How does Search work in Get Satisfaction?

  • Question
  • Updated 1 year ago
  • Answered

Amy Muller, Co-founder

  • 460 Posts

Posted 3 years ago

  • 22

Caty, Employee

  • 946 Posts
Official Response
Last week we released a few significant improvements to our Search functionality, specifically:

- Support for Boolean Operators: AND, OR
Note: AND and OR are the only Boolean operators currently supported, and must be capitalized when searching.

- Support for search within quotations, aka exact match

- Algorithmic improvements

Coupled with this new release, our search still follows some the existing logic that Amy outlined out in an earlier post:

We index the Topic Title, Topic Description, tags, products and replies.

We use “Stemming”. Stemming is the process by which a popular keyword can be associated with a prefix, suffix or pluralization, so that more matches can be found. Without stemming, a search for "work" would not return results that contained the word "works" or "working", for example.

We have roughly 650 “Stop” words. Stop words are popular words that add no value to search queries and thus should be ignored. For instance, imagine there are two topics in a community: "How do I make coffee?" and "How do I eat lasagna?". Searching for "How do I make coffee?" would bring up the topic about lasagna because the words "how do I" are found in it, even though they add no value to the search. When indexing occurs, we manipulate the content to remove stop words so that only relevant content is available for searching.

There are two different ways public search happens. One is the basic Topic Search function which utilizes the features listed above. The other is the “Topic intercept” that our system performs when someone submits something through the “Start a Topic” box at the top of the Community Home Page and within the Feedback Widget. In addition to the main Topic Search functionality mentioned above, the “topic intercept” results have some ranking algorithms applied to them. The weight of “answered” Questions, “solved” Problems, and Company Updates is ranked higher than than the weight of other topics.

If you’re listed as an Employee of a community in Get Satisfaction, you’ll have access to the Management View which has a topic search that functions the same way it does in the public search but includes many additional filtering and sorting options (such as specific product, specific tag, specific statuses, date ranges, among other things) as well as people search to enhance the searching capabilities.


RamyaK, Official Rep

  • 92 Posts
Official Response
AND and OR can be ordered to achieve results similar to using ()
For example if
Search = removing topics OR deleting topics
Results = topics that either contain both terms removing topics or contain both terms deleting topics.
If your search is
Search = change AND password
Results = Will contain topics that contain both terms change and password.

By default our searches are implicit AND which means that when you do not put any Boolean operator (AND/OR) in between terms it will look for topics that contain all the terms in the query. eg. change password will return all topics that contain both the terms change and password.
In the case of lower case "and" what you are noticing is this behavior. Lowercase "and" and "or" are stopwords hence eliminated. The terms in the query are then joined by implicit AND and the response is returned.