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Test Out New Search, Delivering More Relevant, Faster Results

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Darrius Gothly wrote:


Pussycat Catnap wrote:


Ann Otoole wrote:

Relevance looks great. Some people will need to adjust their "SEO Strategies" though. The best strategy is to not try to cheat/game the system IMHO.

Yep, at least hopefully. If you want to be the top shoe store in SL now, start making and selling actual shoes.
:D

(replace shoe with whatever is fitting to a given place).

 

This is a sentiment I hear all the time .. and yet has all the proof of Santa Claus. Here's the v1.x search for "shoe"



What are the top results?









Do I need to go on? They are all shoe stores or stores that sell enough shoes to include the word in the name of their store. It's this "conventional wisdom" (a euphemism for oft-repeated BS) that has caused people to turn away from what is actually a useful tool, to treat it as a useless tool, and to spit vitriol at it over and over again .. without actual proof.

If your store isn't in Search, find a way to get it there. If it is in Search, then keep doing what you've been doing. But claiming that the people that show up in Search for the word "shoe" are not shoe stores is just flat out wrong.

Darius you've been in enough discussions on search where people have exemplified the flaws to know that it wasn't working anywhere near as well as it should. The argument was generally why the hell is that irrelevant looking parcel ranking above relevant parcels.

Whether new search is going to change we don't really know, but there were issues with search that people have been complaining about since it changed and you've been in those discussions and despaired at the results too.

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Aquarius Paravane wrote:

 

Land Search

People who are looking for "real estate " do so based on price, prims and square meters. The name of the parcel is not required and not useful. It must be possible to initiate a land search without a search string. The behavior of the left hand search fields and top bar for land search is strange - inputs in one have unexpected consequences in the other. I don't have time to work through this in detail. If I try to delete the search string and search without it, it just comes back again. The sale and rent radio buttons change settings without being clicked. The right answer is probably to have one set of controls and input fields rather than two. Like the V 1 search user interface.

You are right about modes, I agree with you, it's not obvious that you can enter search without using a search term but if you just click the magnifying glass next to the search window then you can use events, destination guide and real estate without the need for a search term and then in real estate you can set your land sizes.

This isn't, to me anyway, intuitive, but it does work.

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From the Search project Viewer FAQ:

"In addition, if you are listing a rental on a private estate, you need to set the parcel for sale. We recommend that you set the price as the weekly rental price, and disclose any other setup fees or deposits in the description."

What does THAT mean!!?? Does this not mean that in fact the new search system cannot handle real "Rentals" on a private sim? If the parcel is bought, then it's no longer a rental.... duh....

 

Sudane..................................

 

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Ciaran Laval wrote:

Darius you've been in enough discussions on search where people have exemplified the flaws to know that it wasn't working anywhere near as well as it should. The argument was generally why the hell is that irrelevant looking parcel ranking above relevant parcels.

Whether new search is going to change we don't really know, but there were issues with search that people have been complaining about since it changed and you've been in those discussions and despaired at the results too.

I've not only been IN enough of them, I've started enough of them too .. which is why I feel particularly qualified to render such an opinion.

From the get-go the choice of the GSA was a poor choice. I wasn't the only voice shouting that battle cry either. But now they've made a change to something that makes even less sense .. and this is where I just shake my head.

At the core of the new search is a product called SOLR/Apache. It is a wrapper/application that has quite a large fan-base, written in Java and hosted on Apache web servers. Under the covers it is Lucene, yet another famous and highly popular search engine. Sounds good so far, right?

But now we have to investigate some track records. Lucene is the same search engine used on Marketplace. The self-same engine that finds and retrieves all items containing "red" and all items containing "shoes" when you search for "red shoes". They've been pounding on it for months and months and gotten ... no where. Search still returns totally irrelevant results, doesn't handle long-tail searches, and generally is eschewed by shoppers.

Hiding the Lucene engine inside the SOLR wrapper doesn't magically cure its ills either. If anything, it compounds them. You see, the SOLR Search Syntax is an extension of Lucene's. The Query Generator front-end to Lucene is extended so that it feeds generated search strings into SOLR which then parses out the stuff it wants and passes the rest onto Lucene. So they've stood on the shoulders of a complicated package, which is standing on the shoulders of a complicated search engine .. one they have not been able to master or properly employ on the relatively limited realm of Marketplace.

They've jumbled results up .. and yes, some folks who previously didn't show up are suddenly finding their listings and thus .. Voila! Search is HEALED!!

