Professional v Commercial search

Professional Quality Search

What do we mean by professional quality search?

Search that primarily meets the needs of professions that need to find relevant information from large amounts of textual information on a regular basis; these would typically be the legal profession and those dealing with laws on a national basis, large government departments, researchers, translators, recruitment agencies, police and intelligence agencies.

Apart from ways to narrow down and broaden searches, there is the implicit assumption that all the available data is being searched and that there is no manipulation to promote or hide information. Search results would use a transparent relevance metric or offer ranking by date or some other user choice of metric such as author.

dtSearch Desktop
dtSearch Desktop gives you professional search, it has multiple methods for narrowing and broadening a search and by default it returns the best matching 5000 out of ALL the results; if you want faster results you can tell it to stop after a certain number, for example, if Number of files to return is 5,000, and Stop after 25000 files it will proceed until 25,000 files are found, and the best-matching 5,000 will be returned in search results.

Web Search

Many people that do not use professional search in their work might presume that Google for example searches every website in the world for information and they can find anything and everything if only they search long enough.

Of course this is not true, many people are surprised when we tell them that Google only shows you a maximum of 1000 results when you search – for example try a search WordPress – a recent test showed About 1,960,000,000 results (0.45 seconds) you might be astounded it could find that much so quickly and wonder if you really could live long enough to read them all!

Try it,  our test showed 1 … 10 next at the bottom of the first page, a click on 10 then showed 5 to 14 at the bottom, a click on 14 showed the final page with a message at the top “15 of 143 results (0.78 seconds)” and a message at the bottom “in order to show the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 150 already displayed…“,  it offers to let you try again with the missing results – try it!  At one minute to read each result it’s about 17 hours for 1000 results – long but not a lifetime.

WordPress Search

Both our current WordPress Plugins provide professional quality search.

Search Cloud One acts as a secure host for PDF documents and is ideal for organisations wanting to offer search on their WordPress site to subscribers only. The site itself can run on a low cost shared server with all the heavy duty indexing and searching done by the fully managed dtSearch Engine hosted in the cloud.

Site Search One – BPS Plugin uses the same fully managed dtSearch Engine hosted in the cloud to automatically index your WordPress Post & Pages.  It is deliberately limited to Posts and Page types to provide basic professional search for large volumes of text at low cost.

Unlike search engines that crawl your site like Google that may not update your search for several days, it continuously updates asynchronously to keep your search content fresh without causing interruption to your site.

Commercial Quality Search

Commercial quality search, such as e-Commerce search, is where the primary aim is to sell a product or service. The search results may not contain all the data that you assume you are searching for and may be ‘personalized’ on the basis of your location, your previous searches, your previous purchases, or many other factors including if the site owner wants to boost sales of a particular product or service, or if a product may be out of stock.

Every search engine has its limits, here are a few to think about:

  • Longest word
    In order to save indexing space, some search engines may truncate a search term, so that it is really only searching on the first few letters. This may sometimes lead to inaccurate or missing results.
  • Longest search query
    Simple search methods may only handle one or two words and ignore the rest, the dtSearch Engine used by Search Cloud One handles search queries up to 256 characters in length.
  • Synonyms
    Does the search engine have its own synonym dictionary or do you have to build it yourself?

Improving search results (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization is a popular term used to refer to getting a website page ranking high in a Google (or Bing) search. There are many so called SEO experts or  ‘relevancy engineers’ that will claim to be able to boost your sales – it will inevitably involve paying  for Google Ads or consultancy fees – but there is a wealth of free information available from sites such as: 

Improving sales

Improving sales is an ongoing process for most businesses; fashions and needs may come and go with the season and good search will let your site visitors find the information or product quickly at all times; good search is a known factor in getting customers to return to your website.

Web Search

The results are ranked by ‘popularity’ –  if the information you really need is on some obscure site – unless they’ve paid for Google Ads – its unlikely you will ever find that information.

How fresh is your search?

You might assume that if you search on say WordPress that you are being shown all the most relevant content from the complete content of every  website that mentions the word WordPress, again this is simply not true. Google uses a crawler that visits sites on a regular basis, for important sites that could be several times a day, for your site it might be once a month.  Each time the crawler visits it doesn’t stop long, it just grabs the content of pages a little at a time, when it runs out of time it stops – even half way through a page or document.

WordPress eCommerce

WooCommerce is a common plugin on eCommerce sites, and any search needs to include the products and not just posts or pages. The site owner would be able to ‘promote’ or ‘boost’ certain products and use synonyms to search for a similar item if they may not actually stock what you need, or ‘hide’ items that may be discontinued to avoid frustration.

Facet assisted searches are important in narrowing a search quickly.

Natural language (i.e not needing Boolean connectors such as and or not); using nothing more complex than perhaps quotes to indicate that word order is important; and often truncating a search query to appear fast and easy to use.

Quick Links

Choosing WordPress Search

Site Search ONE

Book Search Demo

News Search

This site uses the Site Search ONE WordPress Plugin


Professional search example
Browse Thesaurus in dtSearch Desktop shows a search on horse will also find documents containing diacetyl morphine

Commercial Search example
A search on Amazon for horse

A phrase search on Amazon containing horse. The User Thesaurus feature in dtSearch Desktop or the User Thesaurus Plus add-on can also handle phrases, be aware that some simple search engines will only handle single words in their ‘synonym’ feature.