Why is search so terrible?

Jump to solution
Community Contributor

I know I can use Google (https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Acommunity.canvaslms.com), but why is the search here so awful? It's not even boolean as best I can tell.

1 Solution
Community Team
Community Team

Hi @dtod and thanks for the question. Because we use a third-party Community platform to host and run this Community site (Khoros Communities), I don't know any of the technical details of the search tool they're using here. I agree, at times it does return results that are less than satisfactory and it does have its quirks. There are some things you can try to improve your search experience, sourced directly from Khoros Communities documentation (I'd share the link, but some of this is from content that requires a sign-in to their site).

  • Change the scope using the "All Community" drop-down to narrow down your results. We have a lot of products and posts with overlapping ed-tech terminology which can make search results harder to go through. If you scope to a specific Category or Board, this may help improve results.
  • "Khoros Communities uses an open source search tool that supports Stemming, Boolean operators, Wildcards, Prefix Search" (lifted from their docs)
    • Stemming example: if a user enters "speakers" the search engine reduces the word to its root "speak" and returns content containing the root such as "speaking", "speaker", and "speaks"
    • Boolean: 
      • The OR operator is used by default, meaning if there is no Boolean operator, the OR operator is used. For example, to search for documents that contain "canvas quiz" or "canvas exam", use the query "canvas quiz canvas exam" or "canvas quiz OR canvas exam". You can use || in place of OR
      • The AND operator matches documents where both terms exist in the text of a single document. The symbol && can be used in place of the word AND.
        To search for documents containing “car speakers” and “bose” use the query car speakers AND bose.
      • The + operator requires the term you enter after the + symbol to exist somewhere in the field of a single document. 
        To search for documents that must contain “bose” and may contain “car” use the query +bose car.
      • The - operator excludes documents that contain the term after the – symbol. To search for documents that contain “car speakers” but not ”bose” use the query car speakers -bose.
    • Wildcard:
      • Use wildcards as a placeholder for any sequence of characters or words.
      • To perform a single character wildcard search use the ? symbol.

        For example, to search for text or test you can use the search te?t.

      • To perform a multiple character wildcard search use the * symbol. 
        For example, to search for test, tests or tester you can use the search test*.
  • I also recommend using the Advanced search options if the default search isn't helping you find what you need as it helps you filter by content type, author, date, category, board, etc.

I hope this helps improve your search experience. Again, all of this was lifted from official Khoros documentation. I don't have enough technical experience with these types of search tools to provide any more insight than what's provided here. We know it's not perfect, but it's the tool we have right now that does its job pretty well most of the time.

In addition to all of this, if you come across content that you feel should have appeared in specific search results, feel free to send it to me in a private message and we can look at editing the title, content, or metadata for better searchability.

View solution in original post