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UW Google Search Engine Frequently Asked Questions

The UW Google search engine is provided by Information Technology (IT) for all UW Web sites and servers. It is a spider-type search engine created by Google that utilizes the same technology that is used by Google. The UW Google search engine is capable of indexing information on any server, on any platform on campus. The goal is to create a centralized search index that will contain information from all campus related Web servers, so individuals browsing University of Wyoming Web sites can more easily find the information they are looking for.

The search engine monitors changes on the servers and automatically updates its data. If your site resides on one of the central Web servers, it is automatically included in the index that is searchable at http://search.uwyo.edu.

Can my non-central Web site be included in the UW Google search engine?

Yes. However, in order for information on a particular server to be searched, it must first be indexed. The Web sites that reside on the UW central Web servers are automatically indexed and searchable. The colleges, divisions, or departments that maintain their own Web sites and servers will need to ensure the following is true:  

The site must be linked to from a Web site that exists on the UW central Web servers. For instance, University Public Relations maintains the A to Z Web Directory (www.uwyo.edu/uw/webdirectory) that has a listing for all UW colleges, departments, units, and organizations that have requested to be included. If your site is in this directory or linked to from a page or site that is included in this directory, your site will be indexed and included in the central search. Not all sites need to be directly linked to from the A to Z Web Directory to be indexed; a site can just be linked to from an upper level site that is directly linked to from the A to Z Web Directory.

What functionality is available once my Web site is indexed?

Once a Web site has been indexed,

  • It is available to search via the UW search engine at http://search.uwyo.edu.
     
  • You can link directly to http://search.uwyo.edu from your site, which performs a full UW site search.
     
  • You can add the functionality of a customized search with your own context to your Web site. For instance, the College of Agriculture can add a search that will only search the College of Agriculture's Web sites.
     
  • Site and server administrators can use Robots files or META tags to exclude content from the search engine crawler. 

How do I setup a search on my site to search only information I choose?

Once your information is indexed and ready to search, you can add a search box to any existing Web page. The way the search works is that a form is submitted with specific variables that define how to complete the search. To add a search to any page, copy the bolded text in the example below and paste it into the body of an existing page.

<!-- start Search University of Wyoming Google Index-->
<form method="GET" action="http://searchuw.uwyo.edu">
 <input type="text" name="q" size="32" maxlength="250" value="">
 <input type="submit" name="btnG" value="UW Search"/>
 <input type="hidden" name="site" value="UWYO"/>
 <input type="hidden" name="client" value="UWYO"/>
 <input type="hidden" name="proxystylesheet" value="UWYO"/>
 <input type="hidden" name="output" value="xml_no_dtd"/>

</form>
<!-- end Search University of Wyoming Google Index-->

Restrict searches to a specific website or domain

(includes code changes resulting from the Feb. 09 upgrade)

To restrict the search box to only returns results from an entire Web domain, a single Web site, or a subset of a Web site, add the "as_sitesearch" parameter to the search form code above:

    <input type="hidden" name="as_sitesearch" value="your_url_here">

You can also restrict the search to a specific directory under a domain:

    <input type="hidden" name="as_sitesearch" value="your_url_here/directory">

Note: If a trailing slash '/' is used at the end of the URL value, then the search will be restricted to only that specific folder. In the example above, which does not use a trailing slash, results will be returned for the directory folder and all subfolders under it.

Specify a search across multiple UW websites

(includes code changes resulting from the Feb. 09 upgrade)

To specify a search across multiple Web sites, use the "as_q" parameter instead of "as_sitesearch", and use "site:" and one or more "OR" operators in the value:

    <input type="hidden" name="as_q" value="site:your_first_url OR site:your_second_url">

It might be helpful to show that your search is a site-restricted search in the search button. To do this, modify the code for the btnG parameter:

    <input type="submit" name="btnG" value="Search your_sitename_here">


MULTI-SITE SEARCH EXAMPLE
   
<!-- start Search University of Wyoming Google Index-->
<form method="get" action="http://searchuw.uwyo.edu/search">
  <input type="text" name="q" size="32" maxlength="250" value=""/>
  <input type="hidden" name="as_q" value="site:uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/ag
OR site:uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/agcollege"/>
  <input type="submit" name="btnG" value="Search UW Ag"/>
  <input type="hidden" name="site" value="UWYO"/>
  <input type="hidden" name="client" value="UWYO"/>
  <input type="hidden" name="proxystylesheet" value="UWYO"/>
  <input type="hidden" name="output" value="xml_no_dtd"/>
</form>

<!-- end Search University of Wyoming Google Index-->

NOTE:
The line <input type="hidden" name="as_q" value="site:uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/ag OR site:uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/agcollege"/> will be specific to your situation and is optional. This line is what limits or narrows the search to one or more specific sites within the UW Web. If you want your search to return results from all sites indexed by the UW search engine, omit this line.  In this example, this line defines the search to only return matches that are within the www.uwyo.ed/ag or www.uwyo.edu/agcollege Web sites specifically.

What is a Robots file?

The Robots Exclusion Protocol, the inclusion of a robots.txt file, tells crawlers which files, file types, and directories can or cannot be crawled. If the search engine gets an error when accessing this file, no content will be crawled on that server. The robots.txt file is checked on a regular basis, but changes may not have immediate effect. Each port (including HTTP and HTTPS) requires its own robots.txt file.  

Robots META tags can be used to control whether individual documents are indexed, whether the links on a document should be crawled, and whether the document should be cached. The "NOARCHIVE" value for robots meta tags is supported by the UW search engine to block cached content, even though it is not mentioned in the robots standard.

For information on how the Robots Exclusion Protocol (the robots.txt file) and Robots META tags work, see the Robots Exclusion standard at www.robotstxt.org/wc/exclusion.html.

NOTE: Robots files and META tags capabilities do not apply to UW central Web sites. This information only applies to those individuals running their own Web server.

Does the UW Google search engine respect the Robots Exclusion Protocol and Robots META tags?

Yes, the Google Search Appliance honors the Robots Exclusion Protocol (robots.txt files) and Robots META tag entries. To track which files the crawler avoids because of the robots.txt file and Robots META tag entries for a given crawl, click on the Browse the hierarchy of URLs seen during crawl link in the System Status tab.  

The appliance checks for robots.txt files on each server it crawls. If the appliance retrieves a valid robots.txt file, it will obey any exclusions applicable to the agent name configured in the Crawl Configuration > Crawl Parameters window. If the site does not have a robots.txt file, the appliance assumes that it is not blocked from crawling the site. If the appliance receives a "500: Server Error" when attempting to retrieve the robots.txt file, the appliance will assume that it is not permitted to crawl the site.

NOTE: Robots files and META tags capabilities do not apply to UW central Web sites. This information only applies to those individuals running their own Web server.

Can the time and load of indexing be adjusted for my non-central site?

Yes, the time and load can be adjusted to make sure that it does not overly tax your server especially during peak hours of usage. If you are running your own server and are worried about the impact of the spider indexing it, contact the UW Webmaster at webmaster@uwyo.edu.

Reviewed: 0706 By: CD, RD

Additional help with the installation and configuration of
UW-supported software is available:
Faculty/Staff
Contact the IT Help Desk at 766-HELP (4357), option 1
Email UserHelp@uwyo.edu
Contact your IT user consultant
(www.uwyo.edu/infotech/services/helpdesk/uc/)

Students
Email ASU-IT@uwyo.edu
Contact the IT Help Desk at 766-HELP (4357), option 1
Come to the student computer lab in the lobby of the
Information Technology Center.

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