Full-Text Search Business Directories

A Business Directory is a listing of businesses in an order or format similar to the traditional Telephone Directory, which allows users to quickly sort through data alphabetically.

Unlike the traditional Telephone Directory, the Business Directory has in addition extra data which may include the business name, addresses, telephone numbers, location, type of service or products the business provides, number of employees, the service region and even professional associations. With the current trend in the use of the internet, Business Directories are now not limited to the print format. They are now primarily on the internet, such as in online Yellow Pages, such Directories may even include a section for user reviews, comments, and feedback.

Whilst not being search engines, online Business Directories often have search facilities, these search facilities work best when the data for the Directory are structured and stored in tables like SQL, Oracle, Access, etc.

One very important element of searchable databases is ‘Full-Text Search’ from SQL. Full-Text Search in SQL Server lets users and applications run full-text queries against character-based data in SQL Server tables. Full text search is distinguished from searches based on metadata or on parts of the original texts represented in databases (such as Business Names, Locations, Business Category or City).

In a full text search, the search engine examines all of the words in every stored document as it tries to match search criteria (eg., words supplied by a user). Full-text searching techniques became common in online bibliographic databases in the 1990s. Many web sites and application programs (such as word processing software) provide full-text search capabilities. Atypical implementation of the full-text search can be found at http://www.ghbusinessdirectory.com.

One other advantage of online Business Directories is that, businesses can be classified, categorized, or grouped according to their types of business such as ADVERTISING and GRAPHIC DESIGN.

Business Directories with full text capabilities have a higher advantage over ordinary online Yellow Pages which albeit online, perform like print Directories, where you need to know exactly what you are looking for. With full text, you only need to know a word or phrase within the search context to match results. There are several other enhancements which allows a user to for instance, search for Words Close to other Word with NEAR, CONTAINS, CONTAINSTABLE, RANK, etc. It is easy to enhance this with other rich features such as voice search. This is how far technology has brought us in this field of interest.

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