Ryan Hoppe, Director of Product
Marketing, Fast Search
Ryan Hoppe serves as director of product marketing for Fast Search & Transfer, responsible for
FAST’s products and solutions in the media and e-commerce sectors. Before joining FAST, Ryan
managed product marketing for Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007 as part of Microsoft’s Information
Worker Division. Ryan has also held product marketing and marketing communications positions
at Groove Networks, Bose Corporation, and the communications consultancy Brodeur Worldwide.
Ryan holds a bachelor of science degree in communications from Cornell University.
Fast Search offers enterprise search solutions. The company was started in Norway in 1997 and
has grown rapidly to become a global organization with offices across six continents. Fast Search
is committed to building lasting customer partnerships and a positive reputation. The company
caters to clients all over the Internet. In fact, if you’ve used site search — the search capabilities
within a web site — then chances are you’ve seen what Fast Search can do.
Jerri: Could you give me an overview of what you’re calling site search?
SEO is about driving traffic to destination sites on the Web. But when someone arrives at
a destination site and wants to explore its content, that’s where site search kicks in. You’d be sur-
prised how many sites are powered by FAST. We index all of the content on a site — and some-
times content off the site — and allow the customer to easily search that data.
For example, TV Guide is a FAST customer. So if you went to the TV Guide web site and did a
search for the show “24,” in the past you would just get TV listings. Now, when you search for
“24” on the TV Guide site powered by FAST, you might see premium content such as interviews
or relevant blog results from offsite locations — all included with the search listings. Providing that
additional, relevant content helps build loyalty and keeps people on the site, which in turn helps
boost search engine rankings.
There was an interesting study released recently that was done by Susan Feldman at IDC. Her study
indicated that up to 70 percent of searches on the Internet occur at destination sites. That means
that only about 30 percent of all search goes through general web search engines like Google or
Yahoo!. That gives you sense of how large site search is.
Jerri: Does site search fall into the category of vertical search?
Not necessarily. Vertical search is still a web search engine; it’s just crawling vertical-specific
content and then using a tuned relevancy model to highlight relevant content in that vertical. The
knock against Google and Yahoo! is that their web search relevancy model is too broad and is not
really tuned to niche content. Vertical search engines better understand your context and tune their
relevancy models appropriately.
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