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MRSC Launches New Website Search


January 6, 2020 by Tracy Burrows
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MRSC Launches New Website Search

As of right now, the MRSC website has more than 400 topic pages, 30 publications, 800 blog posts, 3,900 sample documents, and 300 archived inquiries, plus a variety of other resources. That’s about 5,500 total pieces of content (and counting).

All of our content is geared toward helping local government staff and officials across Washington State — educating you about legal requirements and policy considerations, informing you of new legislation and court decisions, providing examples of documents adopted by other jurisdictions, and more.

But with so much information on so many different topics, it can sometimes be hard to find what you’re looking for. In past customer satisfaction surveys, we heard from a number of you who generally love our website but said that the search engine needed improvement.

We listened, and we’re excited to announce that MRSC has rolled out a new and significantly improved website search system! Here are some of the changes you’ll see:

  • More relevant search results. We’ve spent a lot of time tweaking the search formulas to improve the accuracy of the results, so that only the most relevant content appears at the top of your search results.
  • Search synonyms. Previously, if you searched for “PRA” you would get a different set of results than if you searched for “Public Records Act.” But we’ve now added a behind-the-scenes synonym table for many search terms. Now, you should see the same results whether you search for “PRA” or “Public Records Act.”
  • Options to refine your search. Previously, you could choose to search the entire MRSC website or you could search just one section at a time. But we’ve made that process much easier now. Our system now searches all sections by default, but once the search results come up you can refine your search results by selecting one or more document categories. This is especially helpful for those situations when you have lots of search results and want to narrow them down, or when you’re looking for a very specific type of document. If you’re not sure what the different categories mean, you can hover your mouse over each category for a definition.

It took a lot of time and dedication from our staff members and developer, but we think the new system is a significant upgrade. Watch the video below for a brief demonstration, then try it for yourself in the search bar at the top of this page! And if you have any feedback on the search, good or bad, we’d love to hear it — send your thoughts to mrsc@mrsc.org.


MRSC is a private nonprofit organization serving local governments in Washington State. Eligible government agencies in Washington State may use our free, one-on-one Ask MRSC service to get answers to legal, policy, or financial questions.

About Tracy Burrows

As MRSC’s Executive Director, Tracy seeks out innovations in local government, tracking trends in management and technology that impact your work. She has over 20 years of local government and non-profit experience, specializing in growth management, transportation, and general city management issues.

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