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New Search page how to change it back?


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On 11/23/2021 at 2:57 AM, Chris Nova said:

We all know SL search sucks. Thats why we have Firestorm.

No... That is why, for the past 14 years, you have had (and will keep having in the future) the good old (and totally productivity and screen estate geared), v1 UI in the Cool VL Viewer... 😛

Firestorm simply reimplemented (part of) the v1 UI floaters, among which the search one. It however lacks the ”All” search tab (it only implements it in its web flavour, not in the old search style).

There are quite a few useful things that do not exist any more in v2+ viewers... Terrain-only tiles tab in the world map, chat input line, etc... Not to mention, on the renderer side, ”Classic clouds”, animated trees... All of which you still can enjoy in my viewer.

As for the new-new web search (since this is actually the 3rd web search version), here is my take on it (posted as a comment to Inara Pey's related blog post) :

Quote

Like you, I find the “flat look” totally unappealing; in fact, I hate it. I suppose that we will soon see M$ and their followers adopt an even more stupid UI design in the future. What about monochrome menus (amber or green only, like for old CRTs) with pseudo-graphic characters to compose the window frames, like what we had in the 70s ?… I just cannot get it: “modern UI” designers keep making things look uglier (give me back the gorgeous 3D-like window frames, buttons, scroll bars…), and all the while slower (with useless and irritating animations everywhere, smooth (and slow) scrolling, etc) and inefficient (the “start menu” of Windows comes to mind: going from Win95 efficient arborescent and user-configurable menu to Win11 scroll-only and alphabetical order only menu).

About that new search, there is also an annoying layout glitch that causes the upper search result to be partly truncated/overlapped by the search input box whenever the browser window is made small enough (i.e. floater-sized, for viewers using a search floater).

I am however way more annoyed by the fact that LL broke the easy search URL substitutions (category+query) and replaced them with parameters (collection, category for each collection, and finally query) that are composed via selections (combos, check boxes) in the search form via JavaScript, meaning that the viewers that implemented Web search via floaters (with category combos, etc) can no more work with the new search, short of duplicating its JavaScript code into a hard-coded C++ algorithm to compose the search URL.

Sadly, and unlike what LL did when they updated the first web search version to the second, they do not provide a way to use the old style search (for years, the Cool VL Viewer had a ”Use new search” check box in its web search tab, to allow switching between the two)...

As a result, and for the next Cool VL Viewer release, I reworked the web search tab in the Search floater (it is now combo-less, search input line-less, with just the ”Back”, ”Forward” and ”Reload” buttons) and switched to the old v1 ”All” search for results when using the search input box in the status bar...

Sadly and once more, LL opted to keep the new search secret till released, instead of communicating with viewer developers: the result is this total mess... Congrats, LL ! 😞

Edited by Henri Beauchamp
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44 minutes ago, Extrude Ragu said:

This results in users thinking that no high quality anime sims in SecondLife exist, and quitting

You're saying that, because the top result for anime is a naff parcel, users who click on it will think that no high quality anime parcels exist in SecondLife, and quit SL? Really?

 

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2 minutes ago, Phil Deakins said:

You're saying that, because the top result for anime is a naff parcel, users who click on it will think that no high quality anime parcels exist in SecondLife, and quit SL? Really?

It's really not a hard concept. The further down the list the quality results go, the less likely the user is to scroll to them, find them/click them, the more likely the user is to think that a high quality result does not exist.

 

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11 minutes ago, Extrude Ragu said:

It's really not a hard concept. The further down the list the quality results go, the less likely the user is to scroll to them, find them/click them, the more likely the user is to think that a high quality result does not exist.

Oh, it's a very difficult concept. Only if a user came to SL FOR the anime, and there were no anime places to be easily found, then s/he would probably leave, but not because the top result was a poor one. Sorry, but you are mistaken.

I still suspect you are fault-finding just for the sake of it.

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5 minutes ago, Extrude Ragu said:

I agree with you

That is why it should be the users who inform which results are relevant, not the parcel owners.

Creating a situation where only established places are seen as relevant, huge opportunities for gaming and manipulation resulting in all other locations getting shoved off the map.

Search is a neutral tool, if you want a curated list, see the destination guide.

