The Motley Fool's license with Google had capacity limits; by early 2009, Wolfsheimer couldn't index more content without upgrading. For a while, the company removed some older content from its pool of searchable material to include new items. "But it was a shame for us to have to hide content," he says. Solr/Lucene doesn't limit how much can be indexed, Wolfsheimer says. Plus, because it's open source, his team can freely play with the code to refine the results a search produces. For example, when a customer who pays for a premium subscription searches Fool.com, links to exclusive content bubble to the top of her results.
These changes have increased click-throughs from search results to content by 40%, Wolfsheimer says, which shows that more people are finding more content that interests them. "We can help them get what they're paying for."
Read more about data management in CIO's Data Management Drilldown.