SRU website's search results now provided by Bing

Woman using SRU's site search

Microsoft's Bing has replaced Google as Slippery Rock University's internal site search for the University's website. Photo by Benton Palermo, a senior communication: digital media major from Beaver. 

Sept. 12, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - One of the most common ways that people navigate the Slippery Rock University website, www.sru.edu, is by clicking on the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner and entering keywords to search. While the process for using this effective tool will remain the same, there's a new provider that searches the SRU website before the results are displayed.

Because search-engine giant Google discontinued its service, called "Google Site Search," that companies used to use to provide searches of their websites, SRU was required to evaluate and implement a new system. SRU now uses an application through Bing, the search engine owned and operated by Microsoft.

In a process that occurs almost instantaneously, the keywords a user enters on SRU's website are sent to Bing's index before Bing sends it back for the SRU website to display for the user with a link and page description. The only difference a user might notice between Google and Bing is that thumbnail images will no longer be displayed alongside search results.

According to Darcy White, SRU director of web communications and development, he and his staff were able to develop coding so that no additional third-party vendor costs would be needed to implement the change from Google to Bing.

"All the search results are queried from our website," White said. "When Bing sends the results back to us, we've programmed the website to stylize it for the user."

Visitors to the University website can find what they are looking for via two methods: clicking through the site's navigation structure or by using the search tool.

"The search tool gets people the content they want as fast as possible," White said. "Huge portions of our users find what they are looking for through the search tool."

White guided SRU through a major redesign and architectural restructuring of the University website, which was relaunched in June 2015, that earned him a President's Award for Outstanding Service in 2016.

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 | justin.zackal@sru.edu