Main Menu Dept. of Technology Services Search

Date Approved

May 1, 2009

Review Date

August 1, 2013

Architecture Standards


Website Search Engine Standards

DTS Technology Standard 4300-0017

Status: Approved April 20, 2009
Analysis: (Generating XML Sitemaps for Agency Web Sites (June 22, 2007)Google Custom Search Engine (CSE): Ten Steps for Creating an Agency CSE)
Effective Date: May 1, 2009
Next Review Date: August 2013
Sponsor: ARB, Dave Fletcher and Robert Woolley
Approved By: Architecture Review Board

Using a common approach for agency Website search functionality ensures a more consistent and cost effective approach for public and internal users seeking information on State Websites. There are three scenarios that this standard addresses: (1) Public facing Websites; (2) State Websites that are restricted to internal use of State employees; (3) Embedded application search functionality that has been integrated into applications designed for internal or external use. In order to optimize the search experience agencies are also encouraged to use site mapping to ensure appropriate levels of crawling by search engines.

The standards for Website Search Engines on State of Utah governments websites include the following:
  • Google Custom Search (See for all Public facing State Websites excluding restricted access content. All state websites must include the general search engine that is included in the standard header as specified in State of Utah Web Standards. This header provides a general search of all government entities in the state of Utah, including all of the domain, as well as cities, counties, school districts, higher education, and other government supported entities in Utah. A website may also choose to include a narrower custom search that is restricted to a specific agency, department or division, in order to assist customers in narrowing their search results.
  • Google Search Appliance (For State Websites that are fully access protected and are not available for general use by the public)
  • Integrated Application Search: For applications such as Wikis, Document Management Applications, etc., that may provide their own custom search functionality.

The Department of Technology services is charged in Utah Code 63F-1-104 et seq with the overall responsibility for defining technology standards. The Chief Information Officer (CIO) has rule making and policy making authority for technology standards and practices for the Executive Branch agencies as specified in Utah Code 63F-1-206 et seq, with the exception of those agencies exempted in Utah Code 63F-1-102.

Agencies implementing site search capabilities should use the Google Custom Search Engine functionality for all site content that is publicly accessible. Restricted content may be listed on publicly accessible Web pages but should be secured with login access using methods such as CA SiteMinder. Non-standard site search engines should be discontinued within one year. Internal site search engines should use the Google Search appliance in preference to non-standard search engines, as soon as such implementation is financially sustainable.

Changes and Revisions
Suggestions for changes, revisions, and additions to this document are encouraged. This standards document will be subject to review and revision six months from the initial date of publication, and every six months thereafter. Suggestions for changes, additions, or revisions may be e-mailed to the Architecture Review Board ( at any time. Change recommendations will follow approved processes for enterprise standards approval and changes.