[thelist] PHP Search Engine

Paul Bennett Paul.Bennett at wcc.govt.nz
Thu Mar 16 15:43:02 CST 2006

Good point Max,

There *is* a difference between my testing and general user behaviour, but don't you find a search engines inability to find a page with an H2 of directly-quoted text a bit disconcerting?

My 'tests' aren't always as arbitrary as this. I've been to a few site search software sites and entered header text like 'product information' and gotten no results, despite the fact that they had a page on their 10 page site with the header text 'Product Information'.

My point was that search software is an interesting beast. It not only has to be easy to install and a good indexer of content, it also needs to return *high-quality results* to the user.

Try this search: (Sorry Ron! :) )


'Public Library'

Results: 0 :(

Removing the quotes gives better results, but this to me is a pretty basic failure of a lot of search software.
Or am I just being picky?


-----Original Message-----
From: thelist-bounces at lists.evolt.org [mailto:thelist-bounces at lists.evolt.org] On Behalf Of Max Schwanekamp
Sent: Friday, March 17, 2006 10:28 AM
To: thelist at lists.evolt.org
Subject: Re: [thelist] PHP Search Engine

Paul Bennett wrote:
> Just a note to BEWARE of a LOT search engine software. 
> Case in point: - (No, I'm *not* picking on Ron here, just illustrating a rant er... Point)
> http://tinyurl.com/o56lx

Not to dispute your point Paul, which I am not qualified to do anyway, 
but context and user behavior should be taken into account when 
evaluating any software.  When I changed your query from searching an 
exact string using quotes to a group of keywords, and removing the "City 
of Aurora - " part of the query (after all, why would a user enter that 
when they're already on the COA website?), the correct page was #1 in 
the results.  E.g.:


Of course your query should have worked just fine, but Zoom isn't quite 
so bad as your demo might lead one to believe.

Max Schwanekamp

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