Coronavirus information and guidance

Search policy

This policy applies to the use of Funnelback, the University search engine. Funnelback is provided by a third-party company - Squiz. The search page is www.st-andrews.ac.uk/search

Management

  • Squiz Scotland – App maintenance
    Squiz are responsible for providing the Funnelback software.
  • IT Services – Onsite hosting maintenance
    IT Services are responsible for providing the hardware and software infrastructure required for Funnelback to run.
  • Digital communications – Service providers
    The digital communications team are responsible for configuring the Funnelback software to provide the search results via a website. The digital communications team are also responsible for the look and feel of the search results website.
  • Admissions – Marketing for prospective students
    Admissions are responsible for using the search usage data for marketing purposes.

Please contact itservicedesk@st-andrews.ac.uk for any enquiries about Funnelback.

Search results

The Funnelback system provides the ability to fine tune the ranking of the search results. The digital communications team will try to ensure the search results are meaningful, but this is dependent on the source material being accurate, well-structured and up to date.

Due to the large number of factors that affect the ranking of search results there can be no guarantee given to the accuracy or relevance of the search results.

Promote specific search results

The Funnelback system provides the ability to promote specific results for specific search terms through a variety of different methods. Users may request a review by emailing details of their search term and desired result to itservicedesk@st-andrews.ac.uk. The digital communications team are responsible for configuring Funnelback and will provide feedback on all requests and what actions have been taken in line with the IT Services service level agreement.

Missing search results

If a web page is not appearing in any search result, then users may request that is included by emailing details of the URL to itservicedesk@st-andrews.ac.uk. To be included in the search results, the web page must:

  • belong to the University
  • be open to the public and not hidden behind a password
  • not be in a test or development phase
  • have a published accessibility statement
  • have been approved by the University’s Change Advisory Board.

The digital communications team will review all submissions that meet the criteria for inclusion and configure any new entries to Funnelback in the way deemed most suitable. If current software license usage prohibits inclusion, it will be at the sole discretion of the digital communications team as to what URLs are added or replaced in Funnelback’s search index.

Unwanted search results

It is also possible to prevent Funnelback from displaying certain URLs. If there is an unwanted web page appearing in the search results, then you can raise a support call via itservicedesk@st-andrews.ac.uk, and the call will be dealt with in line with the IT Services service level agreement.

Marketing dashboard

The Funnelback system provides a marketing dashboard that allows the performance of the system to be reviewed. This includes:

  • reports on how search is being used (for example, the most popular search terms)
  • reports on the quality of the sources that are being indexed
  • an audit tool to analyse how a specific search and result ranking is calculated.

Access to the marketing dashboard will only be given to University staff where there is a clear business need.

Privacy

Funnelback captures IP addresses of individuals both internal and external to the University who make use of the website search facility.

The IP addresses of external users are not personal data, as the University cannot identify who the user of a device is.

The IP addresses of internal users are not considered to be personal data either as the University cannot directly identify individuals. Although there is a route to indirect identification, the link could only be established by the University undertaking specific steps which are not normally in use (and would, therefore, be an exception).

As a result, there are no privacy risks to individuals - use of this application is not intended to identify specific behaviours of identified persons.