The Swiftype Blog / Month: March 2017

Introducing the Swiftype Search Sallet

Have you ever found yourself on one of your favorite websites, hunting for something very specific, typing query after query into the search field, thinking to yourself: “I wish my computer could just read my mind and find what I’m looking for!”

Well, great news, search fans! Swiftype, the largest independent Site Search and Enterprise Search provider on the web, has solved this long-standing, life-menacing problem just for you. If you ever thought hands-free site search was just a distant thing of the future, you’re wrong! The future is now and now is the future. Today, Swiftype is revealing a cutting-edge site search helmet designed to find what you’re looking for before you even know you’re looking for it: Introducing the Swiftype Search Sallet.

Powering Site Search While Searching Your Mind

We’ve extended our platform to include our patented Neuro-Learning Behavior Recognition technology (NLBR) – you think it, we search it! Get started with the Swiftype Search Sallet in 3 easy steps:

  • Step 1: Wearing Swiftype’s Search Sallet, stare at your computer’s search box for 3 seconds.
  • Step 2: Using Swiftype’s AI, NLP, ML and NLBR technologies, our search automation will recognize that you were searching for, (ie: “Do elephants have elbows?”) and auto-populate your query and immediately trigger the search.
  • Step 3: Review the set of results and stare for 3 seconds at the source you’d like to see more of – additional similar content will automatically appear! Voila! Search that reads your mind.

Unbelievable, Way-Too-Good-To-Be-True Features!

Standard Features include:

Split-Second Search: Our NLBR technology gets smarter over time by learning your eye patterns, brain activity and queries so your search results are returned to you even faster.

Productivity Filtering: Got a deadline coming up, but can’t stop wondering who would win in a fight between Iron Man and Batman? The Search Sallet knows you have to finish your work and won’t show you those results until after you get your work done.

Vocabulary enhancement: Still not sure if it’s “your” or “you’re?” The Swiftype Search Sallet knows which one you actually meant.

Available Enhanced Features:

Song Recognition: Ever get the melody of a song stuck in your head, with no way to figure out what it is? If you’re wearing the Swiftype Search Sallet, our algorithm will pick out the tune and find you that song!

Hunger Recognition: Craving Thai food?  Swiftype will find the restaurant you want in milliseconds before you even know you’re hungry.

Additional Sallet Specs:

  • Breathable, moisture-wicking liner, removable and washable – since you’ll surely work up a sweat -while you feverishly query
  • Color: Flat Black and rubber finish making it the ideal accessory, even for a night out on the town!
  • Incredibly lightweight! Only 10.5 lbs
  • 5-year warranty
  • Batteries not included

Our Customers Have Amazing Things to Say

(Statements given totally and completely by their own free will!)

“Before the Swiftype Search Sallet, I couldn’t find anything I really needed on the internet. Now, I can get information from any website just by thinking it!” – Dave, International Geographic

“I can’t believe I spent all these years wasting time using my hands to search!” – Mindy, Buzzton Post

Dozens of satisfied customers agree – Swiftype’s Search Sallet has not only revolutionized their modern search querying habits, but has made them more likable, attractive, and generally successful. Don’t wait. Order yours today!    

Just kidding. Early April Fool’s! But real talk, our search is pretty damn good. Try it for yourself.

Google Site Search, We Are Never Getting Back Together

Dear GSS,

I’ve been wanting to write you this letter for a long time. We’ve had some good moments, but 11 years is a long time to be together, and you just aren’t fitting my needs anymore. I know you started it by saying you were leaving next year, but I can’t wait until then to start taking care of myself. So I think we should break up now.Breaking up with GSS

It’s Not Me, It’s You

I need a site search tool that’s going to keep working on improving itself, not one that’s going to leave me in a year. I want the best version of you, but I clearly can’t get that anymore. So I’ve found a better version. That’s right, Google Site Search. I’m leaving you for Swiftype Site Search.

