March 3, 2022: Continuous improvements to refine search results
Each week since the launch of the new cmich.edu website, we’ve gathered and reviewed analytics to guide us in optimizing and improving the site’s search functionality.
As part of this process, we discovered that the site’s “predictive search” functionality (a feature where the search engine predicts the user’s query) was returning results that were less accurate than when a user added their own specific search terms. Based on this finding, we have disabled predictive search from the search tool. We’ll continue to monitor analytics regarding search functionality and will make adjustments accordingly.
Additionally, we are partnering with our website vendor to strategize and implement major enhancements to produce more relevant search results. Part of this process involves assessing page titles, meta descriptions (the short descriptions that summarize the contents of each page), alternative text (detailed information describing what each image shows), and other elements.
By continually analyzing this data, we are able to better adjust the search results to display the content our users are seeking. As we do this, we are essentially building and optimizing an algorithm to predict results. Our strategy and design team, with the help of our partners, will continue to review and monitor search performance on an ongoing basis.
Taking these steps will improve the performance we’ve seen to date, helping users more easily find the information they are seeking while improving the overall user experience across the site.
If you have additional questions about this topic or the new website, please visit the FAQ web page.