Delivering good search results is essential but hard to do

Whether you're trying to buy something or just looking for information, not being able to find what you want on a website is frustrating.

So it's not surprising that in a new survey of search practitioners from website search platform Lucidworks, 100 percent of respondents rank search relevance as being 'Highly Important'. What's more, 76 percent expect search relevance to become even more important in the future.

However, 96 percent say it's something that's hard to deliver, with challenges to serving up relevant searches including too many stakeholders, extensive signal data to collect, and other miscellaneous factors. 56 percent give delivering relevant results a high level of difficulty, while 40 rate it medium.

"Clearly, the priority of respondents is to increase the delivery of search relevance. But that is difficult for many reasons," says Peter Curran, chief revenue officer at Lucidworks. "The promise of new and better technology -- like AI and machine learning -- combined with impactful models and real-time data offers the ability to deliver a better search and browse experience in an accelerated way."

Respondents say that data collection, analysis, and acting on that data will grow in complexity as search environments and signals grow. 40 percent believe delivering good search results will take more effort in future, with only 32 percent believing it will be less effort.

When asked what's most important, 42 percent say delivering more effective search relevance for users, 32 percent delivering relevance faster and 27 percent delivering it more quickly. In order to deliver better relevance 39 percent say new or improved technology is needed, and 33 different or better expert guidance or consulting. 88 percent say that AI will be important in delivering search results in future.

"Search is complex enough but new technologies such as ChatGPT, Bard, etc., are setting new expectations about how computers should react to human interactions, which in turn creates more complex queries to process," says Nick Jones, Lucidworks managing director, rest of world. "Being able to adopt these technologies within a flexible framework, and respond with minimal human oversight, is crucial to future-proofing search investments."

You can get a copy of the report from the Lucidworks site.

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