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Just now, Coffee Pancake said:

Creating a situation where only established places are seen as relevant, huge opportunities for gaming and manipulation resulting in all other locations getting shoved off the map.

Search is a neutral tool, if you want a curated list, see the destination guide.

It is anything but neutral if I as the parcel owner can decide for you that my place is more relevant than anothers by simply typing your search terms into my parcel name over and over again.

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I have an opinion on it but wont share as most others already have done so, much to their detriment.

What I will say however is, that when you see a Linden showing a confused emoji on the official blog post announcing the new search, it certainly does make you wonder what exactly is going on if Linden staff themselves are showing any other form other than liking the look/announcement.

Edited by Drayke Newall
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2 hours ago, Extrude Ragu said:

Do you really think that when people search on 'Anime' they are going to find some edgelords private parcel on the mainland the most relevant result?

It would be for the people looking for that edge lord's private parcel.  How would any search determine what YOU personally find relevant?   That makes no sense.

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Just now, Rowan Amore said:

It would be for the people looking for that edge lord's private parcel.

The result is highly unlikely to be relevant to many people at all. It's got very little to do with Anime, it's someone's SL home with a memey title being a bit edgy and that's it. It is an empty parcel in terms of visitors.

It should not be that hard to use human judgment and realize this is probably not what most people were looking for when they searched for Anime.

5 minutes ago, Rowan Amore said:

How would any search determine what YOU personally find relevant?   That makes no sense.

It does not need to know me specifically, but what it does need to do is offer results the majority of people find relevant. It can do that by comparing peoples search terms vs what they actually clicked on.

What the vast majority click on after searching for 'Anime' is a pretty good measurement of relevance, as if someone clicked on that result, they thought it was relevant to them.

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2 hours ago, Extrude Ragu said:

It is anything but neutral if I as the parcel owner can decide for you that my place is more relevant than anothers by simply typing your search terms into my parcel name over and over again.

 

8 minutes ago, Extrude Ragu said:

image.png.c881a7b593c8acf048f4c1a696c8f76d.png

There you go, the search results updated. As a sim owner I've declared my sim the most relevant anime sim in SecondLife by simply typing Anime into my parcel name a few times.

Wow, would you look at that. Thats not a glitch, thats an oversight that people have been abusing for a very long time. So not really an oversight anymore....LL simply just doesnt fix it. Its why I don't expect a lot from them and instead expect patches from actual game studios.

Edited by Chris Nova
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36 minutes ago, Extrude Ragu said:

image.png.c881a7b593c8acf048f4c1a696c8f76d.png

There you go, the search results updated. As a sim owner I've declared my sim the most relevant anime sim in SecondLife by simply typing Anime into my parcel name a few times.

Basically we're just talking about SEO here aren't we, or am I missing something?

LL seems much less transparent on what the various algorithms are than say Google, but the above example from Ragu doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

People were doing this sort of "keyword stuffing" years ago in RL (and still do as much as they can get away with) until search engines got a bit more sophisticated and started penalising excessive use as bad practice or "black hat" tactics.

The morality or not of SEO and other tactics associated with getting your site or business higher up the rankings is neither here nor there; but it would definitely help if LL would get a bit more transparent about the whole thing and then people could take a bit more of an informed position.

Whether a poor set of search algorithms is likely to have an effect on new resident retention is up for debate I guess, but given we'd definitely like an increase in committed and passionate SL residency, probably worth publishing a more transparent specification and verifying they work as intended - just in case.

Edited by QwiQ
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3 hours ago, Extrude Ragu said:

It is anything but neutral if I as the parcel owner can decide for you that my place is more relevant than anothers by simply typing your search terms into my parcel name over and over again.

 

Wow! Parcel owners that can read minds! What will they think of next?

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6 hours ago, Extrude Ragu said:

A search for `Anime` brings back as first result someones private parcel with the name

'Anime F..a 🐔for Non-Anime B...eaches'

Some creative censoring going on there. The parcel name starts with 'Anime' and infact contains 'Anime' twice, however I have watched the parcel and it is largely derelict, and I highly doubt it is what people were hoping to find when they searched 'Anime'.

The description also contains 'Anime' multiple times.

Because I am genuinely curious to see how broken the search is, I have made some edits to my sims name/description.

