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Search This Blog

By - April 10, 2006

Search This BlogSo I’m thinking about moving “Search This Blog” from it’s prominent spot on the left. Why? Well, I think perhaps there are other, more important features, like a list of recent posts or perhaps a sponsor unit, that might be better over there. Before I do, how many of you use it on a regular basis, and like where it is?


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28 thoughts on “Search This Blog

  1. Rob says:

    Ah, the pressures of having advertising above the fold :-)

  2. Jeremy says:

    I’ve used the search feature on this blog a lot (more than searching recent comments/ posts) and think it’s fine where it is.

    Cheers,
    Jeremy Barth

  3. vikram says:

    Hello there,

    Where would you move this to?End of the page?

    Cheers,
    Vikram

  4. Todd says:

    a prominently placed search box somehow seems appropriate on a “searchblog”

  5. Inquiring Mindz says:

    Well, it kind of depends – are you planning to keep the catchy headings, or make google-friendly mundate fodder of them? Cuz when you do that, I don’t wanna browse anymore. Oh wait, this all just feels like one big slippery slope…more search…more search…more search.

    soooo, good editorial style promotes browsing, and pushes the search box down to a secondary role. hmmm.

    your move, man.

  6. Dan says:

    My view is that search should always be above the fold (don’t bow that far to the advertising), but is better situated top-right rather than top-left.

    My biggest issue with your search, though, is the results screen. Different domain, very different look and feel, and difficult to understand which bit of the screen houses your results.

    Also, slightly surprising that someone whose entire site is about the importance of search is looking to demote his own ;)

  7. Digbeth says:

    Dude,

    Do you not, like, have an analytics package to answer these questions for you? How web 1.0!

    D

  8. SorenG says:

    Don’t use it much, but strangely, it is nice to see it and know that it is there if need be.

  9. John – the Searchblog RSS feed now comes with a website too? Who’d have thought it!

    Seriously…I read your content every day and until I came here to comment I wouldn’t have been able to say with any certainty what your site looked like. It would never have crossed my mind to visit a website to search its archive – I’ve got a Google search box in my browser for general search and a custom Rollyo extension that includes searchblog I’d have used in your case. Maybe not all your readers are geeks, of course. Bet a lot are.

    (Apologies if this entry gets posted twice, coComments seems to have eaten the first one).

  10. Devan says:

    I do use the search; but will use it regardless of its location. I think this may be true of most people who use it. As long as it is easy to find and not too close to the bottom of the page, I’ll be fine!

  11. John K says:

    It’s rather disingenuous to call a sponsor unit a “more important feature”.

    You’ve got plenty of noisy distracting ads already…

    At the very least, the search box stays the same color on each page view.

    Whatever happened to “less is more”?

  12. Art Wynne says:

    As long as the “Search This Blog” box is easily found (i.e. no scrolling to find it) when you first pull up the page, then it probably should not matter if it’s moved from the left side.

  13. I always look for a Search option on the top right corner of any site with content. ( it must be just me)

  14. Markus says:

    I think the search box could be more visible.

    I’d move it to the top of the page, horizontaly, just below the “Thoughts on the intersection of search, media, technology, and more.”

    While you’re at it, I’d move the prev/next post navigation from the top to the end of the post (it’s natural for me to look for something else to read after I’m done reading the post, especially if it contains few links)

  15. pete says:

    move it down, everyone knows you have search and they will find it..

  16. Tracy Shea says:

    Searchblog assumes the readers ability to search, I think the searchability sits fine where ’tis… why have to search for the search when it’s search function is right where it oughta be?

  17. It IS an important feature, and should be prominent, to encourage users to review past quality postings.

    One idea would be to place it ABOVE the advertising on the right column. It would probably NOT interfer with the clicks because it is a subtle feature – but quite helpful and necessary that it be visible.

    Also, a prominent directory of TOPIC categories as opposed to just calendar links might be worthy of consideration.

    Also, on would it be possible to consider using emoticons? ;-)

  18. To be honest I think your site has about the right mix of advertising to content at the moment. Going more could kill your blog.

    Having the search in such a prominent position is offering your visitors some consideration that helps balance the onslaught of advertising (we’ll ignore the content for now ;) Keep it as it is :) Or, give some metrics on the search usage before deciding to move it.

    You could lose more income by moving it as well – if people can’t find other pages you miss extra page impressions and the chance to throw more adverts at them.

    – JD

  19. martium says:

    To be honest I never use search inside a blog. I read your content regularly via Google Reader and the occasional visit to your site if I’m particularly interested in a post.

    However, for the author of The Search to not have a searchbox in a prominent position on his website would be odd, I suppose.

    I would put it above the long skyscraper ad in the right column.

    martium

  20. rels says:

    I use it pretty frequently and would appreciate if the default option was “Searchblog”… if a user comes to the site and then decides to do a search in all liklihood they are looking to do a search on Searchblog.

  21. Amit Kumar says:

    Not many people use search on your page. The current search technology is mostly useless in a small corpus. First, people don’t come looking for something specific. Second, even if they come looking for specifics, its unlikely a syntactic search will get them there. (How many times have you experienced it yourself?) A tag cloud may be more helpful, but it wont be a best solution. Best would be an automatically generated visualization of site-map with clustering of similar topics and relation between the clusters.

  22. Rohn says:

    Why do you need so much real estate for a search feature? Give me a text box with the word search… forget the extra garbage and add some advertising… maybe something that says “this search sponsored by …” if you want to be real witty.

  23. Teddie says:

    John the reason the Rollyo search boxes don’t get much use is becuase by default they search the ‘web’ which is kinda reinventing the wheel.

    Tweak the options so that your actual site is the default selected one and more people will use it. A minor code tweak goes a long way:

    The Web
    Searchblog

  24. Sheen He says:

    I use the search function semi-regularly, but open to have it on the left side, bottom of the page, or bottome of all the content on the right

  25. I have never used it. I would move it elsewhere to a less prominant position.

  26. Rob says:

    Actually, one idea would be to follow the same format as we have with our sites. Example site: cbronline.com

    I designed the site so that the ad units we sell (leaderboard’s, MPU’s, sky’s and banner’s) could be fitted around the content, but not interfere with the users experience that much.

    I’d therefore suggest that a good way of placing the search function is to the right of the logo. The banner/leaderboard position is then placed above the content in a seperate table, thus satisfying commerical demands from our ad sales team. The CTR (and potential branding sell) of leaderboards placed here means your ad sales teams will love you for it.

  27. Keith Cash says:

    Do not use it very much. But please keep on front page to keep the warm and fuzzy feelings of it being there.

  28. Tim Haines says:

    I like the search box where it is. It shows consideration for your readers. If you put an ad there, you show earning cash from your readers is more important.