expert’ request! Also love the ability to filter a long search results list. Thank you.

Hi John! I’m going to share a recent post where I shared some suggestions on increasing searchability/findability of content. The two-pronged approach I usually take involves both proactively taking steps to make it easier to find the specific content needed in the moment (more specific titles, etc.) and also training teams to use your specific lingo and Guru advanced search functionality to pin-point the exact content they need. 

Here’s a link to the post, I hope it helps!  

 

Cassie, this is super helpful! I’ll let the broader team know how to filter and favorite their cards. Thanks for the tips.:smile:

Hey John - 

 

I have a few things that have worked for us I’ll share. 

 

I find it’s helpful to keep an eye on search terms from the Analytics tab and add those to cards if you realize someone is searching for the “cats” card by searching for “furball”. Sometimes you’ll see weird searches in the “Searches with no results” tab and you have to reach out and ask "why were you searching furball??”. This can help get the terms updated!

Our support team generally searches Guru first then asks in our support slack channel if they can’t find it. This helps us understand what people were searching for as well to add more words to the title and/or the search terms on the card. Also depending on your openness to allowing anyone to edit a card, people can add the terms they initially searched for once they find the card via help from Slack or someone else. Or they could leave a comment doing an @ mention of the group that is to verify the card with the same info if they can’t edit.

Also - Longer titles shouldn’t matter - if the long title makes it more recognizable as the target card in the extension, it’s a win! 


 “Cats who love to run around at 3am / furballs/ might yodelers” vs “Cats” means that someone using the Chrome extension won’t know that the term “yodelers” was on the “Cats” card because currently there is not search term highlighting like in the web app. If you rely on the extension like my team does, longer titles are the most helpful. 

I find that having too many tags on a single card can make the tags not as useful anymore so I try to not use tags that would only apply to a single card. 

Great point on syncing the ‘searches with no results’ and the cards. Also love the idea of encouraging people to comment and @ the verifier to make changes. Thanks for the insights :grinning:

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@John Josi, you might be interested in this feedback post. There is some thinking about enhanced Q & A functionality in Slack happening :) Subscribe and vote on that thread to hear about any updates!

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