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Why is "Search" so difficult on WW?
Why? Why ask Why?

 11:18 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is it the forum software? Is it the lack of proper search mechanism for these forums?

This is a great site, no doubt. But has seasily the worst search functionality of all the ones I visit.

I know the functions here are geared more towards the power-user with booleans and such over simple check boxes to search for what we want, but does it have to be that way?

[edited by: Hawkgirl at 7:20 am (utc) on Mar. 30, 2005]
[edit reason] No URL drops please. [/edit]



 11:20 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Use Google to search the site.

You'll sleep easier.


 11:27 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Add the following to your header in system preferences:

<table align=center cellspacing=1 cellpadding=4 style="border:1px solid #4682B4"><tr><td>Search Webmasterworld: <td><td><form action=http://www.google.com/search target=_blank><input TYPE=text name=q> <input type=submit value=Google><input type=hidden name=sitesearch value=webmasterworld.com></form></td><td><form action=http://search.yahoo.com/search target=_blank><input TYPE=text name=p> <input type=submit value=Yahoo><input type=hidden name=vs value=webmasterworld.com></form></td></tr></table>


 11:35 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)


Thanks for the html - it will save my little fingers from lots of typing.


 11:47 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

This comes up so many times, and the earliest I came across this solution was bill's post in this thread [webmasterworld.com] (kudos to bill).

Would it not be possible to put that code as a default in to all new sign ups? It's such a time saver, and I can't imagine a member who wouldn't benefit from it.


 11:50 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Moneyman; Thanks for posting that code. I've kept meaning to add that search box, but just never got around to it.


 12:41 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

You're welcome!

I believe the code I posted is from bill post that 2oddSox listed. It might have been a different post. It's been a while so I'm not sure where I picked it up. But I didn't come up with the code or idea, I'm just passing along what was given to me. :)

Brett, any reason why you don't add the code as a default in the custom top? I understand, not wanting to promote a specific search engine over another, maybe just make mention of this as an option with a few references to useful posts that explain how to "Pimp my WebmasterWorld interface". Just a thought.


 12:49 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'd imagine that most people who frequent this forum on a regular basis know the site search commands by heart. I don't see the huge deal. If I need to find something at webmasterworld I just go the engine I like, type in:

keywords here site:webmasterworld.com

and find my answer. Since this forum/community is geared to the webmaster/search professional, I assume that the visitors are expected to have some ability to perform advanced searches on the engines.

My only problem with webmasterworld's search capabilities is that there is no search for supporters and no way to use a major engine to do so, since the engines are blocked from that portion of the site.


 8:23 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

You guys need to check the Library [webmasterworld.com] for this forum and see my new-and-improved post. ;)

Additional Search Tools for WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com]


 7:49 pm on Apr 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks, Bill. I have been looking for a useful ww search for quite some time. You've solved my problem. Why not mention your solution in the help for site search. I would also like the site search to explain more about the results that it returns, especially the order of the results. Although now that I'm going to search engines to search ww, maybe the ww site search doesn't matter any more.


 9:10 pm on Apr 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Errrmmmm, either I'm the only member to have the very useful search box at the bottom of most WebmasterWorld pages, or some people are not looking ;)


 11:01 pm on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

> Is it the forum software?

Yes/No. There currently is no se software available that will work. We are open to suggestions and challenge anyone to come up with something that works. please see the other 4-5 threads over the last 6 months in this forum...

Robert Thivierge

 6:48 am on Apr 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

How about changing the WW Search Page to have two small forms:

1) A Google Site Search form, powered by google, user ends up in Google after submit. Used for searching old archives

2) Keep the local search (ww-powered), but only for very recent documents. By keeping the index extremely small you a)you can re-index frequently (hopefully continuously) because of the small size
b)You avoid the clutter that comes with large numbers of results. The crudest/simplest search algorithm could be used (if the keyword is present return it, with most recent occurance first).

This would mainly benefit new users, who don't know about Google Site Search. Also, regular users would find it useful to be able to search for a thread that they were recently on, but forget to flag.

As an experiment I did a search for a keyword in a recent post by the ww-powered search. The recent post didn't come up, yet a bunch of irrelevant old posts appeared. Since Google regularly indexes this site, there's no need to have anything but the most recent posts in the index. Yet, it seems the most recent posts are the only items not returned by the ww-powered search.


 4:45 am on Apr 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

It doesn't solve the supporter's forum problem, but there is a Firefox Greasemonkey extension that adds a "search Google for just this forum/search all forums" search function to the forum pages.


 2:10 pm on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Limiting the scope of the search has got to be a priority for ww. I find that G is great for searching the bulk of postings. The lack of Supporter coverage is unfortunate due to the amount of great material there. If the scope of an internal ww search could be narrowed to only recent posts in the public and Supporter forums, then it should be do-able. The results might also serve to show people that joining the Supporters area is a good investment.


 10:25 am on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've always wanted a time stamp to show up when using the site: type search as while the stuff is good, I want to read the most recent and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to how it shows up now.

(I'm sure that this is somewhere on a WebmasterWorld 2do but one never knows...)


 11:49 am on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

How about the Gigablast "roll your own" search engine?
You decide what/which site(s) are searched.
You can put the search box onto any existing page or create a new one like I did. Its nice and clean. -Larry

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