View Full Version : The Search Function

January 6th, 2006, 09:05 AM
I Can't realize that How to explore this Message Board with similar keywords instead of exact words.
I searched for similar keywords in http://www.google.com (http://www.google.com) and
http://www.boardexplorer.com (http://www.boardexplorer.com) and I found this Message Board.
However inside the site I could not find any smart search. you have to know exact words to find related topics
any recommendation?

Someone wrote this in this thread...


I am not sure if he/she is having the problem I seem to been having but...

I do have a problem searching on this site as well... when I do the general search a wile back... I will do it like this:

WORD1 and WORD2 and WORD3 - A while back I will only get the thread that will have all the 3 words in it, or 2, and etc.

Now I get lots of threads for each of the words in it. Meaning the 'and' that unite the words failed.

Maybe Edward is trying to fix that problem but it is been a while... anyone knows whats up with the search option?

January 6th, 2006, 12:31 PM
The recent software update, from vBulletin version 3.0 to 3.5 changed the way search function works. Unfortunately, this change was not well documented.

The new search uses MySql database functions in order to reduce the load on the server, since generally the search is server-intensive task.

The new search has two different search options. The default one is very easy on the server, but is less accurate. It will return threads with any word in the search string, i.e. if you are searching for Empire State Building, it will include threads that have only word Empire, only State, only Building, and also these words together - a lot of threads, many not relevant.

The other option is more accurate (and server-intensive). If you look at the Search (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/search.php) page, on the bottom left there is a box called Search Type. The default selection is Natural Language, and this is the less-accurate, faster version that I described above. The more accurate type is called Boolean. Select this option for the more accurate search.

You can use the wild-card character * in the search string with the boolean option. For example, searching for emp* will return posts not only with the word empire, but also employee and empty. You can use boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT with this option. For example, searching for the following string - empire and state and building - will return threads where all three words are present. You can search for phrases with the use of quotes. For example, searching for "empire state building" will return only threads with this exact phrase.

On the Search page there are several options that can help you with searching. Right below the box where you type your keywords there is a box that allows you to select the option of searching only in the thread titles or all the posts. To make the search in thread titles more accurate, the thread title must be well designed; for example, I tried to have threads about condominium developments in the real estate section to have the word Condo in the thread title.

You can also narrow down your search to particular forums - only in Skyscrapers and Architecture for example, or only in New York Skyscrapers and Architecture. Using Ctrl+click you can select any combination of forums.

January 10th, 2006, 11:49 AM
You can also search using Google by adding site:wirednewyork.com to the query string. That will return pages both from the website and forum. For example, you can use the following string - empire state building site:wirednewyork.com - to search for Empire State Building pages. Using Google is more accurate sometimes.

November 11th, 2006, 12:29 AM
I have added Google Co-op Custom Search Engine (http://www.google.com/coop/cse?cx=001432333826361617579%3Ae4awwk8qbz4) box on the top right. That searches both website and forum, is fast and user-friendly although it might not index the most latest threads.

November 14th, 2006, 11:50 PM
Also it is now required that you enter in a code for the search feature if you're not logged in. Im not sure for the reasoning behind that, but it creates further incentive for becoming a member.

November 15th, 2006, 07:37 AM
Image Verification software to distinguish humans from bots (robots), that can't read the number/letter pattern.

June 20th, 2007, 09:40 PM
As requested I've moved this inquiry from the "Moderator (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=171454&postcount=83)" thread ...

It seems something is wrong with the SEARCH Function (or perhaps it's just Greek to me) ...

For example if I do an advanced search and type in the "key word" as "Fifth" the search tells me:

Sorry - no matches. Please try some different termsAnd if I type in as "key words": "Fifth Avenue" I get pages of results (seemingly 84 threads total), all with "Avenue" in the title, but only some which contain both words "Fifth" and "Avenue" in the title -- so it seems the search function recognizes "Avenue" but not "Fifth". I'm not sure why that is so.

Also if I type in "Third" I get the "Sorry - no matches" response. Same thing happens when I type in "First" and "Tenth".

That ^^^ led me to think that any key word with 5 letters or less would result in the "Sorry - no matches" response.

But apparently that is not so ...

If I type in "Sixth" I get loads of matches. Same with "Ninth".

Wondering why this is so when all have 5 letters? It really is not helpful when searching for NYC locations (and also seems to lack consistency) ...

FINALLY -- When typing in a two-letter "key word" for a specific search ("GV" for Greenwich Village) the following was the response, wherein the vBulletin claims that a 3-letter search should yield results (but my experience tells me otherwise):


vBulletin Message
The search term you specified (GV) is under the minimum word length (3)
and therefore will not be found. Please make this term longer.

Perhaps I'm making this all more complicated than it needs to be ...

So if someone can tell me how to simplify my searches but get the results I'm hoping for then it will be greatly appreciated :D

June 20th, 2007, 10:27 PM
I use the Google search first.

The disadvantages are that you can't search a particular forum, and you can't specify search titles only.

But if you come up with good keywords, put them inside quotes, and follow with the word forum to filter out results from the WNY webpage, the results are good.

And it's fast.

June 21st, 2007, 12:06 AM
There is a default limit of minimum 3 characters for vBulletin search. I am not sure why "Fifth" produces no results. Like Zippy, I usually use the Google search - the box in the upper right corner. It's fast and you can use Google advanced search features (http://www.google.com/intl/en/help/refinesearch.html) such as negative keywords, operators, synonyms.

The effectiveness of search depends on good descriptive thread titles - which Rapunzel tried to point out recently.