• Site Search
  • Education/Non Profit

Azusa Pacific University: Powering the Move Away from Google Search Appliance

Easy, Fast Implementation

Once APU chose the Elastic Site Search Service (formerly Swiftype Site Search), they were amazed at how fast it was to implement—around two weeks.

Lower Cost & More Customizable

In addition to being a cheaper option to Google Search Appliance, Elastic Site Search has given Azusa Pacific the ability to change things quickly, weight terms differently, and customize how certain sections of the site are ranked.

Visibility Into User Behavior

With Site Search, APU now has a window into what’s happening with user behavior on the site and what search results are proving most useful.

Company Overview

Located northeast of Los Angeles, Azusa Pacific University (APU) is home to over 10,000 students and offers 68 bachelor’s degrees, 45 master’s degrees, and eight doctoral programs.

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

Refinding search options

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.

Fast and Easy Transition

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.