The Swiftype Blog / Tag: search technology

Salesforce Selects Swiftype as a Launch Partner for Federated Search

Swiftype has been chosen by Salesforce as a launch partner for its Summer 2017 Federated Search release. Swiftype’s proven Enterprise Search platform provides Salesforce users the ability to find and access content stored outside of Salesforce from within Salesforce Classic, Salesforce Console, or Lightning Experience. Regardless of where content lives, users can search for documents in Dropbox and Google Drive, content living in Confluence spaces, JIRA tickets, Slack and Gmail conversations, and many other files critical to their work, without ever leaving Salesforce.

Swiftype’s extensive connector framework includes Box, Sharepoint, Slack, Google G Suite, JIRA, Confluence, Evernote, Dropbox and more. For a full list, view here.  

Companies and their employees benefit greatly from the extension of Swiftype’s best-in-class artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) technologies into Salesforce Federated Search. These technologies help identify a user’s true intent for every search, and apply refinements to filter content from external sources, for a precise and desired result output.  

With Swiftype’s search engine powering Salesforce Federated Search, employees are able to search once and see results across all their external data sources in the same Salesforce results page. Swiftype’s backend technology better understands queries and prioritizes content sources based on the search queries themselves, historical search behaviors, and even the individual’s role and most-used sources. For example, support reps work on cases and often reference articles or documentation stored in apps like Confluence or Sharepoint, so, as they search, the system learns to prioritize results from those applications. Likewise, Swiftype’s algorithms learn and understand that sales reps work most in accounts and opportunities and often need to locate contracts or collateral — so it surfaces data stored in Dropbox, Google G Suite or Box. Allowing search to crawl outside data sources and populate results within a Salesforce user’s existing workflow is paramount to maximizing employee productivity and efficiency.

GETTING STARTED

Salesforce users can get started with Salesforce Federated Search by contacting Swiftype here or by signing up for a free 14-day trial.  More details on implementation can be found on the Salesforce blog here.

HOW IT WORKS

Users can launch Swiftype Enterprise Search several different ways from within Salesforce:

1) Directly from the search bar (see Figure 1)
2) From an embedded Swiftype Search tab (see Figure 2)
3) By using an installed Swiftype browser extension (see Figure 3)

Figure 1 (search bars queries will bring you to a results page like this)

 

Figure 2 (search within a designated Swiftype tab in your Salesforce instance)

 

Figure 3 (Swiftype’s browser extension populates results without disrupting your workflow)

 

4 Steps to Finding the Right Modern Enterprise Search Solution

Evaluating a modern enterprise search solution
Managing your internal data is not an easy task. As your organization’s amount of information grows, productivity can be directly tied to your employees’ ability to find the right information in a timely and effortless manner. With the proliferation of specialized productivity tools, employees are forced to hunt from repository to repository to find the right information – from documents in Dropbox, to customer information in Salesforce, to projects in JIRA.

That data is growing at a tremendous rate, and organizations are focusing more of their efforts on increasing employee productivity. 26% of organizations saw their content management budget grow over 10% in the past year.

Having an internal enterprise search solution gives employees the ability to find the most relevant information across all the cloud applications they use on a daily basis, and keeps knowledge workers productive.

4 Steps to Evaluating Your Next Enterprise Search Solution

The Aberdeen Group, widely known as a leader in the research and analysis of information technology and products, has assembled a guide to outline the 4 steps you should take when evaluating an enterprise search solution for your organization:

  1. Let the Search Technology Do the Work
  2. Make It Personal and Secure
  3. Search Using Artificial Intelligence Technologies
  4. Leverage the Cloud to Simplify Administration

The guide is meant to help your organization find the right enterprise search solution to give your employees the most relevant content at their fingertips, whenever they need it. After all, there is a lot to consider with enterprise search. Offering your employees a cloud-based platform that incorporates machine learning and natural language processing technologies, as well as one that respects your org’s role based access permissions and security policies will give them the best chance to reduce frustration and increase their productivity.

You can download the full guide here.

Great Developers Ship, They Don’t Configure Search

We’re always excited when Swiftype customers give unprompted kudos to our solutions. Of course, we also work with a lot of our customers to showcase how they use Swiftype.

