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Subject: Search Results Order rss

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Alain Baum
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I'm not sure whether this qualifies as a bug, but it feels like one:

When searching boardgames with a certain word, the order of the results is sometimes incomprehensible to me.

Consider these examples:
"Legends" gives you Legends of Andor, Xia: Legends of a Drift System, Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends,... but the game Legends is at spot #54.

"Strike" gives you Puzzle Strike, Strike of the Eagle, ... but the game Strike is at spot #26.

Conversely, "M" gives you the game M at spot #1 (I remember there was a time this game was almost impossible to find).


There is no correlation of rank, expansion (or not), publication date, or any other criteria that I can find for these odd results. They feel totally random, TBH.

BTW, it is the same whether you search by "Insert Geek Link" in a post, or by the search bar in the old or new layout.

Ironically, the unofficial BGG Android app does it right...
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Russ Williams
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This is a long-standing usability bug. It seems obvious that an exact match for the search term should be returned first in the list, but no.

It is really a pain in the ass for games with common names like Red, Blue, etc.

The explanation I've heard in the past is that games which don't yet have a geek rating (due to not yet having 30 user ratings) appear after the games which do. But that doesn't seem to explain your example, since Legends seems to have a geek rating with 46 user ratings already.

Hmm, and I see now that RED has 53 user ratings, yet appears only after many other games which happen to have "red" in their title when you search for "RED".

Grr.

Yet searching for "Go" returns the exact match Go first in the list.

Maybe they raised the threshold number of votes from 30 to something higher.

I wish they would return exact matches first. I've been banging this drum in vain for years. Here's an old Bugs thread from 2011 about it:

Search should return exact match first. E.g. "Che" now returns too many results like "Chess" instead of "Che"
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I recently added a game called The Game (1987). Searching for "the game" without quotes returns 55 pages, and the game in question isn't on the first 15 pages of results at least. I assume the "the" is stripped away before searching and not used for weighting the results.

Searching for "the game" with quotes returns 50 pages, but it's not at all clear which 5 pages of games have been excluded.

I can link to it here only because I can look its entry # up indirectly and enter that in the widget. I once thought this was a bug, now realize it's a feature.

Another funny example: if you search for "napoleon", there are seven games with this exact name, scattered across the first results page of two.
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Alain Baum
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russ wrote:
This is a long-standing usability bug.

Thank you for your answer. I'm sorry for opening another thread for an old issue, but I didn't really know how I'd search for that.

The two games I listed as examples are in our club's collection, so now I repeatedly encounter this bug.

My example of M and yours of Go suggest that some search results may have been sometime somehow hard coded, since I know for a fact that searching for M was impossible before that.

If it is the threshold thing, then maybe it works as intended, but then my opinion is "this modus operandi sucks".
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DukeOfEarl wrote:
Thank you for your answer. I'm sorry for opening another thread for an old issue, but I didn't really know how I'd search for that.


The BGG Suggestions Index is a great resource, not technically a bug index, but often indirectly touches on bug-like behaviour.
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DukeOfEarl wrote:
There is no correlation of rank, expansion (or not), publication date, or any other criteria that I can find for these odd results. They feel totally random, TBH.

They are by default sorted by number of views (all time) of the database item, which is not at all unreasonable (if somewhat simplistic) as a swift take on "popularity". Taking your example of a search for Legends:
Legends of Andor: Page Views: 611,879
Xia: Legends of a Drift System: Page Views: 519,527
Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends: Page Views: 341,923
Trickerion: Legends of Illusion: Page Views: 237,578
Blue Moon Legends: Page Views: 150,574
Lost Legends: Page Views: 146,325
Small World: Tales and Legends: Page Views: 134,609
...and so on.
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So we should set up a script to visit Red and Che millions of times!
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Alain Baum
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a_traveler wrote:

They are by default sorted by number of views (all time) of the database item, which is not at all unreasonable (if somewhat simplistic) as a swift take on "popularity".

This sounds correct, and it is even sensible. The problem seems exacerbated by those superflous subtitles; Xia, Tash-Kalar, and Trickerion for example wouldn't show up if those were filtered out.

I admit it would be hard to come up with a search that would filter out Xia but still leave in Small World: Tales and Legends...

Still, I think that games whose title correspond 100% to the search term should be first, regardless of popularity (like all 9 Napoleon titles in Kaffedrake's example).
 
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Russ Williams
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a_traveler wrote:
They are by default sorted by number of views (all time) of the database item, which is not at all unreasonable (if somewhat simplistic) as a swift take on "popularity".


Interesting. Unless I'm confused, this may be a change in the search implementation from how it used to be (I remember some explanation about needing 30 user ratings).

I'm still baffled and frustrated that BGG refuses to return an exact match for my search term first in the list.

If they're not going to do that, then they could still do better when a logged-in user searches, by returning games which are in my BGG collection first. They are clearly of particular interest to me!

E.g. given that I own Red and Blue, and I have logged plays for them, if I search for "Red" or "Blue" it seems a reasonable assumption that I might be searching for those games whose titles exactly match my search term. So surely it is reasonably to put them first in the results, instead of buried after many other random "more popular" games which I've personally never even looked at, but which happen to have "red" or "blue" in their titles.
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