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In Search Of . . .

Can customers search your website--and actually find what they need? If not, you're losing dollars.

This story appears in the November 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The success of Google's search technology has transformed web users, who were already a sophisticated group of consumers, into even savvier searchers who now expect a top-notch experience on every site they visit-which could be a problem for e-tailers. Many site search engines still offer too many irrelevant results, too few results or none at all.

Feeling the pressure, netpreneurs are improving the search functions they already have or adding sophisticated search technologies to their sites for the first time. "One way to distinguish yourself from your competition on the web is to give people a really painless experience finding what they want on your website," says Avi Rappoport, editor of SearchTools.com and principal consultant at Search Tools Consulting in Berkeley, California.

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