Quick How Tos

How do adjust how "fuzzy" the search is?

You can adjust how precisely a search result should match the user's search query under Search Settings
  • Setting the fuzziness to 0 means only 100% matches should be shown.
  • Setting the fuzziness to 1 means only >=50% matches should be shown.
  • Setting the fuzziness to 2 means show everything slightly related to avoid empty results.

How do I index and search over multiple sites?

Let us assume you have the following setup: You now want to index content from all three sites into one index and provide a search that finds content on all of those pages. This can be easily achieved by using one of the following three methods.

Multiple Root URLs

Just let the crawler index multiple sites by providing multiple start URLs in crawler settings. All the settings, e.g. white and blacklisting will be the same for all the sites. You probably want to create content groups to visually separate results from the different sites.

Sitemap

Create a sitemap that contains URLs from all sites that you want to index. Our crawler will get every page and add it to your global index. Go to sitemap settings to enter the sitemap after you created it.

API

You can simply add pages from any of your sites via the API using your API key. You can either index by URL or send a JSON object with the indexable contents.

How do I avoid duplicate indexed content?

If you find duplicate content in your index there are multiple options to resolve that. In both cases, please clear the index before re-indexing to remove the duplicates.

Canonical Tags

Use canonical tag (read more here). Let us assume you have the two URLs with the same content: You would add the canonical tag to both pages so they refer to the same URL.

Ignore URL parameters

Let us assume you have the two URLs with the same content: Both URLs are different so they would be separate entries in the index. You can avoid that by removing URL parameters that have no influence on the page's content. To do so, go to crawler settings and turn ON "Ignore Query Parameters".

How do I switch from search results in a layer to embedded results?

Site Search 360 allows you to show results in a layover (default) when the search is triggered or embed the results seamlessly into your page. Just edit your ss360Config to choose one of the two options.
  • For the layover : searchResults: undefined
  • For embedded results: searchResults: {'contentBlock':'CSS-SELECTOR'} where CSS-SELECTOR is one or a comma-separated list of CSS selectors to DOM elements where the content should be embedded to. For example, if your main content block can be found under and that is where search results should appear you would write searchResults: {'contentBlock':'div#main'}

How to show embedded results in a new page?

If you choose to embed the search results, they will be embedded in the page where the search is triggered. That is fast and avoids reloading the site. However, if you have a certain search result page that you want to use instead, you can redirect the user to that page by adding the following to your ss360Config.
If you use v7 of the Site Search 360 javascript you can also use a different approach in your ss360Config object as follows:
Of course you have to replace /search.html with whatever the path to your search result page is and CSS-SELECTOR with a selector pointing to the area where the search results should be embedded.

How do I influence indexing?

If you do not want certain pages to be indexed, you can use the robots meta tag with noindex as content.
Alternatively, you can set the HTTP header. If you only want to exclude those pages for Site Search 360 but keep them for Google, use ss360 instead of robots.
To avoid duplicate content, use the canonical tag. For example, you have two pages http://mysite.com/page1 and http://mysite.com/page1.html with the same content. You don't want them to be indexed twice so on each page you would add the following tag:

How do I prevent logging and tracking for certain users?

You might have your own team using your website's search often and don't want these searches to skew your logs. You can simply set a cookie in your browser for those users which prevents logging of their queries. To do so, simply open your browser console (F12 in Chrome and Firefox) and write document.cookie = "ss360-tracking=0; expires=Sun, 14 Jun 2020 10:28:31 GMT; path=/";. Of course you can change path and expiration date depending on your needs.

You can also block IPs from within the Control Panel under IP Blacklisting if the cookie approach does not work for you.

How does the SS360 crawler work?

The SS360 crawler visits your "Root URLs" (typically the homepage) and then follows all links that point to other pages within your site. It will not follow external links but you can configure the crawler to follow links to subdomains of your page. For example, the crawler on your page domain.com can also crawl blog.domain.com if you wish.

The SS360 Crawler cannot index content that is dynamically loaded via JavaScript. You can, however, use the API to index such content.

The crawler identifies itself as

How do I index filters if I'm not using the API?

Our crawler can also index filter settings from the pages themselves. Just write the JSON array in an invisible element on your page and give it the id ss360IndexFilters For example, you want a page to get a certain set of filters, you could add a content block like this to your page:

How can I add promotions or custom content to the search results?

You can add your custom HTML content anywhere in the search results for any query you like. For example, if you want your users to see a banner promotion when they search for "food" you would follow this process:
  1. Go to "Query Mappings"
  2. Type the query for which you would like to add your custom content, e.g. "food".
  3. Decide whether the query must match exactly, only contain the term, or even match a regular expression.
  4. Choose the tab "Order Results" and press "Add Custom Result".
  5. Edit the newly created custom search result by writing any HTML you want the user to see.
  6. Don't forget to save your mapping. You can edit or delete that mapping later.

