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Author Topic: How does the search work?  (Read 2638 times)

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« on: April 13, 2013, 13:19 »
0
I have been trying to figure out how the search works, and what I have to do to improve it.

Using my site http://stockimages.glennspecht.com/wp/ I hover over the keyword tag "Snow Monkeys" and it says there are 50 tags.

I click on the tag and I get no images as result, and links to 2 of the sites on my network.

I put the search term "snow monkeys" in the search and I get 5 of the sites on my network, but none of my own images.

If I put "monkey" in the search term I get 56 images ( which is right 50 snow monkeys + others) and 3 of my networks, but no images from them.

If I drill down in my Category I find my 26 "snow monkey" images...

How do we set up Categories/ Keyword/ Tags? to get the best results for our site visitors.

Glenn


steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2013, 13:27 »
0
I think there are two answers to this.

The external answer is that Google searches your site and its index is far more complex and clever than we can create on Wordpress. Most people will find out sites (at least for a long time) by searching for "snow monkey" on Google and hopefully your site comes up. You need to follow some of the rules in one of Leo's videos to bold key words, make sure the SEO description is properly completed, make an interesting title and a full description etc. to get a good ranking on Google.

Once someone is at your site (or if they really like it and go there specifically to find an image) then the internal search comes into being. At the moment, only single word searches work, and they only look at the keywords. Leo is aware of this and is working on a better search algorithm. At the same time, he is looking at a similar search so that if someone arrives from an external search to look at one of your images, then they can click "similars" to see images that have very similar keywords to the one they found.

Hope that helps.

steve

« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2013, 15:17 »
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So Let's see if I have this right.

I work hard on SEO to get people to my site.  Then when they are there, the search will not allow them to find the images that I hope to sell?

Does anyone see a problem with this?

Are people hand coding search terms?

« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2013, 16:47 »
0
So Let's see if I have this right.

I work hard on SEO to get people to my site.  Then when they are there, the search will not allow them to find the images that I hope to sell?

Does anyone see a problem with this?

Are people hand coding search terms?

I don't think you've got it right, but I'm not sure. Why do you think people won't be able to find your images? All the images need is keywords, as always.

Although the search doesn't currently work for phrases, it's pretty good on multiple single keywords. If I search on our site for 'chicken curry' it returns everything with 'chicken' and 'curry' but no lamb curry. Is that bad?

ETA: OK, I see what you're doing. Your single word searches are OK, but the multi word keywords don't work. I was annoyed at that to start with, but realised that it's actually far more efficient to have single keywords with an implied 'AND' in the search. Until Leo gets the advanced search ready, you might do better with a category cloud than a keyword cloud. That works very well as is.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 17:02 by Travelling-light »

« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2013, 18:04 »
0
So Let's see if I have this right.

I work hard on SEO to get people to my site.  Then when they are there, the search will not allow them to find the images that I hope to sell?

Does anyone see a problem with this?

Are people hand coding search terms?

That might be the current status for searching keyword phrases. And it would be a problem if it persists.

But Leo has this high up on his priority list. So, why not being a little patient while working hard on your site?

« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2013, 19:06 »
0
So, why not being a little patient while working hard on your site?

I have been accused of being many things.... patient has never been one of them....  :) ;)

I have been working hard on my site, trying things, breaking things, learning.  The time I have to invest in stock is limited and I have been neglecting other things to work on this.

Your single word searches are OK, but the multi word keywords don't work. I was annoyed at that to start with, but realised that it's actually far more efficient to have single keywords with an implied 'AND' in the search. Until Leo gets the advanced search ready, you might do better with a category cloud than a keyword cloud. That works very well as is.


Thanks... those are work arounds I can work on.... though it does mean I have to Categorize the images instead of just keyword.... :(

« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2013, 20:12 »
0

Thanks... those are work arounds I can work on.... though it does mean I have to Categorize the images instead of just keyword.... :(



Categories can be useful, and they're relatively easy to do. We're using them like galleries on a portfolio site.

Our site at http://photo.travelling-light.net uses categories for broad coverage and all single keywords. If you search on 'sydney harbour bridge' you get the same as for 'sydney harbor bridge' without having to put every combination of terms and spelling as separate keywords.

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2013, 01:05 »
+1
Search right now -- we'll just call it a sort of technical place-holder. Search will be modified to do a direct database query. Right now it can only find "slugs" which are pre-determined keywords based on your keywords. On top of that it can combine two keywords and give you results.

But nevermind the details, current system is temporary...just to say its there. Don't prejudge it. The system I hope to put in - possibly this week - will look in keywords, descriptions, filter stop-words, and even find word-parts like if you have "bread" as a search it will find wonderbread.

There are a few undesirable aspects of search right now. A bit more into beta it will be great.

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2013, 08:31 »
+1
I may be the one with the alternative view here.

I think a great enhancement to the site would be the similars query. I really think that our SEO work will bring people to a particular image page - not to our home pages. The buyer already knows what sort of image they are seeking and Google has brought them to one of mine, say, that may be right. My best option then is to show them similar ones that may fit the bill and hopefully they buy one.

I think the scenario where a buyer comes to the home page and starts to search for some concept is a long way in the future for most of us.

Steve

« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2013, 16:22 »
0
I may be the one with the alternative view here.

I think a great enhancement to the site would be the similars query. I really think that our SEO work will bring people to a particular image page - not to our home pages. The buyer already knows what sort of image they are seeking and Google has brought them to one of mine, say, that may be right. My best option then is to show them similar ones that may fit the bill and hopefully they buy one.

I think the scenario where a buyer comes to the home page and starts to search for some concept is a long way in the future for most of us.

Steve

anyone know of code that does such a similar search? 

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2013, 17:55 »
0
Next update this will be a feature

« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2013, 18:00 »
0
Leo - can you give a quick description of where search takes place and what db tables are used?  i'd like to play with a few ideas

also, is there any trick to one session reading the db of another site?  is that set in a public linking flag somewhere?

steve

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2013, 18:23 »
0
Keeping in mind I'll be changing search ...

Search at this time uses WP_Query, wordpress's main function for opening up "the loop". As for what tables it uses...its completely controlled by wordpress.

If you open up the file "network-manager.php" in the /inc/classes/network_manager/ folder ... you can see how it makes decisions on how to run the query ... if its a network search, a category display, or whatever.

WP_query takes a number of values to decide what to search for/what to do. Here is one that happens when you are doing basic searches:

Code: [Select]
Array
(
    [post-type] => image
    [paged] => 1
    [tax_query] => Array
        (
            [0] => Array
                (
                    [taxonomy] => image-tags
                    [include_children] => 1
                    [field] => slug
                    [terms] => Array
                        (
                            [0] => cute
                        )

                    [operator] => AND
                )

        )

)

But as mentioned this will most likely be replaced by a nice independent query that searches the database more specifically ... searching title, keywords, fragments of words, etc.

Reading database of another site... it doesn't work that way with this system.

For instance, here is a human search:

http://www.clipartillustrations.com/search-images/background/

Here is a network (machine) search:

http://www.clipartillustrations.com/search-images/background/page/2/?symbiostock_network_search=1&symbiostock_network_info=1

Go ahead and click it. Notice the "?symbiostock_network_search=1&symbiostock_network_info=1" has been added.

Same thing, different format. In fact, some of the errors people dealt with is due to the fact we are using XML for machine-read content, and XML is slightly like HTML except much less forgiving. Also saves bandwidth :D

These results acquired by a CURL operation and then processed in the "interpreter.php" file, and you see the pretty-fied network results.


 

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