By Jerri Stroud, BBB Editor
The changes are designed to improve the accuracy of search results by allowing users to filter a search to fit their needs.
Browsers can start their search on the BBB home page or from any page within the site. The search function is now the most prominent feature at the top of every page.
In the main search box, users can enter a business’s name, phone number, website or email address to search for it. Alternately, users can select the radio button for “category” to use the main search box to search for businesses in a specific category, based on proximity to the location specified.
The new search bar also lets users enter a location other than St. Louis, the default location for users searching from BBB’s St. Louis website. So if you’re looking for a plumber to help your mother in Boise, you can specify that location. Click “clear location,” then enter your desired locations. A drop-down menu allows you to select a specific town, if it’s in BBB’s database.
Another row of “filters” below the main search fields allows users to drill down further before they search. Use these if you want to narrow the search or ignore them if the search is producing the results you want.
- The first filter, labeled “Businesses” by default, can also be used to search for “Charities,” for “News & More” or for “All,” which includes businesses, charities, news and more. To find a charity, you must select either “Charities” or “All” from the drop-down (click the arrow to the right of “Businesses.”)
- The second filter, labeled “Site” by default, allows you to search the entire BBB site or just the BBB Accredited Business Directory. The “Site” search returns more results, but if you are interested just in Accredited Businesses, you can choose that search.
- The third filter is Distance, and it’s set as “off” by default, which means it can return results from across North America. You can set it to return results within several different mileage ranges up to 100 miles (or further if you leave the filter set at “off.”)
- The final filter is similar to the second. If you check the box, it will limit searches to BBB Accredited Businesses. If left unchecked, it will search for all businesses or charities that fit your search criteria.
Once you’ve selected a filter, it will stay in place for subsequent searches. So if you want to change your location or search for a business rather than a charity, click the appropriate filter or return to our home page and start over.
We hope these tips will help you find the results you want, whether it’s a business, a charity, a news release or anything else on our site. If you have problems with the new search, please email a description of the problem to firstname.lastname@example.org.