Improve Primo Search Algorithms
When our users look for a book in the Primo Search Portal they expect that the Primo Search behaves like a Google Search, i.e. they expect that Primo finds books with titles or metadata containing words similar to those in their query. Unfortunately, the Primo Search is very sensitive to the exact spelling of the words in the query. If the search query is slightly inaccurate, the book is not found in Primo. I tried such unsuccessful search queries on www.amazon.de, and Amazon usually found the correct book: Amazon showed the correct hit on top of the list (see attachment). This shows that the search algorithms of Amazon are clearly superior to those of Primo. I feel that Ex Libris should take steps to keep up with modern search technologies.
Some, but not all, of Primo’s shortcomings seem rather easy to fix. Primo fails to take word flexions in non-English languages into account. Since the endings of German words not only depend on plural and singular but also on the context, Primo’s search results for German queries are overly sensitive to word flexions. However, some of the English examples indicate that improving Primo’s dictionaries will not be sufficient. Over the long term, ExLibris may consider to team up with a specialized search provider.
Similar proposals in ExLibris idea exchange