moderated Re: What is the algorithm for the display order of groups after entering a keyword search? #misc


On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 03:31 PM, Donald Hellen wrote:
Could someone word this well enough to make this a suggestion? I'll
chime in with my support.
Sure. But I'm not sure we should start a new topic for that. Here's what I would say to sum it all up.

Currently, results of a "By Name" group search are displayed in an order that does not relate to the search term, namely: reverse alpha order according to the group name, with lowercase names first. There is no prioritization of (a) groups whose names contain the search term over groups whose descriptions  only (rather than the name) contain the search term; (b) any criterion relating to the search term vis-a-vis the group name (e.g., the search term appears earlier in the group name or description than in others); or (c) any other criterion such as activity level, recency, popularity, etc. Once the user selects "By Name," those other criteria go away.

This results in some odd, unexpected, and often unhelpful behavior to both users looking for groups dealing with a particular subject, and group owners who see their groups that deal with the subject of the term display below, or even pages after, groups who don't really deal with the subject of the search term.


- If the search term is "bananas," a group called "jungle" whose description includes the sentence "This group does not deal with bananas" will display before a group whose name is AllAboutBananas.

- A group with 10 members and no activity for the past three years will display above a highly active group simply because the smaller, inactive group's name comes later in alphabetic order than the active group, or is lowercase instead of capitalized.

My suggestions, in increasing order of complexity and usefulness:

(1) Simplest quick fix for now: Remove the text "By Name" as a possible search criterion (because the results are not "By Name" relative to the search term anyway) and simply let users enter a term. The search is currently *not* "by name." Only the results are "by name" in the display order.

(2) At least change the reverse alpha order display to alpha order and drop the criterion about upper or lowercase because it's meaningless.

(3) Prioritize groups whose names actually contain the search term over groups whose names do not contain the term but whose descriptions do.

(4) Best solution: once a user enters a search term, let them ask for a sort by "most popular," "most active," etc., just as appears on the left now. Essentially, they could click on one of those criteria only, or a search term only, or both.

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