Tuesday 19 October 2010

Google Blue Box Vs Funnel Back search

Search... it's a big subject when it comes to internal discussions on how visitors navigate our website. At the moment we have a Google Blue Box which provides us with a competent search and results display but does come with a two year lifetime at which point it gives out a little fizz and we need to purchase new hardware. It does seem strange that they only have a two year lifecycle!

So, as our box is due to self destruct within a year we started to look at alternative options and had a rather impressive demo from Funnel Back, part of Squiz. With only two hours of back end set-up and no tagging of our content the results displayed were impressive enough to stop us all talking!

Google has a real competitor for the small appliance search engine market and at present Google doesn't even compare (and i'm Google friendly!). The Funnel Back search results picked out course descriptions, suggested search terms and grouping with virtually no manual input. If we took the time to tweak it & tagged our content in a logial way (!) then we could see some outstanding results all of which would feed into a very nice course finder for our homepage.

I've posted a screen shot of both search results using the search term 'media' to show the difference.

Funnel Back search results for 'Media'

Google Blue Box search results for 'Media'


  1. Surely the effectiveness of any search system is dependent on its configuration - I've seen very good things done with GSA.

  2. Good point Mike, the issue I have is that the Blue Box is restrictive on it's functionality and the Yellow box costs more than Funnel Back!

    We are still heavily reliant on our IT department to tweak and style the display (a slow process) and the blue box doesn't play that nicely with our CMS!

    A bit of a double whammy...