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Adam D.
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This kind of thing has probably come up a million times but why on earth does searching for the boardgame "Barbarians" produce "Catan: Traders and Barbarians" as the first result and "Barbarians" (the one I'm looking for) as the sixth? Just how much massaging goes into the results, anyway?
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Russ Williams
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Yes, I've been suggesting for many years that an exact match for your search term should obviously be returned first in the list of results, instead of buried after other more popular games which happen to include your search term.

If you think it's inconvenient searching for a game called "Barbarians" because of BGG's search returning other titles first which happen to include the word "Barbarians", just try searching for games like "Red" or "Blue"... :/

To me, this is the number one annoying inconvenient usability bug/problem at BGG which I wish would be fixed. And it is such a simple thing to fix, too.
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Simon Lundström
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TheCollector wrote:
This kind of thing has probably come up a million times but why on earth does searching for the boardgame "Barbarians" produce "Catan: Traders and Barbarians" as the first result and "Barbarians" (the one I'm looking for) as the sixth? Just how much massaging goes into the results, anyway?


None. It's a simple issue of "go through the database, and return everything that contains the word you wrote".

As said, it would be better if the list FIRST wrote the perfect match and only THEN listed the "contains".
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Russ Williams
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Zimeon wrote:
TheCollector wrote:
This kind of thing has probably come up a million times but why on earth does searching for the boardgame "Barbarians" produce "Catan: Traders and Barbarians" as the first result and "Barbarians" (the one I'm looking for) as the sixth? Just how much massaging goes into the results, anyway?


None. It's a simple issue of "go through the database, and return everything that contains the word you wrote".

As said, it would be better if the list FIRST wrote the perfect match and only THEN listed the "contains".


It's very strange indeed: doing a "SEARCH Board Game" now for "RED" I see no rhyme or reason in the order of returned items. It's not sorted by rank, nor by geek rating, nor by average rating, nor by number of ratings, nor by anything else I can see.

And of course I have to scroll down literally SEVEN SCREENS before hitting the game whose title is an exact match for the search term: RED...
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Simon Lundström
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russ wrote:
I see no rhyme or reason in the order of returned items. It's not sorted by rank, nor by geek rating, nor by average rating, nor by number of ratings, nor by anything else I can see.


Entry number in the database, I think.
 
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Tomello Visello
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Zimeon wrote:
russ wrote:
I see no rhyme or reason in the order of returned items. It's not sorted by rank, nor by geek rating, nor by average rating, nor by number of ratings, nor by anything else I can see.


Entry number in the database, I think.

That is not supported by quick mouseover of title results (to see the gameid) for the "red" list I just looked at.
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Tomello Visello
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russ wrote:
And of course I have to scroll down literally SEVEN SCREENS before hitting the game whose title is an exact match for the search term: RED... :(

At least you can know, by experience, that this one jumps to the first page if you click on the header for "Board Game Rank" - which gets rid of lots of the noise because only about 1 1/4 pages of those (I see 6 pages rightnow) are ranked games.

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Russ Williams
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TVis wrote:
russ wrote:
And of course I have to scroll down literally SEVEN SCREENS before hitting the game whose title is an exact match for the search term: RED...

At least you can know, by experience, that this one jumps to the first page if you click on the header for "Board Game Rank" - which gets rid of lots of the noise because only about 1 1/4 pages of those (I see 6 pages rightnow) are ranked games.


Another workaround/trick is to search for "Plays:" on the results page, if you're searching a game for which you've already logged plays.

But it's lame to have to do this kind of workaround instead of seeing the exact match first in the list.
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Tomello Visello
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russ wrote:
But it's lame to have to do this kind of workaround instead of seeing the exact match first in the list.

In the particular case for your favorite, "red" is often a standalone word for game titles. I was wondering about words which contain that string plus additional letters, for a longer word.

I do find them collected together at the end of the list (things like "redneck", "redoubt", "redemption".

So in a sense, the result is returning "exact" matches first. Yet your interest is for one step more.

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Tomello Visello
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Additional observation for curiosity: I just realized that at the top of the list itself there is a banner advertising for games I can "Buy on Amazon" ... all four of which contain "red" in the title.
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Russ Williams
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TVis wrote:
In the particular case for your favorite, "red" is often a standalone word for game titles. I was wondering about words which contain that string plus additional letters, for a longer word.

