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Baylor Launches Updated Web Search System

Feb. 7, 2005

ITS-Internet Services today announced the release of an updated search engine, Search @Baylor, for the Baylor website. The new search engine features a web page search system powered by Google's free search facility for universities and colleges. The Google system replaces a licensed software product, reducing costs and freeing up server resources for other web-related support.

Search @Baylor is available at www.baylor.edu/search, and can be found by clicking on the "search" link in the footer of many pages on the Baylor website.

The search engine continues to provide two levels of searching: websites and web pages. The website segment uses an internal website registration database managed by Internet Services staff. "We analyze the searches that are being performed on the Baylor website," Randy Woodruff, director of Internet services, said. "We regularly update the website registration system to reflect what we learn from that analysis."

The website results section brings the most relevant matching websites to the top of the list of results. "We've structured the website results section with our own ranking engine to further improve search results," said Jerry Knight, the Internet Services programmer who oversaw development of the new system. "If you search for a particular word and that word is in the name of a website, we've worked to insure that website appears at the top of the list."

The web page section of the search results is completely powered by the Google search engine, with small changes to the formatting of the results. "We keep an eye on the public search engines as they crawl our site," said David Seago, manager of Internet systems. "Google's spider runs through our site on a very regular basis. We've been impressed with how rapidly it finds changes on our web pages."

Internet Services is considering the addition of more search areas to the Baylor search system. Among the possible future enhancements are searching of news items and events from the Baylor web site.

"As more departments are using Baylor's Content Management System to manage their web site, they are able to enter their own news stories and calendar items," said Colin Witt, manager of Internet communications. "Future updates to the search system should make it easier for our web visitors to find relevant information provided through these CMS functions."

For more information about Search @Baylor, please contact Randy Woodruff, randy_woodruff@baylor.edu, or Jerry Knight, jerry_knight@baylor.edu.