What are XPaths?

First: you find a very detailed post about how to use XPaths with Site Search 360 in https://sitesearch360.com/docs/how-to-set-xpaths

XPaths are expressions that allow you to identify elements on your web page. For example, the Xpath "//img" selects all images. If your are not used to XPath expressions but rather know CSS selectors, you can look at a very simple conversion table here. Here is a list of potentially usefuly XPath that you could modify and use for your purposes:
XPath Description
//h1 Selects all your elements
//div[@id="main"] Selects the div element with the id "main": . This can be useful if you want to only index text within a certain element of the page and avoid indexing text from footers and sidebars.
//p[contains(@class,"notes")] Selects the p elements that have a class called "notes": .
//img[contains(@class,"main-image")]//@src Selects the src attribute of all image elements that have a class called "main-image": . This path can be used if you want to tell the crawler which image to index for your page.
If you're using Chrome the "XPath Helper" extension is useful for finding the right XPaths to your elements. Follow these steps to use the extension:
  1. After installing the extension, go to your web page that you want to analyze and press ctrl+shift+x to open the XPath Helper.
  2. Now hover with your mouse over the element to which you want to find the XPath to, e.g. an image on your page and press the shift key. The XPath that points to this element is now shown in the black XPath Helper box.
  3. In most cases, you do not need the entire XPath but you can shorten it. That sometimes requires some testing but a good indicator is if there is an element with an id in the XPath. You can remove everything before that element and start the XPath with two forward slashes. Example: The XPath shown is , you can shorten that to .
  4. Copy your XPath in the control panel and test it again there to see whether the crawler can use the XPath to find the exact content.

Check out this process in detail by reading Working with XPaths.

What is branding and "less" branding?

The FREE plan contains some branding. A Site Search 360 logo will be shown in the search suggestions and on the search result page. "Less branding" (COLUMBO plan) means that only the logo on the search result pages will be shown. In all plans higher than COLUMBO, no logo will be shown.

How do I implement pagination?

To put it shortly: you shouldn't (read here why). Site Search 360 offers a "load more" button out of the box with the JavaScript integration. To use that just configure it in your ss360Config object.
If you still want to implement pagination you can use the API with offset and limit parameters.

Can I use multiple search boxes on one page?

Yes, you just have to adjust the searchBoxSelector in your ss360Config to point to all of your search fields. Usually, you would give your search input fields a CSS class like so
Then your selector in your ss360Config object would look like this searchBoxSelector: '.ss360SearchBox'. See an example here: Multiple Search Boxes on one Page

What are "Content Groups"?

Content groups help making your search results more accessible and - using data points - much more informative. For example, let's say you publish recipes and kitchen appliance reviews on your site. In that case you could make recipes and reviews your content groups. If a user types "crock pot" the results are now grouped into recipes that you make in a crock pot and reviews of crock pots on your site. Additionally, you can show the data point "calories" for recipes and "price" for product reviews right in the search results. Content groups are exclusive, i.e. one page can only be in one content group. If a page does not match any of the content groups, it will be put in the "Other" content group. You can rename or ignore that content group using the parameters otherContentGroupName and ignoreOtherContentGroup in your ss360Config object on your site. For a live example on how this could look go to spoonacular and type "chicken".

You find more detailed information about content groups one the page about content groups.

How do I change what search result snippet is shown?

You have control over where the text that is shown in the search results is coming from. Search Snippet Source
You can choose from:
  • Content around the search query.
  • The first sentences of the indexed content.
  • A specific area of the website that you determine via XPath under Crawler Settings. For example, you could show the Meta Description of a website in the search results. Please note that you might have to change the crawler setting "Search Snippet XPath" and re-index your site before choosing this option.

How do I change the look / styles / colors of suggestions and results?

The easiest way to just change the themeColor in your ss360Config like so themeColor: '#00aa35'. If you want to have more influence on the design, keep reading. By default ss360 brings its own stylesheet. You can simply deactivate that by editing your ss360Config object and set defaultCss: false. You can get a copy of the CSS to know what you can style (take out the .min for a readable version):

How do I track the search with Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager

The Site Search 360 javascript allows you to configure external tracking for Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. All you have to do is configure the externalTracking object in your ss360Config object. You just have to set the provider that you want and can optionally react to tracking events using the searchCallback.
This tracking will add a ?ss360Query={query} to the search result pages which can be viewed and analyzed in Google Analytics. To see the search terms in Google Analytics, you have to specify the URL parameter for the query (ss360Query): https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1012264?hl=en. Please note that you need at least v7 of the script.

What can I do in the Control Panel?

Watch this brief overview of the Control Panel to get a better understanding what is possible: