Setting Up Your Search Profile

With OU Search installed, it’s time to get it set up. You’ll be provided with a login URL and credentials by Professional Services. Once you’ve logged into OU Search, you’ll be taken to the profile for your instance of the module. All your setup will happen in the Settings menu.

Many of the settings will never need to be modified by you for OU Search to work properly. OU Search comes pre-configured with the most common configuration to work right away.  You have the option of further fine-tuning performance with these settings.

Settings in the Main Menu

 

This page contains three sections:

 

Basic Walk Settings

Basic Walk Settings Menu

A “walk” is when OU Search scans your website to build an index of pages to use as search results. If your site blocks crawlers, you will most likely need to whitelist OU Search. A walk indexes the site by starting from a base URL and following every link on that page, and then following each link on those subsequent pages, and so on and so forth. However, this only includes pages in your site (e.g. www.domain.edu) and not any links pointing to external pages.

Base URL

Base URL

This is the address (or addresses) from which the site search will start. Multiple URLs can be listed, one per line. Directory URLs (e.g. http://www.gallenauniversity.com/academics/) should include a final forward slash “/”. 

Excluded Extensions

Exclude Extensions

List extensions to exclude any files with those extensions from the search. For example, you may wish to exclude image files from coming up as search results. Include the leading period for each extension and separate them with a space. 

Exclusions

Exclusions

If there are any pages, directories, or files you wish to exclude from the search, enter the information here. Any URL containing the string specified (be that a word or a full path) will be excluded from the walk. 

Rewalk Type

Rewalk Type

Once your site has been indexed, it will be walked periodically to index any changes you’ve made to URLs, file structure, etc. Choosing a new rewalk will completely start from scratch and re-index everything using your base URL(s), as well as clearing the query logs. Choosing a refresh rewalk will use your existing database and only download modified and new pages, as well as deleting pages that no longer exist. It’s recommended to use Refresh unless you’ve done significant information architecture changes and need to immediately re-crawl every page on the site. Once you’ve done a New crawl, you can set this back to Refresh.

Rewalk Schedule

Rewalk Schedule

Choose how often automatic rewalks are performed. You can choose from every day of the week, as well as daily, hourly, every fifteen minutes, every minute, or only when a change is made to the website, and specify the hour of the day at which the rewalk is run. Multiple rewalk schedules can be made, so you could have rewalks scheduled to run at Sunday at 4 AM and Wednesday at 10 PM simultaneously.  

Saving Changes

When you have finished configuring settings or making changes, select “Update” for the changes to take effect. Select “GO” to run a walk.

Update and Go

All Walk Settings

All Walk Settings

The All Walk Settings are more extensive and complicated than the basic ones. While there are many, many settings available, this section will walk you through only the ones most commonly modified by OU Search admins.  

All Walk Settings contains the same information as the Basic Walk Settings, as well as additional fields including the following:

Notify

Notify

Send a notification email to this address after a scheduled rewalk occurs. Use this field with the next one if you would like the current query log sent to you before doing a New walk (which clears the log data).

Attach Logs

Attach Logs

Attach the specified information logs to the notification email. Set Query Log to Y if you would like the current query log sent to you before doing a New walk (which clears the log data).

URL URL

URL URL

If desired, you can specify URLs for OU Search will index by listing them all on a webpage, and then providing that single address to OU Search in the URL URL field. This is in addition to the basic walk that starts at the base URL.

Single Page

Single Page

This a list of individual page URLs you want to include in the database. These pages will be indexed, but the links on them will not be followed.

Page URL

Page URL

Like “URL URL,” this field points to a single webpage where you list the URLs you want OU Search to index. However, any URLs listed on that page will be processed individually like single pages, and will not have any links on them followed.

Ignore Tags

Ignore Tags

Excluding certain sections from OU Search results can improve accuracy, especially when some words commonly appear on a large number of pages. For example, if you have a user searching for “contact us,” and the footer on your site includes “Contact Us” information, then OU Search will provide every page with that footer as a result. By using “Ignore Tags,” you can tell OU Search to ignore information contained within specified HTML tags when it is looking for results.

Keep Tags

Keep Tags

“Keep Tags” is the inverse of “Ignore Tags.” By using “Keep Tags,” you instruct OU Search to look only for results that occur within the specified tags.

Index Fields

Index Fields

This is an additional way to specify which content is searched when a user enters a query. These fields correspond to the sections of your page that are specified in the HTML. Fields listed higher will be given priority in the search results.

Stay Under

Stay Under

When “Y” is selected, walks will stay under the directory specified in the base URL(s). When “N,” walks may wander out of the directory to other locations on the same site if a hyperlink for such a place is encountered. This is helpful if you have created a separate profile for a sub-section of the site.  For example, some schools create a separate profile for their course catalog.  Their catalog might be in a /catalog/ folder, and they want to limit search results in this profile to the course catalog section of the site.

Saving Changes

When you have finished configuring settings or making changes, select “Update” for the changes to take effect. Select “GO” to run a walk.

Update and Go

Search Settings

Search Settings

These settings configure the actual search function itself, including what web visitors see when they are searching for content on your website.

Notes

Notes

This is a text field for admins to enter notes about the profile. It is not used by the walk or search, nor is it visible to web visitors in the search results.

Query Logging

Query Logging

When query logging is turned on, OU Search will keep a record of every query web visitors enter into the search. 

Rotate Schedule

Rotate Schedule

Defines when query logs are rotated. Rotating a query log sends the data, if desired, to an email address, and then clears it from the log table. If you use this, all existing log data will be lost.

Main Thesaurus

Main Thesaurus

Select a thesaurus to use for the search. OU Search can utilize a thesaurus when queries are entered with a ~ (tilde) character preceding them to produce related results. To add a custom thesaurus, contact OmniUpdate support.

Update Test, Update Live and Test, and Copy Live to Test

Update Live and Test

OU Search keeps a test version of the search page in addition to the version on the live website. Selecting “Update Test” updates the test version of the page to match any changes you’ve made to the search settings. The test page can be viewed by navigating to Tools > Test Search.

Note that the test search page may display differently in terms of styling, as it does not pull in the same XSL template the live page does.

Selecting “Update Live and Test” applies changes made to search settings to both the live and test versions. “Copy Live to Test” matches the test version to the live one; this can be useful if there are changes you want to revert.