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Using Google Search Appliance

Table of Contents


A. Introduction

B. Custom Searches

C. Example Custom Search


A. Introduction


The Web page keyword searching that is available from the "Search" feature at the upper-right of many Ohio University pages is both machine- and labor-intensive, so for the sake of efficiency, we will not create separate indexes for every portion of the Web. Instead, the query software permits restricting the displayed results to those that are within a limited realm (for example, limiting the results to any pages whose URL starts out "https://www.ohio.edu/oit/"). The next section describes how you can use the new software to build a realm-limited search into your pages.


B. Custom Searches

The custom search method described here is intended to permit any Ohio University pagemaster to include, on any of his or her pages, a search option that will return quickly only those hits that are part of that subsite. You can control the pages that are searched in two ways:

  • specifying the "collection" to be used (i.e., which of the specific databases that the search engine maintains should be used for the search)
  • specifying the "realm" to be reported on (i.e., the initial parts of the URL that all of your subsite's pages have in common)

At this time there are two collections available:

  • technology includes all pages in the groups listed below. This collection will be expanded to include subsites maintained by distributed information technologists, as those subsites are brought to our attention. The starting points for this profile currently include:

    • https://www.ohio.edu/oit/

    • https://www.ohio.edu/technology/

    • https://www.ohio.edu/aac/lab/

    • https://www.ohio.edu/web/

    • https://www.ohio.edu/pagemasters/

    • https://www.ohio.edu/policy/ [but including only the IT policies]

  • default_collection includes all indexed Ohio University Web servers.

Therefore, for example, this method can be used to search only those pages whose URLs start with "https://www.ohio.edu/perspectives/", (using the "default" collection) but it cannot be used to create a combined search of all pages whose URLs start with either "https://www.ohio.edu/perspectives/" or "https://www.ohio.edu/researchnews/", because there is no combination of one collection and one realm that will include all of those pages and no others.

Note: If you need to create such a complex search, please contact the Office of Information Technology, at 593-1222, or by E-mail to servicedesk@ohio.edu, in order to determine whether an existing collection will work, or whether the search engine would have to be re-configured to create a new collection.

There are several steps to building your own custom search:

  1. Identify a "collection" that includes all of your pages, and identify the "realm" you will specify to restrict the search to only your pages. Typically this will be the full URL up to the point where the pages vary.

    Note: Including a terminal slash restricts the search results to include only pages at that level, not in any sub-subsites.

  2. Select the HTML code displayed here, and copy it (the bold highlighting is intended to ease identification of those parts of the code when completing subsequent steps):

    <form method="get" action="https://google.ohio.edu/search">
    <input type="hidden" name="sort" value="date:D:L:d1">
    <input type="hidden" name="entqr" value="0">
    <input type="hidden" name="ud" value="1">
    <input type="hidden" name="client" value="ou_front">
    <input type="hidden" name="output" value="xml_no_dtd">
    <input type="hidden" name="proxystylesheet" value="ou_front">
    <input type="hidden" name="ie" value="UTF-8">
    <input type="hidden" name="oe" value="UTF-8">
    <input type="hidden" name="as_dt" value="i">
    <input type="hidden" name="site" value=" default_collection ">
    <input type="hidden" name="as_sitesearch"
      value=" https://www.ohio.edu/web/help ">
    Click here and type to enter your search keywords:
    <input size=25 name="q" value="" maxlength="255"> <input type=submit name="btnG" value="Search">

  3. Go to your page editor and open the page you want to add the search into. View the HTML code for the pagea and paste the code in the appropriate position.

    Special instructions apply for CommonSpot users.

  4. Find the hidden "site" input tag in the HTML you just pasted into your file, and if necessary change the value from "default_collection" to the appropriate collection for your pages.

  5. Find the hidden "as_sitesearch" input tag in the HTML you just pasted into your file. If the collection you have specified includes no other pages than the ones you want to search, remove that entire tag. If the collection you have specified does include other pages, change the value from "https://www.ohio.edu/web/help" to the appropriate realm for your pages. Be sure to include or exclude the terminal slash as appropriate for the results you want.

  6. Revise the prompt text as appropriate (the part to change is displayed in bold type, above). In some situations a much more terse prompt would be appropriate.

  7. Save the modified page and test the search.


C. Example Custom Search


The HTML given above will produce the results on the demo page.