[thelist] Building a Better Search Engine

Rob Smith rob.smith at THERMON.com
Thu Dec 26 10:30:00 CST 2002

Hi list,

I'm trying so desperately to build a better search engine. My predecessor
built one that worked pretty well, but after doing some recording, I found
that peoples searches failed more than half the time. In an effort to
improve the algorithm, I may have made things worse. The success rate has
improved to half yes and half no. But the lighter side of things is that I
know what people want and have, thanks to the list, sorted them by failure
terms. I've informed my product managers and they suggested other buzz words
that would let our users actually find what they were looking for. Its
working for now.

I changed the algorithm from searching for exact phrases i.e. take entire
search string and looking for that precise object, to taking the multi-key
word search, hacking it up, searching on each word and combining alike
searches. I see no speed variances between the two versions but then again,
I'm searching under 1k rows and I fear that this method is highly
inefficient. Now I'm getting a wider search field of results and many more
results available; they're sorted alphabetically, not by relevance/rank.

I'm using SQL Server 2k on a pc. ASP 2.0 is my current language of

I need a search engine makeover. Any advice?!


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