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Why bother with a site search when the main search engines do the same job?


 1 
The role of site search

   Just to be clear...

  • The main search engines (such as Google, MSN and Yahoo) search the entire web - that's right: millions or billions of files.
  • Site search engines, such as findinsite, only search one web site (or perhaps a few web sites).
2
But the majors can search my website...

   Yes... the major searches do search your site (and all your rivals).
   And... you can provide a form on your site to use a major engine to search just your site. For example, the Google Free service can search www.phdcc.com as follows:

Google
3
So what's wrong with this free search facility?

A free search does a good job but it could be better:

  • The search results don't have the same appearance as your site.

  • The search results may include adverts from your rivals. For example, entering CD search engine into the above Google Free search usually lists adverts for rivals to our CD search software.

  • The results may not include new pages or files recently updated - if the major search engine has not indexed your site recently.
4
The benefits of a custom site search engine

   A custom site search, such as phdcc's findinsite, usually fixes all the above problems:

  • the search engine can be integrated into the site by customising its appearance.
  • no ads are served - unless you add them in, of course.
  • indexing can be configured to occur on a regular basis so that you know that the search is up to date.

FindinSite: search engines for MS-servers, Java-servers and CDs/DVDs

   findinsite has more advantages:

  • findinsite by default highlights all search words when a hit page is shown.

  • findinsite can do advanced searches, eg:

    • subset selection, ie a user can choose a site section to search
    • field search, eg a user can look for files that have a specific author

  • findinsite has an Search API XML web service that can be used by programmers to display, re-order or filter the results.

  • Another possibility is that you can configure the search so that certain pages show up first for specific searches - we are currently developing such a facility for findinsite.

5
Hosted search

   If you don't want to run a search engine yourself, then tools such as findinsite can be run on a hosted search basis.

Intranet

   A site search engine such as findinsite can be run behind the firewall - to search your local or enterprise network.

CD/DVD

   findinsite has a CD/DVD search engine edition - you index the CD or DVD in advance and the search engine runs quickly straight from CD with no installation. If you have a database-driven or interactive web site that you want to put on CD/DVD, look at phdcc's Dynamic-CD software.


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