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January 4, 2023

Document indexing: what it is, how it works, and best practices

Author imaage
Azeem Hussain
Senior NLP Engineer
Document indexing: what it is, how it works, and best practices

Information is accumulating faster than ever. If estimates are to be believed, the total amount of data created, copied, captured and consumed worldwide is likely to reach 180+ zettabytes (1 zettabyte = 1 trillion gigabytes) by 2025. As a result, finding relevant information quickly and easily has become a challenging task for businesses and individuals alike. 

This is a general problem, but it becomes much more specific and daunting in the context of organizations and modern businesses. A lot of time and money is often lost just looking for relevant documents and data. Even as search engines get more sophisticated, this problem persists. The reason? While search algorithms are improving, the way we store documents is not – and that is causing a major hindrance. 

This problem can be solved by understanding and implementing the ideas of document indexing. Think of document indexing as making your document more easily accessible and searchable by adding tags, labels, and other important metadata. Such indexing is essential if we are to let sophisticated search algorithms do their job properly. To add to that, many businesses are going paperless and remote – and they use OCR and other scanning methodologies to digitize their files. In order to access these files at a later stage and in a relevant manner, document indexing becomes important again. 

In this blog post, we will explore document indexing, how it works and how it can help you get the most out of your documents. 

The benefits of proper indexing

Document indexing, if done properly, can help you find and access information quickly whenever you need it. As a result, your business will become more efficient and streamlined as less time will be spent searching for documents. Additionally, fewer errors and mistakes will be made, saving you money in terms of productivity and reduced legal fees. You’ll also be better equipped to collaborate with colleagues and clients due to streamlined project management.

Simply put, the overarching benefit of proper document indexing is enhanced enterprise search. As businesses are evolving in the context of the problems they tackle, the types and amounts of data held by these businesses are also evolving. In such a situation, accessing relevant information from the enterprise knowledge base becomes challenging if not for proper document indexing. 

Enterprise data can be spread across different databases, in various formats, and have different dependencies. However, with proper document indexing, all of these differences can be leveled out by bringing things down to the metadata level. In doing so, businesses can accurately make use of fast and precise enterprise search, which can result in other important benefits, like: 

Three main types of document indexing

When it comes to indexing your documents for improved search, you can go about it in more ways than one. However, not all of the ways of document indexing are suitable for all use cases. To understand that better, let’s look at the three main types of document indexing: 

Best practices for document indexing

Clearly, document indexing is not a straightforward thing to do. You need to know your document inside out to really provide relevant metadata that can then be utilized at a later stage during the search. As a result, there are some strategies that you can adopt for performing document indexing on your enterprise documents. These strategies, or best practices, ensure that your documents are indexed in the most useful manner possible. Here are some such practices for you to keep in mind: 


Document indexing is a must in today’s information-rich environment. With time, it is only going to get even more important. The sooner businesses realize the importance of document indexing and take the necessary steps in that direction, the better it will be for them in the long run. Document indexing and enterprise search are going to be crucial as businesses evolve more, and those who give it a thought at the right time will likely outperform others in all aspects. 

For a search engine that can provide your enterprise with fast and relevant AI-based search capabilities, consider Zevi. Contact us for a free trial today!

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