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Google (and other search providers) include the page title, URL and some description in search results. For search within a large organisation, where all results are from the same domain, is there any value in including the URL beyond supporting users who may want to print the results?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It depends. One consensus seems to be to remove such information from intranet search results in favor of including a more human-readable location (http://www.steptwo.com.au/papers/cmb_searchresults/index.html), however other groups recommend including it as a valuable piece of contextual information (i.e., "Oh, that URL is under http://projectA.mycompany.com/..., I definitely don't want that site"). I tend to fall in this second camp.

What you decide will depend on a number of factors:

  • Is your organization largely technical? I have a feeling computer-oriented people will value having URLs in their search results.
  • How well is your internal network structured in terms of URLs? Are your URLs clean and informative, or do they look like "http://projectA.company.com/se?alkdjfalkje819283"?
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In SERP, I believe it is useful for a seasoned search user if URI is included for quick decision making.

Let's see why a public search engine includes a URI first.

From the domain perspective (e.g. example.com/)

  • Creditability

    You usually trust a big company instead of small one. When user skim through the list, he/she can quickly filter it.

    Example:
    google.com - Trustworthy
    guimp.com - Unknown

  • Categorization

    It is easier to distinguish the type of the content resided in the website.

    Example:
    github.com - only code is stored
    wikipedia.org - You would not expect game is insided

    perl.org - org usually represents the non-profit organization
    stanford.edu - edu always associated with education institudes

  • Familiarity

    If user visited a site before for several times, he/she would remember the URI.
    When the URI is shown in SERP, one could immediately recognize it without looking at the messy title which is varied and inconsistent.


In Intranet, categorization become the an important part to assist searching.

Think URI in term of home address, if the URI is well organized,

Either
jobvacancies/2013.html
hrservices/2013.html

Or
itintranet.mycorp/
hrintranet.mycorp/

It would be a benefit for user to filter the noise rapidly.
Otherwise if URI is gibberish, it doesn't make sense to include the URI at all.

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