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MMU Search Engine

Who is this document for?

This document is for all members of MMU staff who are would like to know more about the University’s internal search engine.

What search engine are we using?

In November 2005 the University purchased the hardware and licence for a Google Search Appliance.

You can see the service in action at:

The appliance offers:

  • Google’s quality and accuracy in returning search results
  • Automatic Spellcheck
  • Cached Pages
  • Highlighted Query Terms
  • View as HTML
  • Sort by Date
  • Advanced Boolean Search
  • And much more

How can I improve my page rankings?

The Google Search Appliance uses more than 100 factors to determine the ranking and relevancy of search results.  These factors (or algorithms) are the property of Google and are unknown to us. However there are a number of things you can do to improve ranking and a search engine optimisation guide has been created to help you.

How often does the appliance index my site?

The Google Search Appliance features a continuous crawler that monitors for new or modified content and adds those documents to the search index immediately so that users always have access to the most up-to-date search results.

My sites and pages aren’t appearing in the search results?

Please read our search engine optimisation guide to improving your search results and also email your website details to your local Faculty Web Officer or the central Web Team who can ensure your site is being indexed properly.

How can I stop the search appliance indexing my pages?

Please read the search engine blocking techniques guide on the various ways you can do this.

What types of documents does the appliance index?

Over 220 file types, including HTML, Microsoft Office, PDF, PostScript, WordPerfect, Lotus and many others.

How do I go about using the appliance on my own site?

The Google Search Appliance provides a feature called "collections", which lets us divide the search index into sections and provide search across different content. You can also use your own template to offer search results in your own brand/design.

To create your own appliance “collection” and template please make a request to your local Faculty Web Officer or the central Web Team.

When will the HTDig service stop?

No date has yet been decided on when to stop the HTDig service.