Does metadata still make sense in SharePoint Online?

A another great post by SharePoint Maven,

Unlike most of my other posts, which are instructional, this one is philosophical. I am writing this post late at night while sipping a glass of red wine (because my doctor told me I should not eat just before I go to bed and I really need something to get my creative juices flowing). 🙂 Lately, I have been getting this question quite often from my loyal blog followers and clients. “Does metadata still make sense in SharePoint Online?” This is a great question, indeed and not without merit. If you have been following SharePoint Online since its inception in 2011 (when it became part of Office 365), I am sure you have noticed a slow shift from metadata back to good old folders. While I do not have any official data to back this up, I personally have seen a decline in metadata usage and user adoption among my clients. There are a few reasons due to which I can attribute such a trend.


Modern Search

One of the reasons for the decline in metadata usage is that the modern SharePoint Search has become so remarkable! Unlike the classic search, the modern one is based on the Office Graph, which, in pure English, means that search results are based on user activities rather than a site hierarchy. Just modified that Budget document a few minutes ago? Expect it on top of the search results next time you search for a document.

Modern Search also searches a document itself, picking up essential keywords and text. Read more