Using a Taxonomy to Aid Search

A really nice example from Martin Belam on using a taxonomy to support delivery of smart results at the BBC. If the search query matches a node for which there is no content, the search engine “crawls up the taxonomy tree” to the next most general node and picks up content from there for the search results. It turned out that this backfired in the BBC’s case, since this was a search engine on their own public website and they invariably had more results for their own programmes than for external content – so it looked like the search engine was “fixing” the results to prioritise BBC programmes. But the principle is very neatly illustrated. Thanks to James Robertson for this tip.

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