But when someone who’s not a customer writes about how great our products are after a trial, it makes us a bit more proud to be doing what we’re doing. If our products provide such a great experience that someone needs to tell the world, well that just makes us smile!

One recent example is from David Walsh (@davidwalshblog), a Senior Software Engineer and evangelist for Mozilla, who also runs the wildly popular David Walsh Blog. On his blog, which uses WordPress, David defaulted (as many do) to the out-of-the-box search functionality. And, just like many of you, he found it “underwhelming,” so decided to look for a replacement.

You can read his full post here, which goes into much detail on Swiftype’s features, explains how he set up both Swiftype Site Search and Enterprise Search, and offers his overall impressions. (SPOILER ALERT: He loved both of our solutions!)

Reading David’s post inspired me to write this post because it made me realize how web developers struggle to balance the demands of marketers (like me) against the reality of managing a website. Add to that their desire to work smarter and to work on projects they are passionate about, and it’s easy to see how they can become frustrated with things like lackluster search solutions.

As my team and I spend more and more time speaking with developers specifically about search, we’re seeing clear yet unique needs for both public-facing site search and internal enterprise search.

Site Search for Your Public Audience

Engineers and developers want to spend more time developing products and websites, not configuring search. It’s pretty obvious, and understandable. Developing allows them to be creative, solve problems, and build new things. Search, albeit a critical feature for site visitors, is part of a site’s foundation. It should already be there. And it should work, and work well.

Developers are often asked by marketing or others to tweak search results, which should be easy. If you’re not a developer, you probably assume it’s a simple fix. But that’s not the case with most solutions. “Google Webmaster Tools doesn’t allow me to modify result order so I’m somewhat helpless in correcting the issue on Google, but Swiftype allows me to correct the issue for my own site search,” wrote David in his blog post.

Search is not something that can be created or optimized in a few minutes, especially if your search was custom developed. It’s not much better if your search was created by your blog or site platform, or even if it was created by Google. It’s also why few people build their own (read here why building search is so difficult) and why most people default to WordPress’ canned search or Google Site Search.

With Swiftype, however, tweaking search results is easy. We’ve built our solution with developers in mind, and to make their jobs easier. As David puts it, “All I need to do is drag and drop the result and Swiftype remembers the preferred result order.”

Ultimately, what’s most important is the experience you provide to your site’s visitors. Do you want search to be a frustrating part of that experience or a differentiator? Considering that one-third to one-half of site visitors use search, you’re probably going to want to make it great!

Enterprise Search for Your Internal Customers

Internally, developers have more to consider, since search is on the hook for helping every employee work smarter and faster. David goes into great detail in his post, and he points the finger at the proliferation of specialized web services for making enterprise search such a bear. You might be using HipChat or Slack, plus Dropbox and Box, and GitHub and JIRA, plus Salesforce and Zendesk. Again, in David’s words, “We have so many focused services now, however, that we run into a frequent problem:  where the hell do we find anything?”

Working smarter means removing the burden of foundational tasks, like API configurations, from the developer’s workload. Swiftype lets you choose from dozens of prebuilt connectors to speed and simplify a holistic enterprise search. If a connector isn’t available, our APIs enable you to create a secure and unique endpoint in just a few clicks. It’s that easy. Developers can even add intranets and cloud-based repositories to their search results pool by using Swiftype’s web crawler feature. It’s all designed to make search easier for developers so they can quickly get back to developing.

Swiftype's Connector Framework

What’s important here are two things. First, you’re elevating the experience and productivity of your internal customers by helping them quickly find what they need. Second, you’re giving developers more control and more productivity for themselves by making search easier to configure while providing better results.

As David Says, “Give Swiftype a Shot”

I thought about writing a typical marketing “we’re great” conclusion here, but then realized David did a fantastic job of summarizing it on his post:

“Both of Swiftype’s awesome offerings, Site Search and Enterprise Search, are really impressive.  Instead of rolling out your own search or using a lacking free alternative, give Swiftype a shot.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself…so I didn’t!

How Swiftype Uses Swiftype:
Part 2 – Sales

Hi! I’m Art, an Account Executive at Swiftype.