When we first met, you promised me I was the only one, that only my content would appear in the search results on my own website. I counted on you to keep the ads from other sites out of my search results. But now you’re going to start letting others’ results show up on my results page? Even my competitors? When my visitors enter a search query on my website, I definitely don’t want to show them results from another website, especially my competitors. I didn’t sign up for an open relationship, and I’ve never felt so betrayed.

I Need More Freedom to Customize

It’s getting harder to deal with how restrictive you’re getting. Even at your best as GSS, I already had to deal with the inability to customize my search algorithm to show the results I knew to be relevant. I let it slide because you do know a lot about organic rankings. But what if I want to promote a brand new page that hasn’t had the time to build up its rank organically? My visitors would be missing out on a lot of important information that they wouldn’t see immediately if I left it to your algorithm. What I really need is to be able to trust in an algorithm to know which content is most relevant to me and my visitors. And if I want more control over it, I can change the ranking of my result pages. You won’t give me that, but Swiftype does.

And I don’t think I should have to change my looks for you. My site’s style should look like what I want it to, and not be restricted by the style of your search engine. My visitors shouldn’t feel like they’re leaving my website to run a search. I want it to perpetuate my brand, not Google’s.

I Deserve a Better Search Experience

But maybe the most important reason I’m leaving you for Swiftype is that Swiftype knows I’m an independent site owner who can achieve anything I put my mind to, but sometimes I want a little extra support. Swiftype encourages me to customize my search however I want by providing me with implementation and support engineers who can answer any questions I have. I’m all about solving problems on my own, but sometimes it’s nice to feel the support of a team behind you instead of having to figure things out alone.

I’ll always be grateful for what you did for me in the past, and I’ll never forget the time we spent together. But I deserve more control over my site search experience, and I’m going to get it with Swiftype. I hope you can find someone out there to love you like I no longer can. Please move on, because we are never, ever getting back together.

Sincerely,
A Site Owner Who Needs More

Learn why you deserve a better search experience. View infographic.

Taking Site Search Back to School

They’re college students! They’re excited! They’re raring to go! But they need information to get started. More often than not, they hop online and search your university’s website to find everything they need without issue, right? Wrong. Their cursory search yields pages and pages of less-than-relevant search results. After exploring the first few options, they get frustrated because they can’t immediately find what they’re looking for. So, what do they do? They contact you. Over and over and over.

A university’s website is an important intersection for its varied audiences who are all looking for unique information. Often times additional menu options and subdomains are added in order to meet everyone’s needs, but web developers are increasingly realizing that site search is the key to making the right information more accessible.

Getting Smart with Site Search

Join us on Tuesday, March 28th to hear from the web development leaders from Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia and St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. They’ll explain their own experiences and how they made the choice to make site search a strategic part of their web experience. They’ll cover:

  • Why their old solutions didn’t work and what they looked for in a new solution
  • How they made search the focus of their website and how visitors reacted
  • Where they ran into challenges along the way and how they overcame

Don’t miss this great opportunity to hear directly from your industry peers about how site search was a game-changer for their website. Register now!

Learn How Top Universities Put Site Search at the Head of the Class
Tuesday, March 28th at 10:00 am PT, 1:00 pm ET

Essential Site Search Terms You Should Know

When evaluating your next Site Search solution, you may come across some terms that you’re not familiar with. We are often asked, What does this mean? From Bigram Matching, to Corpus, to Autocomplete, having a grasp of these common terms will help you better understand and evaluate your next website search engine platform. This post provides you with explanations for the most popular/common site search terms.

Essential Site Search Terms You Should Know

Autocomplete
Autocomplete (also known as typeahead or autosuggest) is a language prediction tool that many search interfaces use to provide suggestions for users as they type in a query.

Bigram matching
Bigram matching is a language analysis tool which advanced search engines use to find results for multiple-word queries that are similar to but not exactly the same as the text in the searchable index. (example: iPhone, i phone, i-phone are all different terms, but the algorithm recognizes them as the same)

Clickthrough behavior
Clickthrough behavior is a type of data that records what results users are clicking on from an SERP.

