Azusa Pacific’s Journey with Elastic
After years of using the Google Search Appliance for their website, the web team at Azusa Pacific University (APU) was faced with a new challenge when Google announced it was phasing out the product.
APU has seen big advantages from Elastic Site Search over Google Search Appliance. According to Dustin Reynolds, Assistant Director of Digital Marketing at APU, the lower price of Elastic was a big plus, compared to Google. In addition to cost, APU now has the ability to change things quickly, weight terms differently, and customize how certain sections of the site are ranked. “This is a big deal for us because we feel like we’re providing better quality service to the user now,” according to Reynolds.
Phasing out of Google Search Appliance
Once the school started looking at new search options, they realized how many features they needed and wanted, including:
- The ability to seamlessly integrate search into their website
- Keyword matches that could be manually placed at the top of results
- Full control of search results and how they rank and appear
One of the most important “must-haves” was for multiple team members to be able to access the tool and work on refining the search options. “If a team knew what should appear in the results and they could do it themselves without having to pass it to a developer, then it would make the process much more efficient within the office,” said Dustin Reynolds, Assistant Director of Digital Marketing at APU.
Once APU chose Elastic Site Search, they were amazed at how fast it was to implement. In just a short time, APU implemented customization features, fallback pages, and the weighting of search results. They also created custom meta tags to help the search engine serve the results the user expected to find. And they did all that in just two weeks.