Problems with Keyword Searches
This page explains the problems of using keyword searches at large online bookstores, such as Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.
A. Not all books will display that should display
Each book has particular keywords attached to it. However, sometimes these books are missing needed associated keywords. Therefore these books will not come up in the keyword search. For example, if you searched on the keyword "infertility," on 9/15/01, at two major online bookstores:
At Barnes & Noble, the following books did not display, yet they are about infertility and they are carried by Barnes & Noble:
At Amazon.com, the following books did not display, yet they are about infertility and they are carried by Amazon.com:
B. Many wrong books will display
For example, if you are a consumer and you enter the keyword "infertility" on Amazon or Barnes & Noble sites, the result list will also contain many books you would not want to read, such as: animal infertility or professional infertility books.
C. Too many books might display
If you enter the keyword "infertility" into Amazon and Barnes & Noble Web sites, they would display the following results:
How could you possibly review all those books?
D. You won't know all the possible keywords to search on
Assume you were interested in a book about donor egg. If you entered the keywords "donor egg" into Amazon and Barnes & Noble Web sites, here are the results that displayed (on 10/26/01):
The reason you would not get a good list when searching with "donor egg" is that the books on those two sites have the keyword "egg donation" attached to them. If you didn't know that, you would not find the books.
Here are a couple of examples of variations (with the best keywords listed first):
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