Website Search Engines

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Dave
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Website Search Engines

Post by Dave » 02 Mar 2014 01:19

Hi Guys

I am conscious of the fact that my website has lots of interesting MTX stuff on it (well, I think so anyway), but it's not always easy to find what you're looking for. I have been messing around trying to get a search engine installed and obviously, the first option was to look at a free solution. Google have an application (Custom Search) that allows you to put a search box on a webpage and Google runs the search on indexes created from pages that it has crawled on the site. There are a few weaknesses with this solution though :-
•I relies on how frequently Google crawls the website, which in my case, appears to be not very often, so recent pages may not show up in the search
•It is ad supported, so the first couple of results displayed will be adverts from the internet that Google chooses
•More importantly though, in my case, I can't get it to work, having asked questions in the Google Custom Search forum, it is obvious that there is no technical support to speak of. There are also quite a few questions on there from others who can't get it to work either, with help forthcoming.
So, it seems like you get exactly what you pay for !

For testing purposes, I have installed a copy of the free edition of the Zoom search engine. For the user, everything is local, so it runs very quickly.

However, the free version only indexes 50 pages - far to few for what I need. To index my site, I would need a paid version ($100). (The free edition also just indexes web pages, the paid version also does .PDFs, .DOCs, etc.).

So far, I am quite pleased with Zoom, it's clean and returns the search results very quickly, so I may actually go for this option. However, I don't want to spend money on this if it's something that people won't use.

Could you take a look at http://www.primrosebank.net/search/search.asp

Please give it a go and let me know your thoughts, such as, . . . . . .

Is a search function something that you would make use of?

What do you think of this Zoom search page?

I would appreciate any pointers to other search engines that I should look at.

Are there any other (free) search engines that you know of that actually work?
Other free ones that I have seen are also ad funded, which is rather ugly.
There are others that are stand-alone, with the indexes also being built on the website, but using a database to store the indexes
: Some use MySQL which won't work on my Windows hosting package
: Others use MS SQL Server, which is a possibility, but not ideal.

regards
Dave

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schombi
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Re: Website Search Engines

Post by schombi » 02 Mar 2014 04:58

I think that´s very useful. I tried a few searches and it came back with the right results. Thanks a lot!

Maybe the search button should be visible on the left hand side of each page?

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Dave
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Re: Website Search Engines

Post by Dave » 02 Mar 2014 14:01

Hi,

thanks for the feedback. Yes, it seems to do the job, I am having to go back and edit a lot of the pages as some of the default page titles that I used are not very meaningful when the search results are displayed.

If I can justify the cost and go for this as the permenant solution, I will think about where to put links to the search engine, a link on each page would be nice, but, unfortunately, the menus are not dynamically generated and need editing individually, which is a lot of work, but certainly possible

regards
Dave

Martin A
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Re: Website Search Engines

Post by Martin A » 02 Mar 2014 21:07

Can you control which 50 pages it indexes ?

If you can then maybe you can get it to look at the "title" and "chapter" type pages.

So if someone searches for "VDP" it might not give them the page "This is how the VDP works", but it could find the link on a "How the hardware works" page that says "Click here to find out how the VDP works".

If you see what I mean.

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Dave
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Re: Website Search Engines

Post by Dave » 02 Mar 2014 21:52

Hi Martin,

you can sort of control which pages it indexes, i.e., you give it a starting path (which may not be the root), I think that it starts with all the files in that path, then starts to traverse the directory structure.

I think what you're suggesting would work, if I put pages in the root that were a route to the rest of the pages on the site, but creating those pages would be a lot of work I think.

I might just have to save up and buy it if there are no suggestions for other better/free engines

regards
Dave

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thewiz
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Re: Website Search Engines

Post by thewiz » 03 Mar 2014 14:30

Hi Dave,

I think having a search is a good idea given the amount of info you have on your site.

Couldn't resist searching for my name :oops: Also Kelly LeBroc's :D
THIS is what Memotech is doing now.

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Dave
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Re: Website Search Engines

Post by Dave » 21 Oct 2014 20:56

Hi folks,

apart from a couple of responders (thanks guys), I have been underwhelmed by the number of replies, but anyway . . . . . . .

As more & more information is being added to the site, it is becoming harder to find what you might be looking for.
No doubt the menus and the page links could be better, but I think that a search facility is pretty much essential now.

I have purchased the "Professional" edition of the Zoom search engine, so I have now been able to index all of the MTX related pages on the site

At this point, only the MTX home page (http://www.primrosebank.net/computers/mtx/mtx512.htm) has the search button embedded - I will at it to the rest of the MTX pages in due course. In the meantime, you might like to give it a try

regards
Dave

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1024MAK
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Re: Website Search Engines

Post by 1024MAK » 21 Oct 2014 21:30

What! You must shout a bit louder, I am getting older you know... :lol:

Now what did you want me to do?

Mark

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Dave
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Re: Website Search Engines

Post by Dave » 21 Oct 2014 21:41

Point . . . .


Click



ENJOY ! ! !

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thewiz
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Re: Website Search Engines

Post by thewiz » 22 Oct 2014 13:55

Thanks Dave, that will really help use your site now that it has grown so large.

Kelly LeBrock only shows up 4 times so obviously still some work to do :lol:
THIS is what Memotech is doing now.

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