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Synonym support for XF Search

Discussion in 'Enhanced Search Suggestions' started by Alfa1, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    There is a lot of difference between the effectiveness of the XenForo search engine and Google. Google is simply so much better and effective in finding what you need on a XenForo website. IMO it's a difference of night and day.
    The main reason is that Google finds synonyms and paraphrasing. The XenForo search function does not.

    Please add support for synonyms to XenForo.

    Elastic Search allows webmaster to define specific synonyms so the functionality is there. The issue is that it does not have a list of millions of synonym definitions included and there is no way for a webmaster to add this.

    I know its probably a complex matter to add this, but IMHO it's a crucial matter.
     
    Xon, Marcus and Adam Howard like this.
  2. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

  3. Marcus

    Marcus Well-Known Member

    I'd pay 50 USD for a Google CSE integration. I took a look into the search handler but it is a bit more complex for me than the other stuff I program for xenForo.
     
  4. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Well-Known Member

  5. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    Adam Howard likes this.
  6. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Well-Known Member

    Yep... You would have to supply a list. It wouldn't make sense to include one globally since what (or how) you want to treat as a synonym is going to vary for each site.
     
    Bob and xf_phantom like this.
  7. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    Such list would contain pretty much all existing words, so its not really possible to compile such list.
    Off course there are very specific synonyms for each subject matter, but my suggestion does not pertain to that.
    My suggestion pertains to the hundreds of thousands of possible synonyms in common language.


    For example: if you search Google for 'newest bulletin board software' then Google will also serve up results with 'latest' 'forum' message board' software.
     
  8. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Well-Known Member

    The thing with Google is they don't have a synonym list... rather Google is very good at understanding what the page itself is about. When you base it off a straight word list, you start running into all sorts of problems... you search for "newest bulletin board", and the search parser also thinks you are looking for "contemporary press release plank", and in the end your relevancy of search results is going to go WAY down unless you are *only* calling out the synonyms unique to your site/industry.

    It's just not realistic to handle all synonyms of the English language if you ever want to get any sort of relevant search results.

    So unless you have a way to understand the context of what a page is about as a whole (like Google does), it would be really bad.
     
    Alfa1, Jeremy, Mike and 2 others like this.
  9. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    Good point. Do you think there is a solution to making the search engine understand what a page is about or improving search results in a similar way?
     
  10. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Well-Known Member

    Your best bet would be to just use the Google API... But it costs for more than 100 searches a day, and won't search stuff that's not public.
     
  11. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    That doesn't really help then. Hopefully an alternative will come along in time.
     

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