You’re not the only one feeling this way. In a world where we’re able to find whatever we need with just a few keystrokes, company file management seems to fail again and again. 

But why exactly is that? And most importantly, what can we do about it?

Company File Management Platforms Can’t Search Like Google

Everyone wants their company search to work like the search engine Google. Why can’t document search work that well? It can be annoying and confusing. 

After this post, you’ll understand exactly why the two systems don’t work the same way and why company search is much more difficult to nail.

We all know that Google provides a surefire way to find what or who you need on the internet. But how, exactly?

Google’s power comes from the World Wide Web; it harnesses the ability to draw from a sea of global online resources, searches, and users.

The online giant has the enormous benefit of learning from over 3.5 billion searches every day. This kind of reach is invaluable for giving people what they want.

Imagine you work for a marketing firm that’s doing research on the buying habits of millennials. If your research covered 500 people, you’d certainly uncover telling habits and data. But what if you could expand your research to 50,000,000 people? 500,000,000?

Your results would be more specific, accurate, and actionable. The same goes for Google’s use of the world wide web, and is part of the reason why the search capabilities of your file management platform seem so weak.  

Search engine optimization experts all agree that there are 100s of factors that go into how Google ranks a website and decides whether it will end up on the first page of search results or on page 5.  A report by the company MOZ summarizes all these key factors into a more manageable 10.  See the chart below.

Google Search Rankings

As you can see, most of these factors are external of the search engine itself — meaning they rely on things that the site isn’t directly in control of, like inbound links, traffic data, and social metrics.

This is what makes replicating a “Google-level” search within your company’s file management system so challenging. Let’s take a look at the chart below of how Google ranks results as compared to the capabilities of a typical internal search such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, SharePoint, or OneDrive.

How Does Typical File Management Compare to Google?

It’s not that the company search engine is inferior, it’s that there is so much more available criteria to put into the search algorithm with publicly facing content. Inputs like the domain authority, backlinks, social media mentions, press mentions, anchor text distribution, link quality, domain traffic quality, and domain response time are all factors available to a World Wide Web search engine but striped away from a company search.

A company search can’t rely on the volumes of data generated on the World Wide Web everyday. It can’t crawl other sites and weigh content based on relevancy. It’s an unfortunate truth but most company searches rely purely on the content.

This can explain the findability frustrations that people have with file management platforms like SharePoint, OneDrive, Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive.

Improve File Management With A Better Search

But there is hope; there are proven ways to improve company findability by implementing best practices from knowledge management to make the company search experience more like going to a local bookstore or library rather than wading through piles of clutter in your attic or basement.

While you can’t turn a World Wide Web search engine into your company’s file search, you can pick a better one with robust features and capabilities to help your team find what it needs faster.

You want to pick a file management system whose search includes all 14 important qualities of search and the best practices of Browse and Discover, like Shelf. These are features and qualities that create a simple browsing experience with powerful capabilities to refine and filter, leverage and adjust rich metadata, and organize content with ease.

Want to read more about what goes into creating a truly incredible search?Download our White Paper on the 14 qualities of an incredible search today.