August 11, 2015
How many times have you gone to search through a website or forum only to find that the search function is absolute garbage? It happens to me almost every day, and I’d wager it happens to a lot of you as well.
Honestly, it’s the absolute pits: nothing is worse than needing to find something only to be met with hordes of irrelevant content. It’s actually a pretty big problem that’s facing the modern web these days, according to the team at Swiftype.
As they tell me, there are plugins that optimize search results and attempt a fix at the issue but ultimately lack the innate customizability and flexibility to keep up with a constantly evolving website. As a result the plugs are quickly rendered obsolete each time a site adds or updates information.
“This pain is especially acute for media publishers, ecommerce sites, knowledge base focused companies, corporations, or any other websites where search is a major navigational tool,” says Swiftype cofounder and CTO Quin Hoxie.
The entire pantheon of problems is further compounded when a website publishes vast amounts of daily content. The Swiftype team is just as fed up as the rest of us, which is why they banded together to solve the issue for good.
They thought: why not offer a new kind of site search that’s completely customizable and easy to install without any engineering support? To that end Swiftype is built on top of advanced search and language modeling tech that takes pretty much any site’s content and makes it searchable.
“The biggest difference is control. We take something that has traditionally been a black box and let our customers tune everything from the relevance model to the look and feel of their search experience, all without needing developer support,” says Hoxie.
Not to mention the team built Swiftype to automatically update in order to accommodate new and changing information while also capturing real time user analytics. It’s an idea that got them into Y Combinator, over $20 million in VC, and a portfolio of big name clients like Qualcomm and Airbnb.
Integration is as easy as entering your website URL, which the Swiftype web crawler uses to index an entire site and instantly create a working search engine. The end result has been shown to increase clients’ search volume up to 30 percent, while decreasing search exit rates as much as 50 percent, as the team says. There’s also the added benefit that your site visitors won’t want to tear their hair out and scream at stone-age search functions, which is doubly good for any site.
Image Credit: Pixabay
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