I do find them collected together at the end of the list (things like "redneck", "redoubt", "redemption".

So in a sense, the result is returning "exact" matches first. Yet your interest is for one step more.



Calling "First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet" an "exact match" for the search term "RED" is stretching the notion of "exact match" rather far...!
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Jason W
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TVis wrote:
Additional observation for curiosity: I just realized that at the top of the list itself there is a banner advertising for games I can "Buy on Amazon" ... all four of which contain "red" in the title.
In order for it to be full-on conspiracy, those four games would have to be listed first in the search results for "red".whistle
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russ wrote:
It's very strange indeed: doing a "SEARCH Board Game" now for "RED" I see no rhyme or reason in the order of returned items.

First it's all items with a full word match in its name.
Then it's all items with a full word match in any of its alternate names.
Then it's all items with a partial word match in its name.
Then it's all items with a partial word match in any of its alternate names.

Within each of those four subgroups, sorting is determined by total number of views ever on the game page (you can confirm this by looking at the stats page for each game).

All of this is the same, come to think of it, as it was a year and a half ago when I last explained this based on a question by you.
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a_traveler wrote:
russ wrote:
It's very strange indeed: doing a "SEARCH Board Game" now for "RED" I see no rhyme or reason in the order of returned items.

First it's all items with a full word match in its name.
Then it's all items with a full word match in any of its alternate names.
Then it's all items with a partial word match in its name.
Then it's all items with a partial word match in any of its alternate names.

Within each of those four subgroups, sorting is determined by total number of views ever on the game page (you can confirm this by looking at the stats page for each game).

All of this is the same, come to think of it, as it was a year and a half ago when I last explained this based on a question by you.

Aha! Layers of the onion slowly being revealed...
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Tomello Visello
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russ wrote:
Calling "First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet" an "exact match" for the search term "RED" is stretching the notion of "exact match" rather far...!

I think that is unfair. When you type in "red" all by itself, you do indeed want the query to focus on your game. When someone else types in the very same thing then "First Martians..." may actually be what is desired. The query box itself does not know the inner thoughts of either of you and cannot distinguish. It delivers every "red" it can find.

 
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Dave, or "Phineas" or "Tolstoy" or,
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a_traveler wrote:
russ wrote:
It's very strange indeed: doing a "SEARCH Board Game" now for "RED" I see no rhyme or reason in the order of returned items.

First it's all items with a full word match in its name.
Then it's all items with a full word match in any of its alternate names.
Then it's all items with a partial word match in its name.
Then it's all items with a partial word match in any of its alternate names.

Within each of those four subgroups, sorting is determined by total number of views ever on the game page (you can confirm this by looking at the stats page for each game).

All of this is the same, come to think of it, as it was a year and a half ago when I last explained this based on a question by you.
So if we all go to the page for the game “Red”, and reload the page a jillion times, at least “Red” will be the first thing on the search results when we search for “Red.”

Right?
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Russ Williams
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TVis wrote:
russ wrote:
Calling "First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet" an "exact match" for the search term "RED" is stretching the notion of "exact match" rather far...!

I think that is unfair. When you type in "red" all by itself, you do indeed want the query to focus on your game. When someone else types in the very same thing then "First Martians..." may actually be what is desired. The query box itself does not know the inner thoughts of either of you and cannot distinguish.

I'm not sure I grok your point. Yes, of course someone typing "red" might want any of those very many games which happen to have "red" somewhere in the title, but that doesn't change the fact that all those other many games are not exact matches for the search term.

How would it hinder anyone if the game whose title is an exact match (i.e. RED in this example) were returned first in the search results list? There is rarely more than one such game which is an exact match, after all. That would not significantly alter the position of all the other non-exact matches in the list; someone looking for First Martians will find it almost exactly as easily (as the 2nd item in the results) as they do now (as the 1st item in the result), yes?

The search box cannot read our minds, I agree, but someone who actually types the exact thing which they're searching ought not to be punished for it by having 7 screens of other inexact matches displayed first which they must scroll through.

