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First off, I've found that it just doesn't find existing results very well. For example, I recently wanted to locate posts I'd seen here on that "The Second Eigenvalue of the Google Matrix" paper. Searching on "eigenvalue" produced no results, even though this thread [webmasterworld.com] contains the word several times. I ended up searching at google and found the relevent threads, and luckily WW has a nice PR and should come out near the top for obscure stuff like that, and a site:webmasterworld.com search has come in handy as well, but a good seach function still be nice to have. I suspect it would eliminate a lot of the superfluous threads/posts as well, once people could find what they're looking for in a search.
I've also noticed that many of the results returned are missing pages (404). The results/page numbers get screwed up at times as well...I.E. doing a search and clicking to the 2nd page shows "Documents 11-30 of X displayed" but "Results Pages:" still indicates being on page 1.
I'd also like to see more search features, like search by username, search by forum, search by date, wildcard searches, etc.
site:www.webmasterworld search term
Still ain't the best, but then again not much in search is.
I suspect it would eliminate a lot of the superfluous threads/posts as well
Totally agree with that. I did post something about this a while back and there was a reply that the site is so large it's become technically hard to create an effective search. I don't really buy that. Even if it meant building a separate search database, with a 'lite' version of each page,stripped of ignored words etc. it shouldn't be that hard to do.
I did post something about this a while back and there was a reply that the site is so large it's become technically hard to create an effective search.
I also find that difficult to believe. Allowing more parameters would certainly help, though, since it would produce smaller result sets. I've seen vBulletin do a decent job of searching huge forums.
I'm pretty sure the search function takes a good amount of bandwidth, especially if the parameters are expanded (e.g. advanced search).
Bandwidth? Doubtful. It surely takes some extra CPU time. Perhaps a seperate server could be used for searches. Or as part of a load-balanced system. I can't imagine WW is running on a single server at this point.