Unsorted forum search results are pretty useless

Sorry if this is the wrong place to put this, but I can't find anywhere to send feedback for website issues.

When I search the forum, the list of results I get appear to be unsorted. There doesn't appear to be any way to sort them. The problem is that results from 2014 aren't really useful for a problem I'm having today with the latest version. The search options often don't help because in my experience many searches return hundreds or thousands of results. Additionally since it searches using stem keywords, and that doesn't seem to be able to be changed, there are lots of similar but unrelated results. A search that contains the word "share" will return every article/post that has the word "shared" in it too. Between these two issues the search is not really that useful for any search that returns more than a a few dozen results. It would be immensely useful to be able to sort the results by date, author, etc.

Thanks!


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Comments

  • MrCMrC Community Moderator

    @jboren ,

    Most forum software native search results are poor. Try instead using site-specific Google search for better results:

    site:discussions.agilebits.com  share
    
  • Hi @MrC

    Thanks for the suggestion but google has 'retired' the ability to sort results by date, so the results are just as jumbled.

    https://support.google.com/websearch/thread/3578318

    Thanks!
    Joe

  • MrCMrC Community Moderator

    @jboren,

    Yes, indeed.

    But you can limit the time period, or add more qualifiers to both filter and push more appropriate results to the top (like find "share" but not "shared"). Some simple searches will always be challenging.

    The Vanilla Forums software used for this forum here will never be search-wise as advanced, nor do the 1Password folks have that much influence over their software development priorities.

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @jboren: I wouldn't say "useless", and they're certainly not unsorted (you'll see the most recent results first), but I completely agree that the search here is not great a lot of the time. You really need to know what you're looking for usually to find it...and even when I do sometimes I can't. So MrC is right that Google's site search can really come in handy. And of course, worst case scenario, you post a question about something and we merge it with an existing discussion on the topic where appropriate. :)

  • @MrC ,
    Thanks for the response. You are correct, one can kind of do the same thing with the advanced search options on the forum search, but after a little testing, I can get better results from google with some dorking around. Thanks for the advice!

    @brenty ,
    Fair enough, 'useless' is too harsh. I probably shouldn't post feedback at the end of a long day... :)
    MrC is right in my experience, the search features in most forum software range from mediocre, to "that isn't what the word search means." I guess I was naively hoping you guys were using something that would be capable of being changed in that way, but I suppose we all make best use of the tools we have at hand.

    Thanks again, both of you. Appreciate the cheerful help.

    Best,
    Joe

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @jboren: Hey, no offense taken or anything. Believe me when I say I know just how frustrating it can be to not be able to find what I want when I need to -- especially here in the forum! :lol: We're able to customize the forum software in primarily cosmetic ways, so I do believe that rolling our own search here would not be possible. But if there is ever a good upgrade available that helps with search or other "quality of life" things I'm sure we'll jump on it. In the mean time, "make best use of the tools we have at hand" are words to live by. hehe ;)

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