But it's not. The Lucene method of keyword searching is ambivalent to such common constructs as "Philip Linden" vs. "Linden Philip". The GSA would at least recognize those two as separate phrases and return different results .. which is as it should be. But the SOLR package standing on the Lucene engine sees this as two searches, one for the word "Philip" and one for the word "Linden" .. and then merges the results of the two. Backwards speak well as might we. (grin)

Today, any "fix" .. especially one with trumpets of "Glorious Success is OURS!" are welcomed by the masses. A few voices here and there that have not been able to (or have not devoted the effort to) appear in Search before sing the chorus and validate the glory. But the final notes are not played yet, and my observations at this point are that they've under-implemented and under-engineered this ... using the phenomenal (cough) success they had with Marketplace.

I don't have high hopes. But .. I will be happy if they prove me wrong.

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Luc Starsider wrote:


Cerise Sorbet wrote:

LL did not say that any of the following would work, so don't depend on them to keep working. It can be fun to experiment anyway.

  • Skip this one if editing the viewer's default setting files is outside your comfort zone.
     At least for the moment, any 2.x viewer can use the new search. The SearchURL debug setting is too long to change from inside the viewer, but it works (for now) to change search.secondlife.com to search-beta.secondlife.com in app_settings.settings,xml, leaving all the following parameters intact.

 

You can use the search URL in an external browser, too. Not sure how well it works, but a quick search to test it seems to work fine.

[EDIT] Some links on the search page and in results that are in the form of secondlife:///path/to/result. These will not work in an external browser.

[EDIT2] Under Events in the filter menu in an external browser (don't know if it is the same in the viewer) there is one check box for 'Happening now' and one for 'Ongoing'. Perhaps only one of these are needed?

- Luc -

Looks like it works fine in a browser as long as you don't click the "More Info" "Teleport" or "Map" buttons or a link to a profile. At that point it will launch the SL viewer (tested on a Mac). I am a bit puzzled it don't link to the profile on my.secondlife.com 

 

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Yep, Pam! This is exactly what I see. Any parcel below 1000 m should not even be able to be near the top, unless there are just not alot of results. I see these parcels all over the results.

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I've been playing with it some more and this really is a major improvement.

To reiterate, however, we need a way to get from a search result to the corresponding world.secondlife.com page for the parcel.

If it's just not within the design of the new Search window (which is a major improvement over the earlier V2 search window), then worst case it can open in another window or even an external browser. But those "Go" buttons are extremely valuable, along with the ability to do text search within that result, and otherwise see details of everything on the parcel set to show in search.  Don't hide all that value!

And whatever else is done, please, please do not remove those world.. pages !  I hope those are still what the new search engine crawls.  (If it's using something else, I trust it still has all the show-in-search articles on the parcel.  Right?)

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Medhue Simoni wrote:

Yep, Pam! This is exactly what I see. Any parcel below 1000 m should not even be able to be near the top, unless there are just not alot of results. I see these parcels all over the results.

Why? If the parcel is relevant, why does its size matter? We went through this with the alleged parcel size bias, a larger parcel doesn't make it more relevant for any given search.

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I thought it was about time that search got fixed, but after looking at Torley's video, I can quickly see that it is not yet.

Torley does a search on "beachfront", but look what happens when he sorts them by "area' (00:1:47 in the video), #2 is Anik's Fierce Bunnies, and #3,4 and 5 are Protected Roadside. There is something deeply wrong with search, and its not only related to the tags.

If someone can try it with this new 'new-search' (because I won't), do a search on "blues". You know, blues music, or I got the blues. See if it returns everything tagged "blue" (no 's'). Returning results by truncating the search word is exactly what search shouldn't do. 

Another good reason to stick with 1.23

 

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Yanik Lytton wrote:

If someone can try it with this new 'new-search' (because I won't), do a search on "blues". You know, blues music, or I got the blues. See if it returns everything tagged "blue" (no 's'). Returning results by truncating the search word is exactly what search shouldn't do.  

It does pretty well inworld. It does not do so well when viewed from a regular web browser, because very few places rated General are exact matches.

blues search.png

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Ciaran Laval wrote:


Medhue Simoni wrote:

Yep, Pam! This is exactly what I see. Any parcel below 1000 m should not even be able to be near the top, unless there are just not alot of results. I see these parcels all over the results.

Why? If the parcel is relevant, why does its size matter? We went through this with the alleged parcel size bias, a larger parcel doesn't make it more relevant for any given search.

If you are looking for dining rooms it does. A 512 would not have enough prims for one of mine with the food all rezzed.  And I have 40+.

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Medhue Simoni wrote:

Yep, Pam! This is exactly what I see. Any parcel below 1000 m should not even be able to be near the top, unless there are just not alot of results. I see these parcels all over the results.

This is just not true. I want relevant results, not big parcels.

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Pamela Galli wrote:


Ciaran Laval wrote:


Medhue Simoni wrote:

Yep, Pam! This is exactly what I see. Any parcel below 1000 m should not even be able to be near the top, unless there are just not alot of results. I see these parcels all over the results.

