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10-08-2008, 11:32 AM   #1
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What's with the search engine?

Is it just my imagination, or does this web site have one of the worst search engines on the internet? A couple of days ago I posted a message relating my experience with the Tamron 70-200 f2.8 lens thinking that perhaps it would be of value to those who were considering either it or the Sigma variant. Having previously experienced being unable to find a thread or info I knew had been posted, I thought I would enter "Tamron 70-200 f2.8", and see what happened. As you probably expected, I got the old nothing found message, and mine was neither the first nor only posting about this lens. This forum has the potential to be a real storehouse of information, but without a decently functioning search engine that potential is wasted. Anyone else with similar thoughts?

CN

10-08-2008, 12:14 PM   #2
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Adam readily admits that the search engine isn't that good. His usual advice is to search via google (including Pentax forums in the search string of course).
10-08-2008, 12:24 PM   #3
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Enter this

Code:
"Tamron 70-200 f2.8" site:http://www.pentaxforums.com
into Google and see you get.
10-08-2008, 12:37 PM   #4
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Just your imagination

Remember that the more terms you put in, the more (irrelevant) results you get. Try to only type "70-200", or use the advanced search.


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10-08-2008, 06:25 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by scatron Quote
Enter this

Code:
"Tamron 70-200 f2.8" site:http://www.pentaxforums.com
into Google and see you get.
OK, I found the post. I just wonder how many members of this forum are going to be computer sophisticated enough to know to search in this manner.

CN
10-08-2008, 09:36 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clem Nichols Quote
OK, I found the post. I just wonder how many members of this forum are going to be computer sophisticated enough to know to search in this manner.
Unfortunately, some sites have weak search engines or engines that aren't updated quickly so you can't find a recent posting, so many users have had to learn the "site:" qualifier in Google searching.

Dan.
10-08-2008, 10:11 PM   #7
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Or just check your own profile for threads you've posted in...
10-09-2008, 02:02 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by legacyb4 Quote
Or just check your own profile for threads you've posted in...
That would definitely the best way to check up on your own posts (if you haven't created any thread subscriptions). There's a convenient link in the Quick Links dropdown.


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10-09-2008, 07:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by legacyb4
Or just check your own profile for threads you've posted in...



I can see where that would work if I had posted a question and was searching for answers to my question, but in this particular case I was posting information I thought might be of value to others who would have no way of knowing this information had been posted by me a unless they dug through the posts one by one. Needless to say, I don't seek to gain knowledge by reading my own posts. That would be analagous to someone who could only find on Wikipedia that information which they, themselves, had posted. I'm not really complaining, mind you. I enjoy this forum very much. I just think it would be a much more valuable resource if it had a more user-friendly search engine. :-)

CN
10-10-2008, 05:30 AM   #10
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The internal search function ain't that great but it DOES work.

Google monitors (or whatever its called) PF quite well. I often see threads from here on google alerts, before I even come in here, every morning.
10-16-2008, 10:30 AM   #11
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It just goes with the territory. I usually have better luck using the "advanced search" feature and entering terms for "title only". I'm on a couple other vBulletin format forums and the search engine is exactly the same - no worse - no better. For me the most frustrating thing is not being able to search three letter words unless you put it inside quotations and even then.
10-16-2008, 10:41 AM   #12
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The 3 letter rule is actually part of mySQL's configured limits. FULLTEXT indexes by default are configured to toss out anything shorter than 4 characters for performance reasons. You can override this in the mySQL server configuration but it does noticably impact the overall database performance on databases with a lot of write IO (like a forum) if you do so, unless your server has the horsepower to handle the load.
10-16-2008, 03:34 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Venturi Quote
The 3 letter rule is actually part of mySQL's configured limits. FULLTEXT indexes by default are configured to toss out anything shorter than 4 characters for performance reasons. You can override this in the mySQL server configuration but it does noticably impact the overall database performance on databases with a lot of write IO (like a forum) if you do so, unless your server has the horsepower to handle the load.
Which is why we're keeping it at a 4-character limit.

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10-16-2008, 03:56 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
That would definitely the best way to check up on your own posts (if you haven't created any thread subscriptions). There's a convenient link in the Quick Links dropdown.
As the site grows (I love that it is growing!) I would be pretty lost without my subscriptions. I'm not sure about the search engine as I've not used it. But keeping track of any post I want to is not a problem at all. I either post to it (which automatically subscribes to it with my preferences) or subscribe to it and I can find it easily with the site tools provided.

I've been using INTERNET forums for at least the past 10 years and this is by far the best organized and functional site I've ever used.
10-23-2008, 04:03 AM   #15
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False negative

I tried to search for threads on the Pentax SMC-FA 50mm f/1.4 lens and typed in

50mm f1.4

in to the search field (the same happens in the "Advanced Search"). The result is "Sorry - no matches. Please try some different terms.".

However, when I just type

50mm

threads are found.

In particular there is a thread entitled "Why I love the Pentax 50mm f1.4". This thread is also found when I type in

Why I love

.
Its difficult to make sense of this behaviour.
I know I can google for forum content, but I think it is suboptimal that the search function delivers misleading results. Too many results are not nice but indicating there are no threads when there are actually are threads, is unfortunate.

If the vBulletin search function cannot be fixed it might be worth considering adding a custom google search field, which automatically adds the "site:www.pentaxforums.com/forums/" to any search terms entered.
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