Decide How You Will Maintain and Update Your On-Site Search Engine
BY Russell Shaw
A search engine will be of little use if it does not access all your content. Develop a procedure that you can follow to make sure your search engine will be updated, and determine who will be responsible for updating it.
Decide How Often Your Search Engine Will Be Updated If you have a static site where content doesn't change for weeks at a time, there's really no point in updating it frequently. If your content changes daily, then that's how often you should update your search utility. You'll want to schedule these updates for the middle of the night, when your site traffic will likely be light.
Consider the Pros and Cons of Human vs. Automatic Updating Human updating can't really take the place of automatic updating, but humans can catch things a search engine spider may have missed, such as new content, dead links, and content produced by Java applications or that resides within a framed Web page on your site. It's also a good idea for a human to perform searches on a periodic basis to check the search engine's accuracy. Human-only updating, however, is only as effective as the skill level of the person performing the task and the procedures used to reference all content as it is added.
Decide Who in Your Company Will Be Responsible for Search Engine Upkeep This can be one of several people: someone in your information technology department, your Web master, your technical representative at your Web site's hosting service, or a marketing person whose responsibility it is to oversee new content as it's posted. Regardless of who is responsible, clearly define the process to make sure that no content is overlooked and thereby made less accessible to your customers. Promote lines of communication between your Web master and people who are likely to add content to your site. Develop a procedure for automatically categorizing content as it's added.