Search Engine Just Got A Lot Better

We just made a small but important tweak to our search engine.

As you know, the site is partitioned into three primary channels: RIA, Weblists, and Local. Until just a few minutes ago, our general search results were prioritized in that order. So if you did a search for George W. Bush, you would see results from RIA before you saw results from Weblists - we did this because we could vouch for the quality of the listing on RIA, whereas the quality of the listings on Weblists run the gamut from excellent to weak.

The problem with the way things were set up, is that we didn't have control over the weighting involved in driving the results. So the search engine would display ALL results from RIA regarding George W. Bush, even if it was just a casual mention of the word "Bush" in passing in a review, ahead of any listing from Weblists - even ahead of a listing that was specifically about George W. Bush. This was really annoying, and it made it really hard to find, say, where Barry Bonds ranked in the Biggest Jerks in Sports list.

This is no longer the case. We now have control over the weighting for the three partitions for the site. Currently, a search for George W. Bush will still show results from RIA first, but a Weblist listing for George W. Bush will now outrank a passing reference of "Bush" in a review in the RIA channel.

This is a small tweak, but I think you'll find it improves the quality of the search engine dramatically.

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