We know that time kills all deals, so the faster we can get back to our customers, the better. But when you have back-to-back calls all day and 100 emails to reply to, it can be tough to answer your customer’s questions in a timely manner.

Swiftype helps me quickly find the answers. Instead of having to jump from app to app to find something I know already exists, I can find it easily using Enterprise Search. Quick access to content is especially important when you’re talking with customers and prospects who have questions (which they always do) because it allows me to keep the conversation going while I’m searching for the right answers. Sometimes the answers are dispersed across different sources, so a single search experience gives me relevant results from all of those sources instantly.

Search Clients
When I have upcoming meetings with a customer, one of the main things I want to know is if they’ve interacted with our support team recently. I can easily see in the Swiftype browser extension, without leaving a customer record in Salesforce, if they have open support tickets. Swiftype gives me a full picture of an account while saving me the time and effort of tracking down customer success managers, support, and software developers to get answers.

I wanted to mention our Slack integration too, because it’s the primary way our team connects and communicates. I personally don’t spend the majority of my time searching in it, but I have colleagues who do, and it’s a very convenient way for me to meet them where they work. Everyone has their favorite way of using Swiftype and because there are so many ways to integrate it into your workflow, no one has to sacrifice their preference for anyone else to be able to work well together.

There are times when prospects have questions that are more technical than I feel comfortable answering off the top of my head. Just last week, I was on a call with a prospect who stumped me with a technical question. I remembered we had a white paper addressing her exact concern, so I hit shift+command+space to pull up the OS X app and was able to find the answer on the spot.

Person View
Every so often, I need to consult one of our software engineers, but I also don’t want to bombard him with questions that he’s answered for me before. When that happens, I’m able to go to his his profile page in Person View to pull up any conversations he’s had with me. It saves us both quite a bit of time – I don’t have to spend time tracking him down to ask him the question again, and he doesn’t have to spend time answering a question he’s answered before. I can go to his page and get to the content from there.

In summary, I wish I had known earlier in my sales career that a tool like Swiftype existed.  I consider myself lucky to be selling a product that I use every day—a product that makes my daily work a lot easier and much more efficient. If you want to see how it can work for you, I’d be happy to show you a demo!

Choosing A New Enterprise Search Solution In The Era Of AI with Forrester Research

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you already know a thing or two about Enterprise Search. To review: an enterprise search solution can deliver many benefits to your organization—including increase employee productivity, boost cross-team collaboration, eliminate duplication of data, and allow instant access to relevant content. Whether you’re in the process of evaluating your first cloud-based enterprise search software, or are currently migrating from an old legacy solution, have you considered the right criteria to ensure you’re making the best choice?:

  1. Architecture: What architectural qualities you should look for?
  2. Data Acquisition: How should cognitive search support data sources and types?
  3. Core Technology: What core search technologies do cognitive search solutions need?

We’ve partnered with Forrester Research on June 22 for a live webinar to discuss this specific topic. Join Mike Gualtieri, VP & Principal Analyst at Forrester, and Matt Riley, CEO & Co-Founder at Swiftype, to learn more about the key criteria your team can use to create an RFP to evaluate AI-powered search engines.

Event Details:

Date: This Thursday, June 22, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET
Duration: 30 Min

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.

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.

Your Search for Love Love for Search Starts Here

On Valentine’s Day, it’s easy to be bitter if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

Searching for data over a stack of different cloud technologies (Salesforce, Dropbox, G Suite, etc) is like hitting the bars every weekend, hoping your soulmate walks up beside you and asks, what’s your sign?

Sure, you might get lucky, but chances are at the end of the night you’ll be left sifting through irrelevant results and looking for your match in all the wrong places.

We just launched the world’s best wingman for your cloud technology suite. Using AI technologies, Swiftype Enterprise Search understands context — we get that it’s not just about what you say, but how you say it.

We’ve married artificial intelligence with our industry-leading algorithm, to make indexing content across disparate cloud data sources effortless. Employees get the information they need, when and where they need it.

Stop settling. Get Swiftype Enterprise Search and fall in love with your cloud technologies again.

