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ER.org Search is terrible
Old 10-14-2018, 08:02 AM   #1
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ER.org Search is terrible

I searched "weather is awful" "weather awful" and "weather awful outside" and the threat "The weather is awful!!!" did not show up until the second page of the search results.

Incredible amount of room for improvement on ER search in my opinion. If I have over 14 of the 20 characters in my query that match the subject line exactly, that result should be at the very top of the search results page.

I notice this a lot with different search queries I've executed on this site. I really hope that improves as it's basically almost useless if you compare it to other search around the internet.

#endRant
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:14 AM   #2
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Do you use google for general purpose Internet searches outside of ER.org and, if so, does this work well for you?

My understanding was that ER.org uses google search technology which I understand to have a very good reputation.

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Old 10-14-2018, 08:18 AM   #3
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The search function allows you choose entire threads or just titles. When I search titles for "weather", the thread "this weather is awful" is the first hit.
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:50 AM   #4
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Yes but, when I type SS or Social Security in search, I can't find that incredibly long thread about taking SS at 62 or FRA. Title or thread makes a big difference though.
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:53 AM   #5
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Yes but, when I type SS or Social Security in search, I can't find that incredibly long thread about taking SS at 62 or FRA.
That describes about 15% of the threads on this forum.
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:59 AM   #6
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The search function allows you choose entire threads or just titles. When I search titles for "weather", the thread "this weather is awful" is the first hit.
Title search is how I find things successfully. Sometimes with search less is more.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:05 AM   #7
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Using the native search takes some thinking, but I can usually coax it into finding stuff. I put in fewer words and narrow by date and often search only titles and return only threads, not posts. The Google search is not as useful to me unless I'm looking to research / mine knowledge. Finding a post or thread I know is there is often a challenge since I might not be able to remember the exact wording.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:12 AM   #8
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I always use the advanced search. From there I'll select "Search titles only" if needed, and under options decide if I want to see results as Posts or Threads. Use " " around search term to look for a phrase. Sometimes I limit the search to specific forums, and if I know who posted something, I search by user name. It generally works well for me.

The only hard part is threads that have useless titles. If someone starts a thread like "What about this?" or "Here's what I'm thinking about ..." (without saying what they are thinking about), search by title is useless. Most people do a good job of making an accurate, descriptive thread title. I will continue to make noise about those that aren't.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:13 AM   #9
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Spelling counts too. When people misspell words in titles, or even in posts, search won't find them. Or does this search have fuzzy logic for finding misspellings?
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:23 AM   #10
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Or does this search have fuzzy logic for finding misspellings?
I think not.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:24 AM   #11
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IMO Google has tinkered too much with their search algorithm. Search results are not as good as they had been a few years ago. And the search result's "Cached" feature now returns error 404 most of the time.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:25 AM   #12
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Moderators, it looks as though the search response gives most recent posts. Social Security search, purely the words produces a bunch of different responses, both in title and thread. The popularity of Theory Behind taking Social Security Early? 36 pages of discussion!
It was my understanding in Google searches, they track what you typically search for or what advertiser pays them the most to be in the top hits.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
When people misspell words in titles, or even in posts, search won't find them. Or does this search have fuzzy logic for finding misspellings?
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
I think not.
Wish we had moderators who would correct tittle spellin errers.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:33 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rianne View Post
Moderators, it looks as though the search response gives most recent posts. Social Security search, purely the words produces a bunch of different responses, both in title and thread. The popularity of Theory Behind taking Social Security Early? 36 pages of discussion!
It was my understanding in Google searches, they track what you typically search for or what advertiser pays them the most to be in the top hits.
The search response shows all the hits in all the threads in E-R Forum for that search term, but presents them in chronological order, beginning with most recent. For example, a search of "Social+Security" returns 7847 threads dating back to 7/10/02.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:36 AM   #15
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Wish we had moderators who would correct tittle spellin errers.
So, you're asking for moderators who know how to spell? Probably disqualifies me
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:38 AM   #16
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If there are more than two words, does it help to put them in quotes so that you search for those words in that order instead of each word individually?
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:39 AM   #17
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So, you're asking for moderators who know how to spell? Probably disqualifies me
Just take your best shot - and be careful how you spell shot.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:40 AM   #18
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If there are more than two words, does it help to put them in quotes so that you search for those words in that order instead of each word individually?
That's what I've found, otherwise it'll match on either one. So if you search on social security, you will also get matches on things like security systems. "social security" should leave those out.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:55 AM   #19
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Try this: Go to Google.com, and type in "site:early-retirement.org weather" (without the quotes.)

This does a native Google search for the word "weather," restricted to just this site.

There are lots of other features in Google. Here's one site which does a good job of explaining some of these features:
https://www.lifehack.org/articles/te...ficiently.html

There are lots more like this, if you look. Probably the most useful is the "-" operator. The link above gives the example of searching for information about Mustangs. If you want to know about the horse, not the car, use "Mustang -cars."
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Old 10-14-2018, 10:28 AM   #20
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I just put “this weather is awful” (using quotation marks) in the google search box and the first result is the thread you were looking for.
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