Re: Generational Search vs. Browse Behaviors #research

Matt Moore <innotecture@...>

Hi Susan,

There's a lot going on in that first point!
- Because the public internet and private corporate information environments are so different, you can't simply take techniques that you in one and move them to the other - e.g. Google PageRank works OK in a hyperlinked environment (like the web). The enterprise environment has far fewer links so PageRank doesn't work nearly as well. Google Search Appliance did not use PageRank - it mostly relied on commonly-used relevance ranking algorithms.
- I would say that use cases (what people are trying to do) are also different - so the starting behaviours are also different.

The first two chapters of the book by White (esp. the section "Why can't our search be like Google?") go into this in a lot of detail and are well worth reading - including summaries of the research available.



On Saturday, 18 April 2020, 11:28:05 am AEST, Susan Ostreicher <> wrote: 

Hi Matt, 

Thanks for the book and research recommendations - these are very helpful! 

I wondered if you could expand your first point. Do you mean that users prefer to act differently in the consumer internet vs. the enterprise? Or that they need to change their behavior because the two environments are so different? (Or something else?) Do you know of any research backing this up? 

On Fri, Apr 17, 2020 at 8:09 PM Matt Moore via <> wrote:
Hi Rosanna,

Here are my comments (apologies if I am telling you what you already know)
- The consumer internet and enterprise information environments are very different and what is observed in one does not necessarily apply in the other.
- In Australia, every organisation that I have worked in, enterprise search has been poorly implemented (altho to be fair, one place did it OK for a while). There are organisations that do this well but they are the exception.
-  My suspicion is that information foraging behaviours within organisations are less driven by age and more by the quality of the tools available. i.e. whether or not you use search is more dependent on whether the search actually works rather than whether you fit into any generational category.

The best resources on enterprise search are Martin White's 2015 book and the surveys from Findwise (which sadly they have discontinued).

A quick Google yields a fair bit of research on how "young people" use search vs browsing on the internet - e.g.



On Saturday, 18 April 2020, 09:24:30 am AEST, Rosanna Stephens <> wrote:

Hello everyone,

I'm building an enterprise search strategy and am trying to prove or disprove the assumption that younger generations prefer search vs. browse in a consumer and enterprise information search context. I've attempted to research this lightly through our internal resources and am mostly finding content related to marketers or very old research. Is anyone aware of recent research on this topic that you could point me to, or is anyone currently conducting research here?

Thank you!
Rosanna Stephens

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