Today, this post from ProBlogDesign popped up on my Google Reader and made me wonder “if it is that important to get rid of WordPress search ?”. I know i’ve already written about WordPress Search. But, it is a topic worth taking a second look at. Quickly read through that post and do the search on ProBlogger today. The post that i mentioned has been promoted to 17th position from its earlier 12th position. How cool.
WordPress, sure, is an awesome piece of blogging software. But, why is the search functionality of WordPress so poor ? What are the basic flaws ?
- Search results are sorted according to date, while all search results should be sorted according to relevance.
- WordPress searches only “title” and “content”. While that may be logical for a “blog”, the search SHOULD include comments, author, category etc.. For eg, when i search for “Hari”, it is supposed to bring up all the posts written by me, with the priority being as follows : 1) having “Hari” in title. 2) having “Hari” in post content. 3) having “Hari in comments. and 4) lastly, doesn’t have “Hari but was written by me. But what happens actually ? The top results are the posts which contain the word “sHARIng”. How funny…
- Another example is when i search for “Advertising”, it is supposed to bring up the posts from my Advertising category. But, only one post from that category actually appears in the results. Whether or not the post contains the term “Advertising”, i (a human) have classified it under Advertising. WordPress should give priority to my classification rather than some dumb SQL query.
I noticed that some of the top blogs on my Google Reader have replaced WordPress Search with alternatives.
- TechCrunch – uses Yahoo BOSS
- John Chow – uses Ligit
- Daily Mobile and Make Use Of and tons of others – use Google CSE
Is Google CSE the only Answer ?
Google CSE is a really good service. But, should you use it on your blog ? With the “google”ish layout and the Ads, you completely lose the blog feel of it. Also, for an average blog with many hundred or few thousand posts, the Google search algorithm is not absolutely necessary. You can live with certain changes to your WordPress Search algorithm. For details on tweaking your WordPress search, do take a look at this post.
Do you have any other suggestions to improve WordPress search ? Share with us in the comments.