Search Tools has a nice article on Faceted Metadata Search:
"Full text search wipes out the value of the metadata: a number 3 is just a number, not a size, price, product ID or other meaningful number, as it is in context of the tagged page or database record. Similarly, it's hard to know whether a recipe, for example, has chili pepper as a significant ingredient or minor flavoring. While many searches are just fine without that information, there are other cases where providing that context would be extremely helpful.
A good solution to these problems involves exposing the facets in dynamic taxonomies, so that the search user can see exactly the options they have available at any time. They can switch easily between searching and browsing, using their own terminology for search while recognizing the organization and vocabulary of the data."