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Xenforo Search Improvement Ideas

Digital Doctor

Well-known member
stackoverflow
Interesting website.



We don’t run Stack Overflow. You do. Stack Overflow is collaboratively built and maintained by your fellow programmers. Once the system learns to trust you, you’ll be able to edit anything, much like Wikipedia. With your help, we can build good answers to every imaginable programming question together. No matter what programming language you use, or what operating system you call home – better programming is our goal.

Stack Overflow is as frictionless and painless to use as we could make it. We believe finding the right answer to your programming questions should be as easy as falling into the pit of success … and maybe even a little fun along the way.

What’s so special about this? Well, nothing, really. But we synthesize aspects of Wikis, Blogs, Forums, and Digg/Reddit in a way that we think is original.

http://stackoverflow.com/about
http://stackoverflow.com/privileges
 

Digital Doctor

Well-known member
I am doing this addon one way or another for the purpose of tagging stuff. I am doing it for the site I am designing for, and then for public release (paid version) of this system as well.
Cool.
Are you using Tagging specifically for the goal making stuff easier to find ?

Have you made any decisions about your addon yet ?
 

Digital Doctor

Well-known member
I would like to see the ability for the admin to set search results as threads by default - the member can change it back if they want, but I dont see the need for multiple posts from the same thread to come back on a given search.
Especially true here at xenforo.com - although I usually use title searching (and it is very convenient).
 

Uniphix

Active member
Cool.
Are you using Tagging specifically for the goal making stuff easier to find ?

Have you made any decisions about your addon yet ?
Yes the goal is to make things eaiser to find, but not render the default keyword searching which is just as good... The design is that you can use Keyword, Tag, or Both... more than likely i'll end up having the search template to have just one box and then use a prefix tag:<tags[,]> in the keyword to have it search tags... kinda like on google you can do site:<domain_name> <search query>... Goal is to minimize the whole concept of having to have two text boxes in the search and then that way I don't have to modify anything in the official search for this add-on. Just adjust the Search Data Content etc.

I am still doing this add-on :) just doing major planning before I do the design/coding.
 

Uniphix

Active member
Especially true here at xenforo.com - although I usually use title searching (and it is very convenient).
Searching works just fine on xenForo.com and other sites. Our site has resources, and sometimes our resources do not have something in the description for that resource. For example we could have an image that needs to include searching content of China... But in the description or title (resource name) has nothing in reference of china. therefore we have to add in the description "china" or something of that sort so that it pulls up. This is where tagging will be benificial. Because sometimes in other places like threads/posts that is a different story, more than likely you will reference china in your discussions. but some cases you may have other things that also relate to that thread/posts that have NOT been identified yet...
 

Uniphix

Active member
I particularly like the Order By: Relevance option.
I do too :)... That is actually a good idea to implement better ordering of search results... This could benefit a lot of add-on from having to create search changes or create their own... You could utilize xenForo.com's search engine to search shopping stuff if someone decided to create a product like store system :)...
 

digitalpoint

Well-known member
Since the XF developers are working on the big board search, I'll jump in with things I've built for our vB4 Sphinx search that we have ended up being fantastically useful for admins/mods...

Behind the scenes, we have 3 levels of searchable content...

- Content searchable by guests (just your standard public stuff... posts, etc.)
- Content searchable by logged in users (a user can for example use the normal global search and will get things that only THEY can search for... for example their private messages [conversations in XF lingo])
- Content searchable only by admins/mods (this includes things like users, user notes, etc.). We also make the contents of the changelog table searchable as part of a user search. So as an example, if you search for an email address, any user that EVER used that email will show up (even if it's not their current email). All parts of the user record are searchable within the "user search" for admins/mods... signatures, emails, custom profile fields, etc.

For mods/admins we can filter search by IP address as well... if you enter just an IP in the global search, it will return all content created by that IP. It's a filter type system so if you do a normal search query with an IP address in it, it will only return matching results that are related to that IP. So for example if you search for "billy bob 1.2.3.4", a regex sees the IP, strips it out of the actual query, and makes it find results that would come up for "billy bob", but then filter those results by that IP.

For user search, we've made it part of 2 different levels... some things about a user is searchable by anyone (public info basically... username, publicly viewable custom fields, signatures, etc.) and then mods/admins are able to search *anything* about the user.

Keep in mind that I built this to also be simple... it uses the normal global search, it does NOT push you into a complex sub-system where you can search a specific field (you can use the built-in user search in AdminCP for that)... It's quite handy for tracking down spammers for example... pop in the domain into the global search and you not only see normal content, you can see users that might have used an email within that domain historically or users that have a signature pointing to the domain.

Mods/admins have come to rely on it so much, I suspect I'll end up needing to extend XF's big board search to include similar functionality if it doesn't do things like that out of the box.
 

dihuta

Formerly Dinh Thanh
Tags are a form of taxonomy, and really don't have much to do with SEO other than supplying another link to the page.
This is not exactly.
Our forum tag pages are top of position on google search. It drive more than 15% traffic to my forum (vbulletin).

There are more 70% my top 10 google search pages are tag page.
 

Forsaken

Well-known member
This is not exactly.
Our forum tag pages are top of position on google search. It drive more than 15% traffic to my forum (vbulletin).

There are more 70% my top 10 google search pages are tag page.
Even though they might rank highly, they are not directly related to SEO.

Also 70% of your results being tag pages is bad. Your top search results should be content and your home page and maybe a few other pages having to do with your site. I bet if you track those pages, you'll have a high bounce rate going from the tag list to the content list.

Tags are for members, not search engines.
 

dihuta

Formerly Dinh Thanh
Sample tag page, in-page analytics.
Bounce rate in tag pages are not higher than site average.

tagpage.png
 
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