Constant Crawl
Constant Crawl is a Swiftype feature that allows your search engine index to be updated in real time. This means that any time a page is created or updated, Swiftbot will immediately index the new content and make it available in search results.

Conversions/Conversion rates
In the world of search, conversions occur when users perform a query and click on a result from the SERP.

Corpus
The corpus is the entire body of searchable text in a search index.

Document
The term document refers to a single page or item in a website search index. On a publishing website, for example, a document could be a single article. On an ecommerce website, a document could be a product listing.

Document frequency
Document frequency is the number of times a given term or query appears in a specific document within a larger search index.

Exit rate
Exit rate is a measurement in search analytics that records how often users perform a query then leave the SERP without clicking on a result.

Filtered search
Filtering is a search tool that lets users to restrict their search to a certain section of a website or a specific document type.

Phrase matching
Phrase matching is a language-dependent process which advanced search engines use to identify sets of words that should be treated as a cohesive unit when scanning across a search index for the most relevant documents.

Search query
Queries are the strings of text that users type into a search bar when looking for a specific result or set of results. Queries can be one word or several.

Stemming
Stemming is a language-dependent process of removing suffixes from words so that words with the same root match each other.

Term frequency
Term frequency is the number of times a given term or query apears within a search index.

To see the complete list of keywords, visit our Search Concepts overview page.

3 Limitations of Google’s Custom Search Engine

By now it should be no surprise that Google is sunsetting its Google Site Search (GSS) product, in favor of its much more restrictive Custom Search Engine (CSE). In addition to forcing ads into your results (to no one’s benefit but Google’s), CSE has a much more limited feature set, proving that sometimes change can be bad.

Here are just 3 of the many limitations you’ll be stuck with if you settle for Google’s CSE:

They’re not just your results

When a visitor comes to your site, you want your search box to only show results from your website. With CSE you’ll be forced to display ads from the entire web universe in your results, taking away your visitors’ attention from your own content.

Too Many Ads

Customization

There are much fewer customization options with Google CSE – not just visually, but more importantly in the ability to control the way your content is displayed. While you can tweak little things like link colors, there isn’t much you can customize beyond that. The overall experience still looks and feels like Google, not your own. And if you have a new piece of content you want to promote, you have to wait until there are enough organic rankings for Google’s algorithm to show it anywhere close to where you want it.

No Customization Options

Support

The Google Help Center is a list of articles that assume you can do everything yourself. But what if you have a more specific implementation in mind that you aren’t sure if you can achieve on your own? If you aren’t a developer you might have some trouble.

No Support

If you aren’t worried yet, you should be. With free, you get what you pay for. Watch our latest 15-minute webcast recording to learn more about why you shouldn’t settle for CSE.

On the Search: Azusa Pacific University Implements Swiftype

azusa-pacific-university

Located northeast of Los Angeles, Azusa Pacific University (APU) is home to almost 10,000 students and counts 68 bachelor’s degrees, 45 master’s degrees, and eight doctoral programs within the system.

After years of using the Google Search Appliance for their website, the APU web team was faced with a new challenge. After Google announced it was phasing out the product, they were on the search for an even better solution—and not something so “old school.”

Here, Dustin Reynolds, Assistant Director of Digital Marketing, shares APU’s experiences of implementing and improving their search.

What were your “must-haves” for search during your evaluation?

At first, we didn’t really know what we were looking for—other than we wanted something that we could build into our website that looked custom and like it belonged there. We also wanted to be able to do keyword matches and pin them to the top of results. If someone types “MBA,” we need to ensure that we always serve Master of Business Administration as the very first result. Customization of search results was very important to us.

As we explored the options more, we started to see features that we really wanted. This included ease-of-use and the ability for many team members in our office to access the tool and work on refining the search options. If a team knew what should appear and they could then do it themselves without having to pass it to a developer, then it would make the process much more efficient within the office.

What was the actual Swiftype implementation like?

