WebKite Blog

Periodically we publish thoughts and ideas about he state of the web and the state of structured data publishing. Topics range from small business marketing to cost efficient advertising.

The Wild World of Faceted Search

The Nat Geo theme song should be playing here

Welcome to the wild world of Faceted Search. The new, fun, and exciting way to search for anything. It may sound like a promise from an “As Seen On TV” commercial, but it’s absolutely not. It’s the future of niche search and in this post we’ll explore its utility.

So what’s faceted search and why would anyone want to implement it?

Faceted search is the ability to sort and filter a large set of data/information by specifying the criteria and having a list of results that meet your specific criteria. A facet being a particular aspect of a set of items (this could be color, price, rating, amount of snowfall, or any attribute you can think of to describe something). Beginning to see the potential?

Have you heard of Amazon.com?

Great! This means that you are more familiar with faceted search than you thought. The Amazon Sidebar is faceted search on a grand scale. With a few clicks, you are able to drill down through a number of categories without feeling the anxiety of being faced with too many choices. With a single click, you can browse through millions of books. One more click and you’re looking at thousands of children’s books. With only two clicks, million of items have been narrowed down to thousands of items based on your criteria.

A thousand is still a lot of results. Maybe you narrow your search by age range 9-12 and books that came out within in the last 30 days. Instantly, you see only the things you want to see. You’ve cut down a mountain of results into a pile of pebbles, which is much easier to sift through. At the end of the road, you’re looking at children’s books that are great for 9-12 year olds that also came out within the last 30 days. This specificity is what makes faceted search so powerful.

Amazon is one of the best example of a website that leverages faceted search, along with Kayak, Orbitz, Yelp, and LinkedIn. What do these sites all have in common? They help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

The Internet is Expanding

This problem gets worse every day. The expansion of the Internet can make it hard to find what you are looking for — recipes, running shoes, gifts, and gadgets.To battle this, expert sites begin to form — sites that are experts in a specific niche. Their promise is to help you find that perfect recipe, the best running shoes, and a gift that will wow its recipient. These sites are doing this through the advent of faceted search.

Unfortunately, if you are not Jeff Bezos, implementing faceted search is nearly impossible. Despite the fact that faceted search is a standard for on-site web search, there is no easy or affordable solution to faceted search.

WebKite has a Solution

We want you to implement faceted search on your website with the same ease that you embed video, upload photos, and build a community around great content.

We know that websites exist to share knowledge, reviews, and advice. Wouldn’t it be great to help your visitors find exactly what they’re looking for on your site without having to depend on Google’s algorithm? Whether that’s the perfect recipe for the gluten-free pescetarian or the best shoes for the long-distance runner on a budget, our mission is to make faceted search easy and accessible.

We will explore the potential, power, and utility of faceted search on this blog. If you want to stay in the know and hear about our developments surrounding faceted search, sign up for our faceted search newsletter. We will deliver nothing but insight to your inbox (and we won’t spam you!). Maybe some awesome videos too.

Sign up below to stay in the loop or stay tuned for more about faceted search.

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Since we're generating specific ads based on a business' inventory, ads are only shown to customers that are ready to buy those products.

This mitigates waste and ensures that you only get clicks that have a better chance of leading to a sale. Inventory-based ads help you skip past the bartering and get right to the sale. Meaning you can spend less time maintaining ads and more time taking care of your business.

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