We measure search success rates – our search system tells us whenever a person searches for something and doesn’t find what they are looking for. The system tells us that 3 months ago we have a 78% success rate on searched (now improved to 80%).
Trial and error – we look for things and understand why we can’t find something. To do this we need to look for any number of search queries and as you can imagine is an impossible task.
We’ve added a publisher field to enable you to refine your search:
We’ve altered the default search to only search titles that are ‘in print’.
For example if you searched for “Adrian Plass” the search offers you 26 titles:
If you then tick the box ‘include out of print’, you see that the search updates to include all Plass titles that are on the system (Eg it add all the titles that are no longer in print).
Taking Plass as an example the main benefit, from this change, is that it reduces the number of lines you need to search through to find what you are looking for. This change should improve the search performance and save you time as you look for the titles you need (in this case there are 33 more titles to sift through to find the title you are looking for).
View book covers in a search
This isn’t new but after speaking with some of you we thought we’d mention that you can choose to view your search as a listing or view covers…
Make use of “…”
When searching for something it’s often beneficial to put quote marks either side of your query – E.g. if you search for the first rainbow the search query pulls up 5 titles where those words are attributable to the search query – it can be any combination of those three words. If you type "the first rainbow" the three titles of that name come up – therefore refining your search
Searching for authors
A Search performs as well as the information that’s in it – often authors names are slightly different on a number of Books – eg GP Taylor, he appears as: GP Taylor, Taylor GP, G.P. Taylor, Graham P Taylor and Taylor Graham P. In this case we have fixed the search query to work on these variants but for many authors there will still be problems – S try different combinations if you struggle to find the title you are after.
By-passing the search
When you can’t find a title in the search and you know the ISBN/product code there is a way of checking if it is actually on the website - you can add the ISBN/code to the website address (URL) to locate the product page directly (sorry going to get a little techy here…). To do this you simply click on any product on the website (doesn’t matter which one) – my example here is the New International Version Pocket Flexibind – once the product page appears the URL shows as follows: http://www.stldistribution.co.uk/STLDSite/product/9780340523308.htm - you’ll see that there product code is there. To quickly get to a product page without navigating the website or using the search you can simply insert any product code into the URL and the product page should appear – if it doesn’t then it’s likely that the product isn’t on the website and we will need to know (please use the firstname.lastname@example.org email to tell us).