Swiftype CEO Posits How Publishers Can Best Use Technology

If you’ve ever tried to use a Web site’s built-in search engine to find something, you know that the results aren’t always going to be what you want.

That’s where Matt Riley and his team at Swiftype, which already runs on Web sites like TechCrunch, Engadget and Deadline, come in.

Riley, the CEO and cofounder of Swiftype, explained to Publishers Daily how publishers can use their technology to tinker with readers’ search results and make more money.

Publishers Daily: Google is the king of search engines these days. What makes Swiftype different?

We have an entirely different way for users to find your content. We build our own search index, and it powers the search experience on your site. Publishers would have their own independent results and are not at the mercy of Google’s algorithm. You have your own algorithm. It’s the opposite of Google.



For example, you could tweak the general algorithm if you wanted articles that were published most recently to show up first. Or, do the opposite and have content that was published a long time ago come higher up in search results, based on the keywords the user types in.

Publishers Daily: How can publishers use your search engine to integrate native ads into the reader’s experience?

There is a great opportunity to integrate native advertising into the experience. We give you detailed analytics for what people are searching for on your site, what keywords are most popular for your users and what sort of article content you could target at them.

Publishers Daily: How would you use Swiftype if you were a publisher?

I would look at the analytics and say — these are my top 20 keywords this month, let’s go and get some sponsored content related to those keywords. Either pin those results to the top of the result set to make sure they get more views or bias the search engine to show those things more highly, so if it’s sponsored or native content, it shows up first or higher up

Publishers find that interesting, and they’re trying to learn new ways to make money and evolve that part of their business.

Publishers Daily: What is currently in the works?

A natural extension of search technology is also what you would call recommended content, like those three related pieces of content at the end of article. We have an offering we call Engagement Modules, which is essentially that. It’s a way of putting pieces of content or modules of content that are powered by the search engine at the end of an article.

We want to look at what article you are reading and find the best content related to that. It’s in beta, and some of our customers are using it but it will probably be available more broadly in the near future.

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