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Improve SharePoint Metadata for Better Search

Metadata is the Foundation of Enterprise Search Excellence

SHAREPOINT METADATA IS CRITICAL FOR SEARCH

microsoft-partner-180x100-border.jpgSharePoint metadata is imperative to a good search experience because:

  • It supports search navigators and results sorting by property.
  • It is the basis of infographical search results display widgets.  
  • It is highly influential over SharePoint results relevance ranking. 

Having helped more than 800 customers implement and improve search, we’ve learned that, to achieve search excellence, metadata improvement should be among your top priorities. 

SHAREPOINT METADATA CAPABILITIES AND CHALLENGES

Metadata is auto-created during the indexing process (this applies to all search engines, not just SharePoint). While Microsoft has included an extensibility option within SharePoint’s indexing pipeline, described as the content enrichment web service callout, some of the challenges our customers have seen with SharePoint metadata include:

  • The standard indexing pipeline in SharePoint has some limited entity extraction capabilities, but it lacks categorization functionality.
  • Incorrect metadata results in wrong refiners and Managed Property values.
  • Insufficient weighting is given to filename and possibly other metadata fields
  • Metadata was sometimes missing, inconsistently or incorrectly applied.
  • Further complications lie in the diversity of content sources that will need to be searchable through SharePoint.

A single technical approach to auto-generating metadata, whether it is a categorization engine or a set of entity extraction rules, will not suit all data sources and all search use cases. Organizations that achieve SharePoint search excellence know that you need more metadata management and enhancements when it comes to creating consistent, accurate, and usable metadata.

OUR APPROACH TO IMPROVING METADATA

Improving metadata in SharePoint is not only a technology issue. People and processes are equally important. Search Technologies can provide all three of these (or one or two to complement your in-house resources, depending on your needs).

  • People: we provide expert architects, implementation engineers, and project leaders, many of whom have 10 to 20 years of experience with search engines.
  • Processes: in any enterprise, the content landscape is constantly evolving, as are user needs and business objectives. We help our customers adopt proven approaches and methodologies for maintaining metadata quality over the long-term.
  • Technology: through our Aspire Content Processing and Connector framework, which is fully compatible the SharePoint extensibility stage, we can provide a range of plug-in entity extraction, categorization, advanced search forms, and other SharePoint search functionalities. We fully support these under a service level agreement. We will always try to meet your needs with standard SharePoint functionality first. Once the basics are achieved, we can help you explore and implement advanced search and analytics features in SharePoint.

More than 150 SharePoint and FAST customers have benefited from our pragmatic, consultative approach to achieving search excellence.

Contact us for an informal discussion about how we can help you create highly satisfied SharePoint search experience.

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