Omni CMS Search
Omni CMS Search provides a search engine for your live website for web visitors to use. Search result pages are styled to match your website, and you can control the search function through an admin panel to exclude or promote pages and results.
Search has a separate login and admin interface than Omni CMS. Search features can be very extensive, with multiple configuration options. This page is not an exhaustive list of every possible configuration option; rather, it provides instructions on how to best set up and use Search for full functionality. Search can also feature an “Advanced” search option that visitors can use to narrow down their search results, though this is a separate addition to the standard implementation.
Additional documentation provided by the engine that Search utilizes can be accessed via two different ways. One is the Docs link in the upper right-hand corner of the top navigation bar. Additionally, each field in Search has a question mark beside it that you can click for an explanation of what that field controls.
Omni CMS ConfigurationLink to this section
In addition to the administrator interface for Omni CMS Search, your implementation may contain a PCF page, located at
/_resources/search/_ou-search-settings.pcf, that configures display options on your live site. This feature is only available in instances of Search implemented on or after April 12, 2018.
The options available under “Custom Settings” are:
- Search Profile: Enter the name of your search profile, used by the search appliance. This should already be set up and will only need to be changed if you are adding a new configuration page for a separate account.
- Theme: Choose a theme for your search page to display. Custom themes can be added at
- Enable Theme Coloring: Check this box to enable the following field coloration on the live search page.
- Theme Color: Specify the single color to be used as the theme color. Can be entered as a hex value, RGB, RGBA, HSL, or HSLA format.
- Loading Icon: Choose a GIF to display while results load.
- Autocomplete Length: Specify the number of characters a web visitor would have to type into the search box before the Query Autocomplete displays.
- Advanced: Check this box if you want the advanced search options to be available for search users.
- Branding Icon: Check this box if you want the Omni CMS Search logo to be displayed on your page.
- Number Pagination: Check this box if you want the numbered pagination to display. If unchecked, the next and previous pagination text still display. To edit the number of pages shown, go to the search appliance admin settings and change Page Links Shown. If this number is set to “0,” no pagination displays.
- Next Pagination: Enter the text for the pagination indicating the next page (for example “Next,” “Next Page,” “Go Forward”).
- Previous Pagination: Enter the text for the pagination indicating the previous page (for example “Previous,” “Previous Page,” “Go Back”).
- Total Results: Check this box to display the total number of results.
- Total Results Text: Enter the text that displays before the number of total results. If “Total Results” is not checked, this text does not display.
- Results Range Before Text: Enter the text that goes before the number of results displayed on the page, for example “Displaying:” or “Viewing results.”
- Results Range Middle Text: Enter the text that goes in between the start and end number of the results displayed range, for example “to” or “-.”
- Results Range After Text: Enter the text that goes after the number of results displayed on the page, for example “results.” or “pages.”
Editing these three text fields does not affect the number range of results displayed. The number of results displayed per page is set in search appliance admin interface under Results Per Page.
- Parametric Heading: Enter the heading for the section containing parametric field categories, for example “Refine Search” or “Tags.”
- Parametric Mobile Button: Enter the text for the button that displays on mobile to view parametrics, for example “View Parametrics” or “Refine Search.” This button only displays if the web page is being rendered under a certain width. Parametric search options do not display at all if none of the results returned are tagged with any parametric fields. You should have been provided with documentation for how to set up parametric tagging upon the implementation of Omni CMS Search; if you need additional assistance, contact our support team.
- Best Bet Heading: Enter the heading that displays before any best bet results that are returned, for example “Featured Results.” If no best bets are returned, this heading does not display.
- Spell Check: Enter the text that displays before suggestions for a misspelled search query, for example “Did you mean.”
- No Result Found: Enter the message that displays if no results are found. The format should be a sentence that leaves the end open for the search query, for example “Sorry, no results were found for.”
- Form Placeholder: Enter the placeholder text in the search field, for example “Search here” or “Search site...”
- Submit Button Text: Enter the text for the button you click to run a search, for example “Search for” or “Submit.”
- Filtering By Text: If you have directory filtering set up for a search results page, enter the text that displays before the section name on the results page, for example “Filtering by” or “Viewing results in.”
- Filtering By Button: If you have directory filtering set up for a search results page, enter the text that goes on the button users click to remove the filter.
- Directory Filter: Limit the displayed results to indexed pages which begin with a common URL string. In this field, specify the fully qualified URL string to the directory where result pages are located. Add a trailing slash and an asterisk at the end to allow for all pages within this directory. For example, a directory filter of
https://moderncampus.com/blogs/*means search queries only return pages located inside the
Setting Up Your Search ProfileLink to this section
Once Omni CMS Search is installed, your professional services provides you with a login URL and credentials for your search profile. The first time you log in, you’ll need to click on the Profiles tab and select your school’s profile from the list provided. After the profile has been selected, all setup happens in the Settings menu. Many of the settings will never need to be modified by you for Search to work properly, but you have the option of fine-tuning performance.
