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Adding a site search

Custom Site Searches

All site searches, from the Main Creighton search down to departmental searches are handled by Google now.  With the size of our Typo3 installation, the indexing that it did for searches was causing a huge slowdown of the entire site.  It was the recommendation of the Typo3 experts we hired to assist with this problem that we move the searches to an external source.  We typically use Google (however if you want to sign up somewhere else you may do so).  

If you want a search for your site (limited to your site or to a subsection of your site) let us know and we will set one up on Google.  

For the most part we've had no problems with Google searches other than it can take a week or so for Google to index pages and occasionally we've had to submit site maps to get specific pages included.

Using Google searches

We have several sites that have internal searches.  These searches are though Google, not through Typo3.

So why does Google miss some of your pages?  There are a number of reasons  several of which site owners and editors need to be aware of.

  1. When you add new content or a new page, it can take a couple of days for Google to catch up and display this.  We can assist the process a bit but we cannot guarantee when the content will show up in your search.  We can also create and submit a custom sitemap (we have to create this, Google cannot use a typical sitemap).  
  2. Google is a free service.  Google states on it's FAQ: crawling, indexing & ranking  " In general, we cannot make predictions or guarantees about when or if your URLs will be crawled or indexed."
  3. Things that are the site owner's/editor's responsibility (partial list):
    1. How well the site architecture is laid out (the page/section hierarchy in the page tree).
    2. From Google's content guidelines (http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769)
      • Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
      • Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.
      • Don't create multiple pages with substantially duplicate content.
    3. Add keywords to your pages
    4. Follow Google's image guidelines (http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=114016)
    5. If you copy and paste content in from somewhere else (an older website or MS Word for example) the resulting in a page that will not pass validation and Google might skip it.
    6. Makes sure you have no broken links.
    7. If most of the content is a duplicate of another page, Google won't index it.  If for some reason you have duplicate sites, you may find that your search won't work at all.  It is not necessary for both sites to have Google searches for this to occur. 
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