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Why Intranets Fail Reason #10: Intranet search engine doesn’t work

Written by

Jamie Yan


April 9, 2019


In Why Intranets Fail Reason #9, we discussed how user preference is highly driven by search engine capabilities. It’s no wonder that poor search engine is a contributing factor for why intranets fail.

Why Search is critical for intranet users

In the previous section, we discussed how user preference is highly driven by search capabilities. Can you imagine if Google or Amazon didn’t return relevant results based on your search query?

Poor search is one of the greatest frustrations of employee intranets. Beyond adding another layer of friction to usage and adoption, poor search reduces trust and confidence in the intranet as a whole. No other intranet feature has lagged further behind users’ expectations and varies more among vendors in terms of functionality. As with content versioning and archiving, the industry is at a point where new technologies can drastically improve search results, but intranet managers should still be conscious of how their knowledge architecture optimizes for search.

The use of the search engine functionality in intranets

We probably don’t need to go into depth about what poor search looks like in an intranet. In a nutshell, poor search doesn’t return relevant and suggested results that help you find content and files you’re looking for. Rather, it becomes frustrating to use.

In contrast, today’s best search engine technology can:

  • Understands context and crowds to improve results
  • Categorize, suggest, spell check, and autocomplete
  • Increasingly leverage AI to return the most relevant results

The caveat is that intranet administrators have an important role in improving Search, aside from technology. Search is only as good as the context that it is given. Intranet administrators still need to:

  • Proactively tag people and content
  • Reduce clutter
  • Focus on naming and naming nomenclatures
  • Review search analytics

Remember, the purpose of the intranet is to connect and engage the workforce. To connect and engage the workforce, employees need to be able to easily search and find the right information without friction within the intranet. And to keep employees returning back to the intranet, they need to fully trust the intranet that it will support them in their day-to-day work functions. It’s an exciting time for underlying intranet technologies. Search and other automated workflows promise to make the intranet more useful and engaging as ever, with a more widespread use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science approaches.

We at Simpplr believe that intranets should make employees’ day-to-day more productive, with the search engine as one of the strengths. If you’re interested in seeing how Simpplr can help connect, engage, and align your workforce, you can request a demo or view our on-demand demo.

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