Basic Walk Settings
A "walk" is when Search scans your website to build an index of pages to use as search results. If your site blocks crawlers, you most likely need to enable (whitelist) the domain name for Omni CMS Search. A walk indexes the site by starting from a base URL and following every link on that page, and then following each link on those subsequent pages, and so on and so forth. However, this only includes pages in your site (for example www.domain.edu) and not any links pointing to external pages.
robots.txt file or any meta robots tags within a page. The
robots.txt file must be located at the root of a Base URL(s) item.
- "New": Completely starts from scratch and re-indexes everything using your base URL(s), as well as clearing the query logs.
- "Refresh All": Uses your existing database and only downloads modified and new pages, as well as deleting pages that no longer exist.
- "Refresh": Behaves like a "Refresh All" walk, but checks URLs on a basis of how frequently they are updated. For example, it checks for a daily modified page with each walk, but may only check for a page modified every six months on every third walk or so.
- "Singles Only": Only walks single pages, single URLs, and single files. See "Single Page" and "Page URL" in the All Walk Settings section.
When you have finished configuring settings or making changes, select "Update" for the changes to take effect. Select "GO" to run a walk. You will not see the impact of settings changes on your search results page until a walk has been completed.
All Walk Settings
The All Walk Settings are more extensive and complicated than the basic ones. While there are many, many settings available, this section explains only the ones most commonly modified by Search administrators. All Walk Settings contains the same information as the Basic Walk Settings, as well as additional fields including the following:
“Keep Tags” is the inverse of “Ignore Tags.” By using “Keep Tags,” you instruct Search to look only for results that occur within the specified tags.
Set Regular Expression rules which allow Search to identify webpages which belong to specific Parametric Filtering categories.
www.domain.edu/index.html would be flagged as duplicates.
/catalog/ folder, and you want to limit search results in this profile to the course catalog section of the site.
Once you have finished configuring settings or making changes, select "Update" for the changes to take effect. Select "Go" to run a walk.
These settings configure the actual search function itself, including what web visitors see when they are searching for content on your website.
Defines what content is included in the abstract for search results. The options for Abstract Style are:
- Query: Displays a portion of the page’s body content which included the queried word(s).
- Beginning: Displays the beginning of the page’s body content, regardless of whether the queried word(s) appear in this content.
- Top: Displays the top of the page’s content including the header, regardless of whether the queried word(s) appear in this content.
- Description: Displays the page’s meta description, regardless of whether the queried word(s) appear in this content.
Maximum length, in characters, that displays on the search results page for the abstract, title, and URL respectively. Content that surpasses this maximum length are cut off and appended with an ellipsis (…).
Controls how queried words are highlighted in the abstract on the live search page. The options for Results Highlighting are:
- Inline: Queried words in the title or abstract are bolded and displayed with a brightly colored background. Each queried word, up to ten, receives a unique background color before the coloration repeats.
- Bold: Queried words in the title or abstract are bolded.
- Classes: Each queried word in the title or abstract is wrapped in a span with the class of query and individual queried words also have the class of queryset1 through queryset10 for custom CSS to target.
- None: Queried words in the title or abstract do not have any special styling.
Determines how best bet keywords are matched to search queries. The options for Best Bet Match Mode are:
- Show when search query is contained in Best Bet keywords: The entire search query must be contained within the best bet keywords in order for a best bet to appear on the live search page. For example, a best bet with the keywords academic calendar would match the search queries of academic, calendar, or academic calendar. However, a query of school academic calendar would not match because the query had more text than what was contained in the keywords.
- Show when Best Bet keywords are contained in search query: The entire best bet keywords text must be contained within the search query. For example, a best bet with the keyword financial would match the search queries of financial aid and financial assistance. However, a best bet with the keywords of financial aid would not match financial assistance because the keywords text was not completely contained in the search query. When this option is chosen, it’s best to set up a separate best bet with a single keyword for URLs which should be returned for multiple keywords.
Enable Spell Check, when “Y” is selected, prompts the web visitor with possible index matches when the original search query yielded no results. Number of Suggestions specifies how many prompts should be provided.
Defines how phrases and synonyms should be handled by Search. The options for Synonyms are:
- Disabled: Built-in phrases and synonyms are not returned. A web visitor can still use the quotation marks around a query to treat multiple words as a single phrase.
- Phrase recognition only: Built-in phrases are treated as a singular query. For example, searching for post office is treated as a single query and does not act as a query for post and a query for office.
- Phrases & Allow synonyms: Built-in phrases are treated as a singular query and the web visitor has the option to include synonyms for specific words in the query. To identify which words should return synonyms as well, the web visitor must type a tilde (~) before that word.
- Phrases & Use synonyms by default: Built-in phrases are treated as a singular query and synonyms are returned by default. For example, a query for library returns results with the word book.
Defines how different word forms of a queried word are handled by Search. The options for Word Forms are:
- Exact Match: Only exact matches to the queried word form are returned.
- Plurals & possessives: Plural or possessive forms of the queried word are also returned.
- Any word forms: Any form of the queried word are returned.
- Custom: Allows administrators to define the list of suffixes that are returned.