Before

Name

 

Kokoro Academy - Anime School RP

Description

Anime themed roleplay sim!
アニメ  , 学校

After

Name

Anime Anime Anime Kokoro Academy - Anime School RP

Description

Anime themed roleplay sim!
アニメ  , 学校
Anime anime anime anime
(We're proving the search is broken)

 

 

At time of writing, we are the 9th search result for Anime with the before name/desc. I'm not sure how often the search results update. We'll see where we rank once it does...

Well, ask it where the Toronto Airport is.

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51 minutes ago, Chris Nova said:

 

Wow, would you look at that. Thats not a glitch, thats an oversight that people have been abusing for a very long time. So not really an oversight anymore....LL simply just doesnt fix it. Its why I don't expect a lot from them and instead expect patches from actual game studios.

There's no rule in the TOS that I've ever heard of that says you can't repeat words in a land description title.

I personally don't like key-word-stuffed search entries. I would rather write a coherent paragraph or a few lines of useful information in a sentence. That's because I assume other literate adults would also rather read a coherent paragraph aimed at them from an intelligent human being rather than a list that is talking to a search engine. And I tell tenants that making their search pages as well. Tell a story and put the words in sentences.

Because if I see a parcel that says "fUn CLUB FuN FUN Fun dancing adult cuckhold BDSM furry FUN" -- I don't want to go there. It has too many things in it and is trying to "be all things to all men". It has the opposite effect on me aside from the obvious, I'm not interested in adult venues. Some people stuff adult keywords or even put stores on adult continents just to bring traffic even tho hilariously, there is nothing adult there.

The kids do all kinds of strange gimmicks. And that's because search has always worked badly, since Viewer 1.23, when it didn't use GSA but another system involving MySQL tables which they feared to keep because all the other techies laughed at them. But it simply was a better solution for our little world that actually doesn't have that much stuff in it to find. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Chris Nova said:

Probably because there aren't any.

Well, I mean there are some obviously. I've found some pretty old guides documenting "good practice" here:

The basic points about branding and quality content are all standard. Who knows though if the SL crawlers and algorithm actually do anything with all that good stuff🙂

Often (in RL anyway) link management is important too.

From an SL perspective that might be related (but almost certainly isn't) to the number of times your business appears in user picks, maybe cross links to the SL marketplace content/feedback and external blogger referrals/links.

So while

3 hours ago, Phil Deakins said:

Search is totally neutral in that it doesn't show any favour to anything.

might be true in a literal sense, this doesn't mean that it can't be gamed to within an inch of its life 🙂

As I say though, it'd be good to get some more up to date guidance.

 

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4 hours ago, Extrude Ragu said:

It's really not a hard concept. The further down the list the quality results go, the less likely the user is to scroll to them, find them/click them, the more likely the user is to think that a high quality result does not exist.

 

This is such a basic, obvious truth that I can't imagine why there are people to be found who are "confused" or "sad" -- their way of saying "I'm ridiculing you." But such persons are found here on the SL forums, even without searching for them. They come to you.

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27 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

There's no rule in the TOS that I've ever heard of that says you can't repeat words in a land description title.

That's exactly the problem. There should be.

Or, they can fix their search algorithm or whatever ancient thing they use.

Edited by Chris Nova
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I always search for tags based on what I'm looking for and then check traffic or relevancy, even if a place got 10+ "anime" plastered all over the description won't make me go to it, because that doesn't tell me ***** about the place.

I use firestorm so I can't really tell how the regular viewer works, but I can understand the concern if it affects where new people go, since they probably have no idea how anything works and will probably go to the first place listed. 

Edit: There is a higher chance that I visit places if they actually have a picture of their place or a piece of it so I have some kind of idea on how that place looks as well and not some kind of picture they grabbed from google, especially when I explore it can be useful.

Edited by PixelBerry
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10 minutes ago, PixelBerry said:

I can understand the concern if it affects where new people go, since they probably have no idea how anything works and will probably go to the first place listed. 

Their problem for being lazy, instant gratification chasing types. It's one thing to ask for help or to have a decent enough usability change ... if you're running a Search and just jump on the first result without even so much as glancing at the rest of the list, that's on you.

Edited by Solar Legion
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