These components allow the entry of a user-defined query (e.g., a search) and automatically present users with a customized set of results that match their queries. Think of these as dynamic and mostly automated counterparts to browsing aids. Types of search components include:
The means of entering and revising a search query, typically with information on how to improve your query, as well as other ways to configure your search (e.g., selecting from specific search zones).
The grammar of a search query; query languages might include Boolean operators (e.g., AND, OR, NOT), proximity operators (e.g., ADJACENT, NEAR), or ways of specifying which field to search (e.g., AUTHOR=“Shakespeare”).
Ways of enhancing a query’s performance; common examples include spell checkers, stemming, concept searching, and drawing in synonyms from a thesaurus.
The part of a search engine that determines which content matches a user’s query; Google’s PageRank is perhaps the best-known example.
Subsets of site content that have been separately indexed to support narrower searching (e.g., searching the tech support area within a software vendor’s site).
Presentation of content that matches the user’s search query; involves decisions of what types of content should make up each individual result, how many results to display, and how sets of results should be ranked, sorted, and clustered.