Engadget: Fixing an Out-of-Control Search Experience

    IMPROVING WEBSITE KPIS

    After implementing Elastic Site Search Service, the Engadget team saw a considerable improvement in their website KPIs, including increased pageviews as well as average time on their site.

    UNDERSTANDING USERS

    Elastic Site Search out-of-the-box analytics gives Engadget staff a much deeper understanding of who their readers are, where they come from, and for what they are looking.

    Company Overview

    Since 2004, Engadget has exhaustively reported on and covered cutting-edge devices and the technology that powers them. More than 10 years after their founding, Engadget, which is now part of the Oath family, receives around 1 million daily visitors and publishes more than 150 articles every week.

    Engadget’s Journey with Elastic

    SEARCH GETTING OUT OF CONTROL

    Engadget was using an alternative provider to power search on their site before Elastic Site Search, but the staff was frustrated by their inability to unify their massive content base under a centralized search experience. This problem was heightened by the nature of their database infrastructure, which was distributed through multiple backends. What Engadget needed was a search solution that gave them full control over exactly which search results appeared for their most important queries, while also being flexible enough to integrate with their unique database structure. In addition, Engadget wanted to ensure that search results were accurate, relevant, and always reflected the most recently published articles.

    FINDING THE RIGHT SOLUTION

    Engadget’s Product Lead, Jose del Corral, was thrilled to find that all his needs and more could be realized with Elastic Site Search. The Site Search web crawler was able to index Engadget’s site without creating any duplicate content, since there was no need to interact with their databases — all content was extracted directly from the website’s HTML instead. Additionally, Elastic Site Search immediately indexes new articles as they are published, ensuring search results reflect the most up-to-date content. Finally, Jose and his team could drag and drop to rearrange search results through the dashboard — no engineering required. As Jose describes the final reveal, “When we launched Elastic Site Search, our staff was finally able to control results, relevance, and more all through an app. It was great. We couldn’t find that anywhere else.”

    RESULTS

    After implementing Elastic Site Search, the Engadget team saw a considerable improvement in their website KPIs. The new powered search helped Engadget achieve:

    • 18% increase in pageviews coming from search results
    • Overall increase in average time spent on the site

    These improvements reflect the tool’s robust search algorithm, along with the benefits of the precise control that the dashboard offers Engadget staff.

    The detailed analytics about user search behavior made possible with Elastic Site Search continue to play an important role in shaping editorial decisions at Engadget. Each week, the product team looks at the top search queries to gain insight about what their readers are interested in, along with the top searches that return no results. When they notice a particular topic or pattern of interest, the product team sends this data along to editorial to help inform their content strategy. This information, coupled with real-time geographic reporting on search traffic, gives Engadget staff a much deeper understanding of who their readers are, where they come from, and what they are looking for.

    "When we launched Elastic Site Search, our staff was finally able to control results, relevance, and more all through an app. It was great. We couldn’t find that anywhere else."

    Jose Del Corral, Head of Product, Engadget