These settings control how the search algorithm ranks pages returned during a search query.
- Word Ordering: Determines ranking in multi-word queries. Gives higher ranking to pages where the queried words appear in the same order as in the query.
- Word Proximity: Determines ranking in multi-word queries. Gives higher ranking to pages where the queried words appear closer together in the body content.
- Database Frequency: Determines ranking in multi-word queries. Gives higher ranking to pages which contain the queried word that appears least frequently in the database.
- Document Frequency: Determines ranking in single- or multi-word queries. Gives higher ranking to pages which contain more instances of the queried word(s).
- Position in Text: Determines ranking in single- or multi-word queries. Gives higher ranking to pages where the queried word(s) appear closer to the top of the page.
- Depth in Site: Determines ranking in single- or multi-word queries. Gives higher ranking to pages which are located closer to the root of the site.
Adds a negative bias to older pages.
Adds a positive or negative bias to pages/files based upon a regular expression rule. For example, Rank Bias could be set up to give a negative bias to PDF files so a search query would display HTML pages higher on the list than PDF files.
Search keeps a test version of the search page in addition to the version on the live website. Selecting “Update Test” updates the test version of the page to match any changes you've made to the search settings. The test page can be viewed by navigating to Tools > Test Search. Note that the test search page may display differently in terms of styling, as it does not pull in the same XSL template the live page does. Note: Newer implementations circumvent this Test Search page to increase search results speed on the live search page.
Selecting “Update Live and Test” applies changes made to search settings to both the live and test versions. “Copy Live to Test” matches the test version to the live one; this can be useful if there are changes you want to revert.
ToolsLink to this section
Search contains a number of tools to help you maximize the efficacy and accuracy of the search. This section explains the most useful, commonly-utilized tools within the system.
Use "List/Edit URLs" to see any and all URLs indexed by Search. Enter text in the single-line text field to pull up results containing that text. Using only an * character as a wildcard pulls up every URL indexed.
The dropdown options are “List,” “Download,” “Delete,” and “Replicate.”
- “List” displays a list of the URLs on the screen.
- “Download” downloads a
.txtfile containing all the results to your computer.
- “Delete” removes any URLs matching the query from the database; note that it does not affect the actual page in Omni CMS, just the indexed location in Search.
- “Replicate” creates a copy of the indexed entry or entries in the database.
You can also choose the order by which results are displayed, including URL depth, alphabetical order, time last visited or modified, and size.
Selecting a URL takes you to information about that specific page. Note that this is not the only location from which you can view URLs for pages and select the URL to view page details.
Browse URLs by Folder
This tool displays any and all URLs included in the current index in a folder structure format. The Items column notes how many individual pages/files are contained within that folder. Selecting a URL takes you to information about that specific page.
Enter a URL into the field to see if there are any duplicates of it in the search index. Duplicates can be removed from the index; this improves the speed and relevancy of search results.
Run test searches and see what results appear. Bear in mind that this doesn't use your site styling, but instead applies a generic format. This feature is not available in Search modules that were implemented after Fall 2017.
Enter a URL into the field to test whether that URL would be included in the index. This is a troubleshooting tool which returns information about the page, including the Response code for the URL, and a Text output of content that would be included as the page’s body content if it were added to the Search index. Running a test fetch on a URL does not actually add a page into the index.
View various reports on the queries visitors have been entering in your search. It also contains the ability to export results as a CSV.
Best BetsLink to this section
Though Search displays results in order of relevancy, you may wish to promote certain URLs for certain keywords. For example, you may want the Biology Program home page to be the first result when someone searches for “biology”. Best Bets can be styled and highlighted differently than the rest of the search results; for example, they could be displayed with a colored box around them.
Best bets are accessed via the Tools menu. Selecting this option shows a list of all best bet groups. A best bet group is the set from which Search pulls best bets; you will in all likelihood never need another best bet group beyond the default one.
Creating a Best Bet
To make a new best bet:
- From a best bet group, select "Manage Best Bets."
- Scroll to the bottom of the best bet list and click "Add a Best Bet."
- Fill out the fields:
- URL: The URL of the page you want to be the search result.
- Priority: Enter a number. If you have multiple best bets that match a keyword or query, the one with the highest priority is the first result. The larger the number, the higher the priority.
- Title: If the result type includes title, this displays with the search result.
- Keywords: Any query containing at least one of these keywords brings up the result. Separate keywords with spaces.
- Description: If the result type includes description, this displays with the search result.
- Click "Update" to save your changes.
You can also add a Best Bet by going to the Tools menu and selecting “List/Edit URLs” or "Browse URLs by Folder." Search for the URL you want to add a best bet for, and click on the URL. The section “Best Bet Words” is where you can create a best bet.
Managing Best Bets
When viewing the list of best bets, select the pencil icon to edit a best bet, using the same fields as present when creating a new field. You can also delete a best bet by selecting the red “X”. Select “Update” for any changes to take effect.
Best Bet Settings
The item “Best Bet Match Mode” is available under Settings > Search Settings. This determines how best bets are returned as results. See the Search Settings section for more details about this setting.