Why OU Search Is a Better Search Solution

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Technology & Development, Usability

Why OU Search Is a Better Search Solution

OmniUpdate just re-released the OU Search™ module in its OU Campus™ web content management system. This module gives visitors to your college and university websites the ability to quickly and easily find exactly what they need. Equally exciting, it allows administrators to customize the search results that visitors see, offering up the best user experience tailored to your institution. The new and improved OU Search module vastly exceeds the most popular search solutions out there. Here’s why it’s better:

Parametric Search Ability

OU Search allows for user-selected filtering. You've probably used these extensively on sites like Amazon.com that let you filter by key variables such as price and customer rating. On higher ed websites, more relevant examples might include filters that allow your prospective students to filter by academic interest, department, or persona (e.g., new student vs. transfer student). With OU Search, you can create up to 50 different data values that your visitors can use to filter search results.

Advanced Search

OU Search provides the advanced search features your website visitors expect. Users can sort results by date or relevance, determine the closeness of query words to each other in a search result, manage the word forms of the query that is searched, and rank the importance of search factors.

OCCC Search

Visitors can also narrow the results by selecting a category in which to search. Categories, like Admissions, Student Services, Athletics, etc., are easily set up by giving the search category a name and specifying the URL pattern. Users simply choose from a drop down the category that they think holds the information for which they are searching.

Admin AccessTop Query Words

Administrators have a lot more control. Besides the ability to configure the look and feel of search results, they can:

  • Create “best bets” that will be featured at the top of designated search results
  • Analyze the query logs to see, for example, what queries are searched most
  • Turn on or off highlighting results, even in Adobe Acrobat documents
  • Update index settings at any time or change when the next refresh will be scheduled

Unique Features

Like other search solutions, OU Search can autocomplete search queries or even list alternate spelling queries when a search yields no results. However, there are a few things OU Search can do that others cannot.

First, it’s super fast! OU Search allows site visitors to instantly perform more than 1 million queries per day! Second, non-web information does not have to be published to a website in order to be accessed. OU Search will find and index PDFs, JavaScript, Flash content, and dozens of other document types. Third, content is searchable immediately. When you add or remove URLs from the admin interface, your changes happen in real-time. When outdated materials are identified, they can be removed instantly. Plus, duplicates don’t ever show up in the search results.

No Hassle Switch

Replacing your old search solution is easy. Once installed, we will teach you how to index the exact data you want accessible to your website visitors. You have the ability to exclude certain types of files and pathways.

Plus, a customized XSL file will format the output of your search page, so users experience the exact same look and feel of your institution’s website.

John Richardson, Supervisor of Web Development and Social Media at Oklahoma City Community College, stated, “OU Search meets our needs quite well. We retired the Google Mini device we previously used, and with OU Search, we are now able to easily configure the display of search result data and implement more granular searches for portions of the website. We’re very pleased with the product.”

Is your search solution meeting all your needs?

To learn more about OU Search, contact sales@omniupdate.com.

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