(And in reality, someone searching for First Martians is probably not going to do it by searching for "red" anyway...)

Quote:
It delivers every "red" it can find.

Unfortunately this is not true in some of BGG's other pulldown search widgets (e.g. Insert Geek Link), which have a maximum number of results which they return (and don't show the rest of the results), so it's more frustrating when you want to insert a game and type its exact title, but it doesn't appear in the list of results and you have to open a new tab to find its database id. This has happened to me occasionally.
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Tomello Visello
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russ wrote:
I'm not sure I grok your point. Yes, of course someone typing "red" might want any of those very many games which happen to have "red" somewhere in the title, but that doesn't change the fact that all those other many games are not exact matches for the search term.

I don't think of the great many of the other resulting games delivered in this particular case as being "not exact matches". The search box is not really looking for a game, it is looking for a text string. The search has no understanding of whether you entered a complete string, so it also offers some additional results that begin with the requested string. But the exact matches do come first.

Some kind of (popularity) sorting is has been revealed. What generalized rule would make your game rise to the top ?

 
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Russ Williams
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TVis wrote:
russ wrote:
I'm not sure I grok your point. Yes, of course someone typing "red" might want any of those very many games which happen to have "red" somewhere in the title, but that doesn't change the fact that all those other many games are not exact matches for the search term.

I don't think of the great many of the other resulting games delivered in this particular case as being "not exact matches".

Then we're simply on different wavelengths about what an "exact match" is.

The idea that "First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet" is an "exact match" for the search term "RED" is clearly false to me, in the context of searching and comparing strings.

But whatever, this really doesn't matter; it's a pointless tangential definitional debate and has nothing to do with the problem and its clear obvious easy solution.

Even with your broader notion of "exact match", you surely see an objectively clear obvious qualitative difference between the game titles "First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet" and "RED" when compared with the search term "RED", right? One of them is exactly the same string, and the other is not, but only includes it...

Quote:
The search box is not really looking for a game, it is looking for a text string. The search has no understanding of whether you entered a complete string, so it also offers some additional results that begin with the requested string. But the exact matches do come first.

Well, I would say that the strings which contain your search term without immediately adjacent non-space characters come first. Sadly, the exact matches are often buried after many of those...

Quote:
Some kind of (popularity) sorting is has been revealed. What generalized rule would make your game rise to the top ?

Is it not already clear what I proposed? As I've said:

First display any exact matches, in what I believe to be the normal meaning of that expression, but to avoid further pointless semantic debating about that expression's meaning, I'll equivalently say:

First display any strings which literally are your search term (this will typically be 0 or 1 results, so it would be a very small change to the current algorithm's results, yet very helpful), and only afterward display string which include it but are longer than it).

What do you perceive as being unclear or impractical or otherwise problematic about this proposal?
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Tomello Visello
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russ wrote:
Then we're simply on different wavelengths about what an "exact match" is.
I agree that we do not agree.

Quote:
Even with your broader notion of "exact match", you surely see an objectively clear obvious qualitative difference between the game titles "First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet" and "RED" when compared with the search term "RED", right? One of them is exactly the same string, and the other is not, but only includes it...

When I imagine the comparison of searching within a text document (word processing, PDF, or something other), I do not additionally have expectations about the search making other decisions than the finding the requested string. It does not determine different attributes, such as verb or noun. Proper names may be mixed in with ordinary expressions and yet it has done the simple job it was designed to do (whether or not is has fulfilled my hopes).

 
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Russ Williams
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TVis wrote:
When I imagine the comparison of searching within a text document (word processing, PDF, or something other), I do not additionally have expectations about the search making other decisions than the finding the requested string. It does not determine different attributes, such as verb or noun. Proper names may be mixed in with ordinary expressions and yet it has done the simple job it was designed to do (whether or not is has fulfilled my hopes).

But we're not searching in a single long continuous string of text (like we do in a word processor's document).

We're searching an unordered set of independent short strings (game titles) to find a particular element of that set which matches what we typed.

If I know and type the exact title which I'm searching for, it doesn't seem terribly unreasonable to me to want the link to that exact title which I just typed to be displayed first for me, instead of making me scroll past 7 screens of other titles which I didn't type.
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