As data doubles in the Enterprise every 12 to 18 months, the problem is only getting worse. Consider a query against 10,000 documents and 5% of those are hits returned in the search result. That’s 500 hits or 50 pages of results for your average 10 hit per page result. What is the likelihood that a relevant hit is found on the first page?
What’s interesting is that Google had this same challenge back in the late 90′s when the amount of content on the internet began to explode. Relevance started to drop like a stone. Google claim to fame was to take a somewhat obvious (in hindsight) approach to improving things. On the Internet users have a tendency to link to quality content. People are more than happy to subscribe to a useful blog, for example. The fact that a user took time out of his or her busy day to do so must mean they value that content. Google began to boost the relevance of this content, as if overnight people began to find what they were looking for.