T he need to search large amounts of data in a short amount of time has existed for decades. Code breakers during the Second World War developed warehouse sized mechanical computers to decipher incoming enemy intelligence, all in order to sort through varying algorithms before breaking the codes.
Mechanical systems are able to sift through hundreds of potential entries an hour. In modern business, an enterprise network likely has thousands, if not millions of data entry points, all of which need may need to be identified. While the complexity of search and identification has drastically increased over the decades, so too has search methods. Search personalization is one of the latest methods for improving search results. Now used within search engines, it is a tool companies need to implement in order to boost productivity by reducing search times while providing higher quality results.
Search Engines and the Development of Search Personalization
During wartime, it took massive computer machines to perform even the most basic data analysis searches. By the 1970s, computers had become an important tool inside the office. This lead to the development of inner office networks, which could connect all computer systems together. These networks formed the basic idea of the Internet. Simplistic search protocols were available with basic search fields. By the time the Internet became available to the general public in the early 90s and search engines started to emerge i the mid 90s, basic search features remained similar to that of the inner network systems of the 70s: almost exclusively keyword based (Net History, 2004).
Google did vary its search algorithms from other search engines, which in turn helped make it the most popular search engine. During the mid 2000s, Google started to look into varying ways to improve search results. In 2005, the search engine released its personalized search feature. Personalized search results were based off of varying elements, including past searches, selected results, growing patterns and location. While the company has tailored the search field since then, personalized search has become the basis of almost all Internet searches over the past decade (Tentacle Inbound, 2017).
Search Personalization at the Enterprise Level
Search personalization is not simply search engine specific. Individuals and workstations within a company network should take advantage of the search method as well. Different individuals holding varying job titles within an enterprise will likely need different kinds of information. Someone in the accounting department is more likely to need financial information while sales may need client based information. Additionally, each individual will likely need slightly different information based on their personal clients, who they work with and documentation they have input into the system. With a personalized search at the enterprise level, the time it takes to locate needed files is greatly reduced, which in turn boosts productivity and slashes employee downtime.
Search personalization is more than just a tool used by Google. It is a powerful search method designed to improve productivity within an enterprise network while providing higher quality search results.