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PA.gov That Works: New and Improved Site Search

By: Kate Landis, Deputy Director of Digital Communications and Strategy

February 12, 2018

PA.gov That Works is a series of blog posts dedicated to Pennsylvania digital initiatives. In this post, we’re talking about the latest updates to site search on PA.gov.

Our past several updates to PA.gov have been focused on making it easier to find what you’re looking for. We simplified our homepage by eliminating features users didn’t find to be helpful and we unveiled several new features that put popular information and resources just one click away.

Our latest updates are all about improving one of the most basic methods of navigating a website: site search. Two key improvements have made it easier to perform a search on PA.gov from start to finish.

Search Bar

Our new search bar is embedded in the top navigation bar so you can start a search from any page on PA.gov. Because the navigation bar is sticky (fixed in one place) the search bar is accessible from anywhere on the website without having to scroll. On mobile, the search is accessible from any page by clicking the magnifying glass icon in the navigation.

Search Page

Entering a search term in the search bar will take you to our improved search page. Here you will see results for your search term separated into featured results and all results.

Featured Results

Featured results are made up of two sections: Top Results and News.

Top Results include agency websites and direct links to popular services and information. These results have been curated based on user analytics. Each top results card includes a category label to help you find what you’re looking for. You can view all of the top results by clicking the “More top results” link.

News includes the most recent press releases from commonwealth agencies related to your search term. Similar to the top results cards, each news card includes an agency label to help you find what you’re looking for and you can view all of the news results by clicking the “More news results” link.

Graphic of Pa.gov featured results on site search.

All Results

All Results is essentially a Google search across commonwealth websites. Each card includes the URL of the destination page, and you can navigate the All Results section using the pagination that appears at the bottom of the section. We’re still working on improving the results in this section, so let us know if you find any broken links or misinformation.

Graphic of Pa.gov results using site search.

We’re always testing better ways to connect Pennsylvanians with government services online and we want to hear from you! Have any suggestions for how we can improve PA.gov? Check out our website and take the feedback survey.

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