Paul Gerwe is developing new processes and approaches for search optimization within P&G's intranet. The challenges are both significant and different than Internet Search Engine Optimization.
"There are many common misconceptions people hold about intranet search," said Paul. "They often assume that everything in the company can be found through the search engine; that picking and implementing the best search engine is sufficient and that the more data and documents available through the search box, the better the experience. This just isn't true."
He currently works with the business to refine the processes in order to ensure a quality search experience. This includes ensuring clear ownership of the data; establishing the right metadata; reviewing the collections on a regular basis; making sure the scope of what's searched is appropriate and being able to drive to a detailed level what people need and what they aren't finding. Prior to his current assignment he was the Enterprise Search owner, responsible for several different search applications for P&G's Virtual Library, R&D community and overall intranet search.
"SILS was incredibly helpful in giving me the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in this space," said Paul. "The information retrieval and metadata classes especially were useful in grounding the theories surrounding search and effective information retrieval practices. It was good to be able to look at things from a different perspective and then apply it."