Continually recording what’s online, where - locating using Live Search

04 Jun 2019

What do you do if you have a complex digital footprint with multiple websites, social media channels and numerous PDFs on the site, and suddenly you have to make an urgent change to content in response to an internal, commercial or regulatory change? For example, perhaps you are asked to remove a product name, change a telephone number, delete an advertising slogan or ensure there are no references to an individual. Senior management is telling you that they need this done yesterday. You need to drop everything and get it done.

Making that change across every single page or document can be very challenging. For example, how do you remove a term which may also be hidden in all those PDFs that are scattered through your site?  Later it can be equally hard if either an internal function or external party demand proof that the change has been actioned. This can happen both soon after either immediately after or even months down the line.

This is exactly the sort of logistical nightmare for digital teams where Sitemorse’s “Live Search” capability comes into its own.

The Live Search capability 

The Sitemorse platform comes packed with capabilities that can help organisations and their respective digital teams with website management and reduction of risk. One of the most overlooked of these is the ‘Live Search’ feature, a facility that allows digital teams to carry out a search across their website, social media channels, PDFs and more, all in one go. 

This is highly useful in itself in helping you to identify all the items that need to be updated when you have an urgent change to make, but where Live Search becomes uber-useful is where it also returns previous versions and iterations of pages and documents, allowing you to track changes over time and demonstrate compliance which can be critical in various use cases.

Why Sitemorse records your website

Before we explore some of the times Live Search really can come to the rescue, let’s explore how Live Search works. 

One of the things that Sitemorse does which most Content Management Systems don’t do is to keep a copy of all the iterations of your pages, file attachments and even social media interactions, each time-stamped with an audit trail. The platform is recording your site and how it changes. It’s not just the text that Sitemorse keeps but also the CSS so you can genuinely access an archive of your digital footprint and see what it contained and how it looked. This is important as the layout of a page is part of the messaging and impact of your content. 

Sitemorse records your site for various reasons:

  • You can record incremental changes for internal auditing and governance purposes
  • You can prove you made changes to a site to show external organisations such as regulators, licensors and even holding companies that removal of certain content has been actioned
  • You can meet regulatory and legal commitments to storing and archiving your data (that’s why we can keep records for up to seven years if necessary)
  • You can reference previous designs and content to help you craft new, improved versions
  • You can respond to ad hoc requests, both internal and external, where you need to refer to previous digital iterations.

Sitemorse’s site recording is powerful, but it is the Live Search capability interrogating the content archive that unlocks the business value.

How Live Search works

With Live Search you can enter any term such as person name, a product name, an advertising slogan, a location or even a phone number and in seconds every current and past page, PDF attachment and document that the term appears in will be returned. The search is very fast – it can search over a million items a minute. 

From the summary page that is returned to you, you can drill down into the list of different items, and from that the different versions of pages or documents at different dates. You can also view a timeline of when instances appeared finding a highly effective way to show when an item has been removed or changed across your entire digital estate. Results can also be downloaded to a spreadsheet for convenience.

Here’s a video of how it works:

When Live Search comes to the rescue

It is the flexibility and speed of Live Search, as well as the ease with which you can drill into the detail and access previous versions of pages (all with styling intact) which allows digital teams to use Live Search for a variety of critical situations, including: 

  • A University where you need to ensure that an old phone number has been updated across all your websites, but also in the numerous PDFs that are scattered throughout your site.
  • A local council site where a person is no longer a councillor and you need to remove all current references to them across your site.
  • A healthcare sales company where you need to quickly remove all references to a product you no longer sell and then need demonstrate this has been actioned to the company you licensed the product from.
  • A financial services company where you need to demonstrate to your internal compliance function and potentially to your regulator that you’ve made changes to how you describe your products in response to a new regulatory guideline. You can even see what a page looked like in the past and what related items were shown.
  • A retail company where you urgently need to ensure a product recall has been actioned across your entire digital estate and you have a record of this to protect you against any potential legal action going forward.
  • Where you need to run regular checks in all the above situations to ensure there is no repeat of any of the terms being used, or to respond to ad-hoc requests to show the change was actioned. 

The power of Live Search

Live Search is a powerful tool that help you to enable urgent website changes even across the most obscure corners of your digital footprint and then show internal stakeholders, external regulators and commercial partners that action has been taken. If you’ve been caught in that kind of situation before and would like a demonstration of how Live Search works or would like to ask us any questions, then please contact sales@Sitemorse.com.