I am trying something unique with search. My search feature isn’t about finding something specific it is about finding a starting point for book browsing. This is a bit different than most searches so I am going to have to train/teach users how to do this and see if they like it. This could be a failure in which case I will change iterate to success :).
Genres versus topics?
Most users think that topic means genre, so I am seeing a lot of searches for things like “historical fiction” or “cozy mysteries” or “children’s books”. I am going to add a little warning around the search box and see if that helps. By topics I mean Wikipedia topics… so things like World War 2, Dinosaurs, and grief. I am working to add genre data and that is a monster project for this year.
No click searches?
Right now ~50% of searches are resulting in no clicks (which is not what I want to see). From looking at the data it appears to be users searching for authors or books we don’t have in our database yet. Our DB is only ~15,000 authors and books, so we are still somewhat limited. With topics, the no-click searches are for genres or author names that they mistakenly type there (I hope to eventually unify search).
Searches for topics versus books/authors…
For the last 72 hours, 64% of people searched topics versus 33% for books/authors. That is cool to see! Although, topics are the first option and that is influencing that data.
I will be learning a lot about search in the coming months…