I'm creating a very large e-commerce site that's expected to
eventually have tens of thousands, perhaps more, entries. It is for
an industry that is heavily categorized, but every supplier has
totally different categories, so they effectively become meaningless.
So we're going to put it all together without categories, or at least
without a category tree model. It's search engine only, baby. All
those former categories are now keywords, effectively allowing one
item to be in dozens of categories.
I'm worried about how sites like Google will index ours. Even if
Keyword search is lousy when you're exploring an entire category.
Faceted navigation is pretty nice -- when it exists for the data
you're interested in. Finding items when you need to express a few
different requirements at the same time is... well, a disaster. We
need better tools for browsing and comparing.
Can anyone point to examples of sites or applications that you feel
do a good job at supporting this type of behavior? Got any thoughts
on what would characterize a search/browse engine of this sort?