It was actually very fast—around two weeks. In that time, we figured out customization and fallback pages. We then went on to really delve into weighting, as well as creating some custom meta tags on our site to help the search engine figure out things we knew the user would be looking to find.

What has surprised you the most with your new deployment?

One of the biggest surprises was cost. Swiftype is quite a bit less than Google Search Appliance and for the tool that you’re getting.

What do you see as the biggest difference between Google Search Appliance and Swiftype?

Outside of cost, it’s having the ability to change things quickly, weight terms differently, and customize how we rank certain sections of our site. This is a big deal for us because we feel like we’re providing better quality service to the user now.

What kind of success have you seen since launching the improved search with Swiftype?

Our main goal is to get potential students to fill out a form and say they want more information on a program. Now we really have a window into what’s happening—whether it’s misspelling of search terms or a way to try and understand why they didn’t click on a certain search result. As far as conversions go, we set up one conversion variable, which for us is the Information Request Form.

Is there a feature you can’t live without?

I would say it’s the results ranking because we have such a robust site and anything can show up for a search term. Being able to control it and know that the first three or four options are on target is key. You’d be surprised—especially when people are searching on mobile— the amount of times a letter is skipped or doubled up. Now we can look and say, “Oh, clearly they were trying to type ‘admissions’ or ‘accreditation'” and account for that. It’s a big deal when we can make sure we’re serving up the content our audience is trying to find—even with terms that are often misspelled.

Bringing the Power of Swiftype’s AI to Slack

Slack solves the problem of efficient communication in the workplace. Swiftype solves the problem of efficient content discovery in the workplace.  And now, /Swiftype is a simple command that leverages our AI-powered Enterprise Knowledge Graph to search all of your company data without ever leaving Slack.

Over 4 million workers (at companies like Airbnb, Ebay, Condé Nast, Samsung, Urban Outfitters, and more) use Slack and spend an average of 10 hours each weekday plugged in. It’s transformed the way people communicate and collaborate at work. Likewise, Swiftype’s suite of applications and Enterprise Knowledge Graph has transformed the way people discover and leverage information at work.  Today, we’re proud to announce Swiftype’s new integration with Slack — adding to our recently-announced AI-Powered Enterprise Search Platform, which eliminates the need to pop in and out of multiple tools and sites to find the information you need. Swiftype lets you search in Slack to uncover content across all of the applications you use at work.

You search in Slack, Swiftype gives you answers. It’s easy. It’s fast. It’s efficient.

Here’s what you get (and why it matters) when you /Swiftype

Easily discover all of your content from within Slack. You should be able to search for documents, files, conversations, and data regardless of where the information lives. Similarly, you should have access to all of this without interrupting your workflow. If you find yourself spending most of your work day in Slack, why not search there? With a simple command, you can pull in search results from any application without ever leaving Slack. Find the information you need and share it directly in your channel.

Ask Swiftype questions the way you’d ask a coworker — our AI will do the rest. Using proprietary Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing technology, Swiftype understands searches in the same way humans do, and the results are an astonishing combination of speed and predictive accuracy. You’ll never search the same way again.

Fully control the privacy of your company data, whether it’s across your company’s shared content or per-user private sources, Swiftype gives every person in the organization access only to the data they are allowed to view. Your data is protected every step of the way, too. Security isn’t just a priority, it’s an essential component to our technology and platform. From end-to-end encryption to Slack channel restrictions, everything is in place to ensure the protection and integrity of your most valuable asset: your content and knowledge.

Don’t limit your search

Sure, you can look through each service individually by jumping from one to another until you find what you’re looking for, but this level of inefficiency is not only frustrating, it’s also expensive. The reality is that most companies house content in more than one place (and with more than one provider). When you search, you need to search across all of your data.  Swiftype focuses on being comprehensive and efficient. Your employees don’t want to search G Suite, then Salesforce, then Slack, then your website, then Dropbox, then Zendesk to find the piece of information they need to do their job. Swiftype lets you launch a single search  — that spans all of your cloud data sources — then, you’re done.

And now, you can do it all within Slack too.