Why? If the parcel is relevant, why does its size matter? We went through this with the alleged parcel size bias, a larger parcel doesn't make it more relevant for any given search.

If you are looking for dining rooms it does. A 512 would not have enough prims for one of mine with the food all rezzed.  And I have 40+.

That just means you need to learn efficient prim management.

 

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Liking this new search so far. And this new viewer.

 

Its a -LOT- faster. V2 was already fast, now its even better. Not quite up to MMO speeds, but SL doesn't feel sluggish by comparision to me now.

 

The most interesting thins is when I search on my own name, and use the people tab, some of the people have 'A' rating next to them. I remember people wanting the ability to only show their profile in Adult, so they could have adult profiles. Looks like that's here now.

 pussycatsearch.jpg

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Ok, this search is officially messed up. Check this out. I do a search for animation today, and this is what I get. On my sim, I have a small cinema type of theatre. It was thrown together and just shows videos and movies that I like on Youtube. As far as I know, It just has the word animation in the name. How the heck is it ranked 12th for the word animation?

mycinema.jpg

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Darrius Gothly wrote:


Pussycat Catnap wrote:


Ann Otoole wrote:

Relevance looks great. Some people will need to adjust their "SEO Strategies" though. The best strategy is to not try to cheat/game the system IMHO.

Yep, at least hopefully. If you want to be the top shoe store in SL now, start making and selling actual shoes.
:D

(replace shoe with whatever is fitting to a given place).

 

This is a sentiment I hear all the time .. and yet has all the proof of Santa Claus. Here's the v1.x search for "shoe"

Shoes was not an ideal example - the shoe stores have self policied themselves and people selling sexbeds or jazz DJing don't generally put 'shoe' in their name...

Try 'neko' or 'furry' for mass confusion.

Elemination of traffic from the results will mean that places that are about or for furries and nekos will rise over places that are say, malls that use those terms in search and have only 1 or 2 if any relevancy to neko or furry.

- Neko and furry being just two potential items that tend to get gamed like that to the point of now being valueless in search.

 

 

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Cerise Sorbet wrote:

It does pretty well inworld. It does
not
do so well when viewed from a regular web browser, because very few places rated General are exact matches.

blues search.png


Wait! After dumping profiles into web profiles so you can - Warning! Extremely new feature! - now open several profiles at the same time, we now get a search with the same filters old Viewer 1 search already had and that will actually work as Viewer 1 search always did? Wow! I'm really impressed how LL managed to make everything worse first and then bring old wine back in new skin and present that as major improvement! Is it only me that feels fooled by now?

But anyway: Then I'm waiting until they bring a major improvement to the UI - which will most probably a reminiscene of good old Viewer 1 UI!

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Pamela Galli wrote:


Ciaran Laval wrote:


Medhue Simoni wrote:

Yep, Pam! This is exactly what I see. Any parcel below 1000 m should not even be able to be near the top, unless there are just not alot of results. I see these parcels all over the results.

Why? If the parcel is relevant, why does its size matter? We went through this with the alleged parcel size bias, a larger parcel doesn't make it more relevant for any given search.

If you are looking for dining rooms it does. A 512 would not have enough prims for one of mine with the food all rezzed.  And I have 40+.

This will always be a problem, a 512 parcel could have 117 dining related products on it, but you score very well for dining sets, dining tables, dining furniture and dining chairs. I personally wouldn't want to find your parcel at the top if I was just searching for dining as I'd be looking for virtual restaurants and diners.

However with the range of products you have, you should be near the top if I'm looking for dining furniture, and it looks as if you are.

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Ciaran Laval wrote:


Pamela Galli wrote:


Ciaran Laval wrote:


Medhue Simoni wrote:

Yep, Pam! This is exactly what I see. Any parcel below 1000 m should not even be able to be near the top, unless there are just not alot of results. I see these parcels all over the results.

Why? If the parcel is relevant, why does its size matter? We went through this with the alleged parcel size bias, a larger parcel doesn't make it more relevant for any given search.

If you are looking for dining rooms it does. A 512 would not have enough prims for one of mine with the food all rezzed.  And I have 40+.

This will always be a problem, a 512 parcel could have 117 dining related products on it, but you score very well for dining sets, dining tables, dining furniture and dining chairs. I personally wouldn't want to find your parcel at the top if I was just searching for dining as I'd be looking for virtual restaurants and diners.

However with the range of products you have, you should be near the top if I'm looking for dining furniture, and it looks as if you are.

There does not need to be a bias for larger parcels. The problem is how the search ranks things. It does not make any sense that a merchant with a small parcel can out rank a merchant who owns a large parcel and sells hundreds of what the person is searching for. Parcels size does not even need to be relevant if the search worked correctly.

