The website search function used across much of the University has not been actively managed for a significant period of time. In recent years, it has relied on the free Google service.

In early 2012 it was identified that this free search service was planting privacy-invasive cookies on website visitors’ devices in contravention of EU legislation and as part of a wider programme of activity this was replaced with a paid Google service as an interim step.

The process of changing search engine uncovered a number of issues around the management of phone and email search, and the lack of active management of search in general. Informal support was agreed between the University Website Programme, IS Web Integration Team and Communications & Marketing Web Team to mitigate current risks as an interim step on the understanding that a research project would propose a robust, long-term solution.

The search engine procurement element of this planning proposal assumes that the recommendations around strategic and editorial management of a University website search are supported by IS and the Website Governance Group in early 2013.

During year 2014/15 further action from UWP is taken to better understand search engine requirements, progress with developing proof of concept work and deploy enhancements to the existing service. This work will feed into this project as requirements for the procurement of a new Search engine.

Concurrently, delivery of EdWeb, the new central CMS, and the Edinburgh GEL, a design framework to be used as the branding and design guidelines for developing web applications within the University, provide opportunities to provide a better user experience, with the search engine certainly being able to take advantage and implement a better and more usable service. The use of a responsive design to work in various devices is an important benefit as well.

Current project status

Report Date RAG Budget Effort Completed Effort to complete
September 2017 BLUE 5.0 days 112.7 days 0.0

Project Info

New University Search Engine: Requirements Gathering and Procurement
Z. ISG - University Website (UWP) (Closed)
Management Office
Project Manager
Emma Mcnab
Project Sponsor
Stratos Filalithis
Current Stage
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date
Programme Priority
Overall Priority


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