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Improved Posting Due To Elastic Search

Anthony Parsons

Well-known member
#1
After purchasing ES for my main site, after only a few days with it running, there is a approximate 40% increase in daily postings all due to members being able to now efficiently find content quickly, the first time, thus posting onto it.

Before, so many search queries weren't being returned due to the inefficiency of MySQL search.

As a result, bugger the big board approach, I'm going to be installing ES on all my sites simply due to the fact it is showing a clear and significant increase in posting since its installation a few days ago, and my server stats aren't showing any increase in traffic to account for it.

These figures have been quite steady for months, bar the obvious decrease for the holiday period.

Screen shot 2012-01-25 at 5.00.06 PM.png

Obviously I will monitor this... though there is nothing new to account for such an increase in posting other than a vastly improved search capability.

Just goes to show how one small improvement can dramatically change users actions when they can accurately find content.
 

DeltaHF

Well-known member
#4
Thanks for sharing that. Not the results I would expect at all, are you sure nothing else could account for the sudden increase?
 

Brent W

Well-known member
#5
Look forward to seeing results going forward. Was there an announcement made that may have lead to a higher than normal usage of the search?
 

digitalpoint

Well-known member
#8
Will definitely be interesting to see if it stays up like that... To be completely honest, a 40% increasing in posting simply because of a faster/better search makes me think there was some other contributing factor. And if people are searching more, I would think they would post LESS since they might find existing topics already. I can't imagine anything someone could search for that would make them post MORE. But if that ends up being the case long-term somehow, great!

If 1% of my users searched before posting it would be an improvement.
 

Anthony Parsons

Well-known member
#9
Look forward to seeing results going forward. Was there an announcement made that may have lead to a higher than normal usage of the search?
Yes, I did make an announcement, though that only caters the initial spike... even with the last batch of statistics, the results are still accumulatively higher than before.

For example, my old search couldn't even find "cup", where now it can, as its relevant to a busy page on my site.

I am going to monitor over a period and see what happens.
 

Anthony Parsons

Well-known member
#10
So far... results have tapered to a 30% increase in posting since the ES installation.

If 1% of my users searched before posting it would be an improvement.
I actually had the same attitude to be honest, as I struggled to use the search on my own site due to it simply not returning the results for my searches via MySQL.

Now I use a little more just because it is returning better results.

I compare this to using Bing vs. Google. When you're used to Bing returning crap results, and that may be all you have to work with, then you accept it and put up with it, though likely use it less. When you suddenly have Google returning closer to what you're searching, suddenly you use it more.

I place my posting improvement due to search to the common catch phrase, "Google It!" When it works well, you use it. When it doesn't, you just post first and rely on older members to find and source information from memory.
 

Anthony Parsons

Well-known member
#13
I doubt you would see any difference if your SQL was configured to allow for lesser searches. One letter... that must be one hell of a search index table for MySQL! :eek:
 

jonsidneyb

Well-known member
#16
I have 713,663 so I don't meet the magic million post count number I have seen.

I should look at what else this brings to the table. I want a 3 letter search. What other things does this have that will make me want this?
 

CTXMedia

Formerly CyclingTribe
#17
Speed - it's faster than MySQL fulltext search on larger datasets.

Quicker reindexing - in my experience it reindexes much faster than MySQL standard search (not something that needs doing with any sort of regularity, but useful when you do have to reindex).

Stemming - which matches similar words and can help bring back a broader set of results than a fixed "absolute" term search; for example, searching for "load" may also bring back results containing loaded, loading and loads. (I find this feature very helpful on CycleChat and will be adding XFES to GeeksChat once my budget allows - despite it's small size.)

Cheers,
Shaun :D
 

Anthony Parsons

Well-known member
#19
I have 713,663 so I don't meet the magic million post count number I have seen.
Argh... I have this installed on two forums with less than 20,000 posts, just because it's faster, better search results overall, than what MySQL provides.

I haven't seen any impact on CPU, only an increase in RAM usage as a result of using this over MySQL. A lot less calls to the DB though now on my larger site, which is still under 500k...

I think a million posts is stretched IMO... this is viable on even the smallest startup forums.
 

jonsidneyb

Well-known member
#20
Argh... I have this installed on two forums with less than 20,000 posts, just because it's faster, better search results overall, than what MySQL provides.

I haven't seen any impact on CPU, only an increase in RAM usage as a result of using this over MySQL. A lot less calls to the DB though now on my larger site, which is still under 500k...

I think a million posts is stretched IMO... this is viable on even the smallest startup forums.
How much did your ram usage go up? I am still on vB but I hope to be moved soon. We are building the new forum now and Kim is skinning it.

I hope that XenForo uses less ram to make up for the increase in ram that the better search will use.