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If each new feature requires a new viewer - a full release of the entire viewer -   It says to me that the Lindens didn't learn the idea of modularity.   Its a concept taught usually in a freshman's first course in computer programming.  I don't get it ... Why continue with mudularity - it pisses guys like me off.  I'd love to add new modules (loadable libraries) - the kind that fit my vision - not Linden Lab's.

And besides when you practice mudularity it infects the entire development process.   A complete global knowledge of the viewer is required to build and test .. build & test on several hardware & software platforms.  A process that is often slow - and costly! and risky.   I'm still seeing bugs pop up that are years old.  Can you imagine if Microsoft had to test and debug their entire OS every time someone released a new application?  Or Google Apps or iPhone Apps???

Did you know that when google.com arrived on the internet that nobody had to write a new browser for it???  Or yahoo.com or dogpile.com or lycos.com or mamma.com ... etc. etc.

If I were you - Linden Labs - I'd create a team dedicated to creating a complete Document Object Module for the viewer.  If you don't Google will.   .. OTOH ... looks like they've taken a huge step in that direction already.

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Actingill Igaly wrote:

Crashes on startup.  Seeing Torleys video, I'm a little concerned about the lack of space 'classifieds' occupies.  This is the one area of search that cannot be gamed.  If your products are good, you sell more, and you can afford more classified fees.  The amount of real estate the new search gives to classifieds is simply not worth the money - where (for example) is the description and picture for the classifieds?

Please add a classifieds tab to the SIDE of the search with the other tabs, then people can decide whether they want to use that tab (as the most reliable indicator of quality) to search for products.

I tried to test my own classified listings . . .but oh wait, there's no area just for classifieds. Some of my customers actually found me by looking up the key terms "mountains" or "castles" only from the classifieds tab because that way they only found places advertising products that were for sale.

 

Good luck sorting through the Everything tab to find what you need.

We really do need a tab dedicated to classifieds only, otherwise it is definitely not worth paying for them.

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Ansariel Hiller wrote:

Wait! After dumping profiles into web profiles so you can - Warning! Extremely new feature! - now open several profiles at the same time, we now get a search with the same filters old Viewer 1 search already had and that will actually work as Viewer 1 search always did?

In a word, no. There is a superficial resemblance with straw man searches like the "blues" example, but this system still works on other data like parcel contents that current V2 (and the late V1 "All" tab) use, but the V1 Places tab could not see. It can also handle approximate matches and wildcards that the V1 places tab really could not. Most important, it does not lag the main databases and the simulators like the V1 places tab did. The lag problem is the real reason why there was a big effort to replace the old search tabs, this goes wayyyyyy back to drama like "project open letter".

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Medhue Simoni wrote:

There does not need to be a bias for larger parcels. The problem is how the search ranks things. It does not make any sense that a merchant with a small parcel can out rank a merchant who owns a large parcel and sells hundreds of what the person is searching for. Parcels size does not even need to be relevant if the search worked correctly.

I have no idea how this ranking is being done, but as a search user, I'd much prefer a result that had only a few matches with what I sought and nothing else, to a parcel with scores of matches with it and hundreds of other things.

(To re-emphasize: I have no idea how this is actually being done.  For all I know, Pam may have those 40+ dining sets and nothing else set to show in search.)

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Although SL is a world comprised solely of information and finding only the information needed is absolutely essential, LL has neglected search for so long or done it so poorly that except for the denizens of these forums, those 7 of the 10 people (Lindens?) surveyed, and so-called vendors, LL's misteps with search mean no small number of "average" residents don't even care anymore. That's what happens when something as vital as search meets the following management and customer service attitude:

It has been a while since we last updated you on search and that’s because we’ve chosen to take a big leap forward versus smaller, incremental improvements.  ~ LL blog posting, 25 May 11

WT_?! Talk to us! 

Personally, I essentially gave up on SL search a while ago after realizing I could find whatever I needed within the first 5 returned results using any decent seach engine and a properly constructed guery, with the exception of whatever LL used. Sorry, LL, but you lost me and 90% of my business long ago when search should have already been fixed. So guess what? Fixed or not, I don't care about search anymore! Too many years without decent search capabilities taught me not to even bother logging in at times. (Yes, Virginia, there are many reasons concurrency is down or flat. Did anyone in LL ever think being unable to find items and events was causing people to either leave SL or log in only once to never return?)

As for testing any new SL software, LL already wastes enough of my time either with things in SL which don't work or its "caveat emptor" consumer protection policy which has too frequently left me spending 3-4 very unpleasant hours per week tracking down SL vendors--a.k.a. con artists--to get that for which I've paid but is either broken or was falsely advertised. And after searching for "lost" vendors who have stolen my money, I'm not searching for anything else in SL. Instead, I'm logging out.

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