Teaching Swiftbot to Intelligently Index Images

When creating search engines, the first and arguably most important step is indexing website information in a structured format that is optimized for a specific search algorithm. The specific information you index and the structure by which you organize this information (also known as the schema) dictates how your search engine will determine relevance, what your users can search by, and what information you can display in search results.

How does indexing work?
While there are numerous ways to customize and control the information you index in your Swiftype search engine (for example, via our API or one of our platform integrations) we aim to make this process as simple as possible for non-technical users by automatically indexing website information with Swiftbot—our high performance web crawler designed to index information from a specific URL.

Swiftbot allows non-technical users to get up and running with a working search engine in minutes by simply entering their website URL and letting Swiftbot index their website for them. A major component of Swiftbot’s technology is the logic that our engineering team has built in to parse website HTML and index it in a structured format that works with Swiftype’s advanced search algorithm and information retrieval method. (To learn more about the technical challenge of building a search engine, read our white paper on the subject, written for a non-technical audience).

Building an intelligent web crawler
Because almost every website is built and structured in a different way, teaching Swiftbot how to effectively read, sort, and organize information from a website’s HTML base is an ongoing challenge. While we do allow site owners to completely customize the default information Swiftbot indexes from your website with custom <meta> tags, not all users have the technical resources or knowledge to do this on their own, so Swiftbot is also built to make many of these indexing decisions on its own.

HTML windows

With every website structured differently, how do we teach Swiftbot to intelligently index this information?

Still, with websites differing so dramatically from one another, indexing the right information in the right format from each page is no easy task. In particular, identifying the most important image from a web page and associating that image with a search result is a multifaceted problem, since there are many images on every page and these images often have different filename structures and/or occupy different locations on a page.

images in search and autocomplete

Adding images to search results pages and autocomplete menus can create a much more engaging search experience.

Nevertheless, indexing images allows site owners to create much more engaging search experience, adding thumbnails of varying sizes to their autocomplete and search results that let users see a preview of the page content before selecting a result. So, in a recent update to Swiftbot, we’ve built in conditional logic that automatically indexes images from your website pages (provided there are no Swiftype specific image tags already in place).

How does Swiftbot decide which image is “best”?
To teach Swiftbot how to index the “best” image from web pages, we had to build in logic that would overcome a series of challenges that result from the varying nature of website pages.

  1. As a starting point, we decided to leverage existing open graph <meta> tags (such as Facebook and Twitter <meta> tags) that many site owners use to prepare their content for sharing on social media platforms and other content distribution networks. By teaching Swiftbot to obey these <meta> tags if no Swiftype specific <meta> tags exist, we created hierarchical indexing logic that more intelligently sources images from existing website metadata.
  2. Secondly, we know that many websites have a large number of images that repeat across many, if not every page on their website (for example: a company logo, images in the header, footer, and sidebar, author headshots, ads, etc.). To ensure these images are not considered the “best” image for a specific document, we built in logic that identifies and rules out these repeating elements as candidates. Similarly, we do not want to index advertisements, so we run any images on the page against an ad server blacklist to ensure these remain out of consideration.
  3. Thirdly, we compared data in the alt attribute of each <img> with the url and <title> of that page, assigning a relevance score to those images based on how closely the alt description matched this page information.
  4. Lastly, Swiftbot looks for common CSS classes and id’s to locate the main content area of each page—another step that helps rule out extraneous information such as the header, footer, and sidebar.

Taking all these pieces of information together, Swiftbot assigns the images on the page a relevance score and indexes the image it judges to be the “best” image for that document. As this new indexing process gains wider use and we gather feedback from customers, we will continually work to improve our image extraction technology over time.

Adding these images to search
Once these images are indexed from your website and in your search engine, the question becomes: how do I display these image thumbnails in my search results and autocomplete dropdown? While there are many ways to style your autocomplete and search results (including using Swiftype’s web components or jQuery library) the best choice for users with very little technical experience is the Result Designer, which allows users to style their search results entirely from the Swiftype dashboard without writing any additional code. To learn more about the Result Designer, watch our dedicated webinar explaining this tool and offering best practices advice from the Swiftype customer success team.

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