"Search G2G" results disappointing

+15 votes

Every now and then I want to have another look at a question I remember having seen at G2G. Finding that question again is not easy.

I think the following observations about the results of searching G2G ("Search G2G" button at top of page) are true:

  • Results are sorted in an unpredictable way
  • When multiple words are searched for they have an OR relation, not an AND

That means one has to browse the results (often tens of pages) to hopefully find the relevant question(s). Trying to limit the resultset by searching with more words has the opposite effect, given the OR relation.

It would be nice if results could be presented in the same fixed order as with My Feed, My Favorites, Recent Activity, etc: LIFO (newest first).
In the current situation "Search G2G" is hardly usable. Current workaround would be to mark questions potentially of future interest as "Favourite", a thing I apparently fail to do often...

in WikiTree Tech by Jan Terink G2G6 Pilot (271k points)
retagged by Jamie Nelson
Agreed!  So hard to retrace your steps in here, one of my first frustrations with this place BUT when I did not find what I was looking for, I  found so many interesting things anyhow, so here I am!  Learned to mark favorites and that helps


Why did you remove the "tech" tag? G2G is powered by Question2Answer, so the "tech" staff should know implementation details and possibilities.


I would guess that Jillaine may have made the change on the basis of the following comment posted by Jamie Nelson on https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/948354/how-do-i-report-an-wikitree-coding-error?:

"For coding errors/bugs the best tag is "bugs" and for suggestions the best tag is "improvements". I don't think anyone follows either the "admin" or "tech" tag."

Thanks Paul, I will add tag "improvements"!
I'd have to agree with this one. I'd like see improved search results and ability to sort by date (mew and old) so it least look in the frame something may have been out posted.
Right now we are just using the search that is built into the Question2Answer software.

We have talked about improving the search, it just hasn't made it to the top of the list yet.

4 Answers

+7 votes
This won't help with your questions/suggestions about the G2G search, but when I come across a question/answer that I might want to look at again, I select the grey plus sign to mark it as a favorite. Then, I can check it out later by going to my G2G profile and selecting "My Favorites".
by Susan Hughes G2G6 Mach 3 (37.3k points)
Yes Susan, as said I do that not often enough. Too busy with other matters, I'll do that later, etc.
Yes, but sometimes you only realize later that you want to go back to that question.  

The way search results are returned makes no sense at all. It would be so much easier to use if there were some kind of order.
+6 votes
If it was something you previously answered or commented on, you can check your own recent activity (from your G2G profile).  And as you said, if you had marked something as a favorite, you could find it that way.

I find it better to use fewer words in a search, not more.  If I remember a particular phrase someone used, sometimes a couple of words will bring it up.  Or if I remember another contributor, I can search his or her recent activity.
by Anonymous Kelts G2G6 Pilot (513k points)
All true, but if a search function is offered it should be usable. The unpredictable sort order and the OR relation of search words seriously limit the usability.
Yes, but I like to do the best I can with what I've got.
+5 votes
I just tried to use "Quotation Marks" in the G2G search for a question I know I wrote. That question came up as the 4th result on the list.

I usually search without the "Quotation Marks", but when I don't get the results I think I should have, I add them.
by Chris McCombs G2G6 Mach 5 (55.9k points)
Why don't you just go to your own G2G profile, and review the Questions?  (Or maybe you were trying to make a larger point...)
I even use the "Quotation Marks" around what I am looking for on the Internet to narrow down what I am looking for.
Of course!


I tried "middle name not allowed", and yes, a question I asked is on first page, but also "Chinese? anyone?".


+9 votes
Hi Jan,

I've had better luck using Google to search WikiTree vs using the WikiTree Search function.

To search the WikiTree G2G forum from a Google search page/box, I use: site:wikitree.com/g2g <my search terms>

To search the WikiTree profiles/space pages from a Google search page/box, I use: site:wikitree.com/wiki <my search terms>

I still have better success with this, but my understanding is that Google is not indexing all of the WikiTree pages any longer, so your mileage may vary.
by Rick Peterson G2G6 Pilot (170k points)
Good hints, Rick. Thanks!

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