We all know some internal site search engines have a lot to be desired. Many website owners choose to use Google’s Custom Search Engine tool, but if you have a basic account, your users may see Google ads and related search results alongside your website’s pages. In addition, for many site search services, you can’t tweak or modify the way results are displayed, including the order.
These were the types of issues that Quin Hoxie and Matt Riley, both formerly of Scribd, are attempting to fix with their Y combinator startup Swiftype. Others must agree, because the service just received $1.7 million in seed funding from a group of well-known investors, including Kleiner Perkins and Andreesen-Horowitz.
Steady Growth Demonstrates Demand for Better Search
Swiftype has only been active for over a year and a half, but already has over 70,000 clients with search bars that generate over 130 million queries each month, according to Forbes. They have several different membership plans, ranging from $19 per month for 1 engine on 2 domains to $299 for 8 engines on 15 domains. Swiftype also has custom solutions for enterprises, which most likely include some of their biggest clients: Facebook, Best Buy, MailChimp, and more.
In addition, Swiftype has a free plan that allows for one search engine and limits features and queries. When a user nears their query limit on a regular basis, Swiftype will recommend that they upgrade.
Swiftype has many intuitive search and developer features that make it stand out from standard search widgets that are built into existing websites. These include:
- Drag and drop result reordering Change the order of page results
- Analytics: learn what users aren’t finding, clickthrough rate, and integration with Google Analytics
- Autocomplete: Users get an instant list of search results as they are typing
- Mobile compatibility
- WordPress plugin
Even though many of the large sites that are known for great search results, like Amazon, will be likely to continue developing their own search algorithms, Swiftype can provide a more accurate, better picture of what users are searching for on your site. This can in turn help provide you with content curation ideas and more intuitive keyword research.