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Ireland.com Search Feature Broken

Posted in: General,Search Engines,WebDev by Richard Hearne on November 27, 2006
Internet Marketing Ireland

We all know the Ireland.com got a make-over, but have you tried using the search facility?

Well, not to dally about too much, the archive search facility is a tad bit broken. I’m not quite sure what the problem is. First I thought that perhaps each word of the search query was being truncated. But then I noticed some search words coming back with different spellings.

Here’s what I searched for and the returned query:

  • searched for ‘ireland house’ – matched ‘ireland: 423756, hous: 101978′
  • searched for ‘ireland house prices’ – matched ‘ireland: 423756, hous: 101978, price: 102252′
  • searched for ‘irish property prices’ – matched ‘irish: 715996, properti: 164708, price: 102252′
  • searched for ‘house price inflation’ – matched ‘hous: 101978, price: 102252, inflat: 13885′
  • searched for ‘minister cowen’ – matched ‘minist: 134897, cowen: 5678′
  • searched for ‘the irish times’ – matched ‘irish: 715990, time: 703415′
  • searched for ‘mystery guest’ – matched ‘mysteri: 6967, guest: 10148′
  • searched for ‘cavity’ – matched ‘caviti: 271′

I tried those last two to see if the results were correct. ‘mysteri’ would match with ‘mysterious’ but the search yielded pages without an occurrence of ‘mysterious’. While a search for ‘cavity’ returned results.

It appears, therefore, that the search is based on the correct phrase, but the results page is displaying the wrong search query.

As I mentioned, I thought that perhaps queries were split along word boundaries and then mistakenly truncated, but the appearance of i’s instead of y’s threw this theory. And then of course not all words seemed to suffer the chop.

Ireland.com Search problems

Perhaps someone can see an obvious cause of this that I cant?

Oh, and there are absolutely no prizes for guessing how bad the mark-up in there is :(

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1 Comment »

  1. A common search technique is to drop grammatical suffixes from words to increase the number of matches.

    Comment by anonymous — December 10, 2006 @ 2:11 am

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