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Search Function Needs Improvement

     
3:43 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm not sure if this is in the works for the next version of BestBBS, but I've noticed many times that the current "site search" is a bit lacking. IMO, that just won't do for a site so focused on search engines and SEO. ;)

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.

4:02 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Dolemite, I also find WW site search a bit, er, lacking, but since Google is ga-ga over it the most effective way I've found to search WW is at Google with the 'site' function:

site:www.webmasterworld search term

Still ain't the best, but then again not much in search is.

Jim

4:10 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm pretty sure the search function takes a good amount of bandwidth, especially if the parameters are expanded (e.g. advanced search).
10:47 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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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.

11:14 am on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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You can use the forum name as well in WW search-
/forum47/ SQL

Or at Google
site:www.webmasterworld.com inurl:/forum47/ SQL

3:52 pm on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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well i couldn't use the site search even when i provided the title of the thread i was searching. So i just used good old google :)
7:25 pm on May 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the tip, aspdaddy. That works pretty well.

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.

 

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