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qball

Search Improvements

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qball

Hi All

 

There are a number of hints/tips users can use in order to improve your

search-experience, we have just released several new releases on the search facility -

 

Did you mean: We introduced a search recommendation for cases where a user might have misspelled a word or our search-engine suggests

a better search term:

 

Search for ipot, result - Did you mean ipod?

 

Dropdown search: Any keyword typed into the "Find"-field will result in an immediate search-suggestion of previously searched items. Typing in

"ipod nano" will result in search results containing "ipod" and "nano" (position is irrelevant - it will also show "nano ipod")

 

Exact search: Typing in a search term in double-quotes will result in an exact result of the whole term.

 

Single Wildcard search: The single character wildcard search looks for terms that match that with the single character replaced. For example, to search for "taken" or "token" you can use the "?" to wildcard single characters.

 

Search term t?ken, results - taken, token etc.

 

Multiple Wildcard search: Same as above, but the "*" will replace a number of characters (in the case below a sequence of

characters between the "t" and the "k":

 

Search term t*k, results - taken, take 2, textbooks etc.

 

Fuzzy Search: The wildcard "~" will search for a term similar to the word. If you type in "roam~" it will find terms such as "foam", "road" etc.

 

More advanced Searches: A user wanting to search for "Apple IPod" but not being interested in the touch, would for example use the "-" as a filter criteria:

 

Search term apple ipod -touch, results - apple ipod, apple ipod nano etc.

 

Happy searching!

 

Regards

Cuan

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Lafite

BoB Search "improvements"

 

The supposed improvements to the search facility are a pain. Every second response is error.

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Delicious

Worked fine for me - i used " for a certain ken follett book's title.. gave me the "item not found" response, which is correct as i checked earlier and nobody has that book in stock.

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Saint786

Hi,

 

Is it possible to include closed auctions when searching for an item?

 

Kind regards

Irfaan

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Delicious

Removed post as techie gave the correct info

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MacMuffin
The supposed improvements to the search facility are a pain. Every second response is error.

 

can you explain what type of errors you get? is an error for you a search not finding something or does the system report an error? If so, please provide specifics.

 

@Saint786: we do store all closed auctions and a search over those would be possible, but generally at bidorbuy, buyers are more interested in items open for trade.

 

we will introduce later on a search-feature for closed items called "find similar" which would then list items for sale which are similar to the closed one.

 

Why would you want to search for a closed items? If there is value for buyers/sellers we could certainly introduce this in the advanced search.

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voldermort

I have noticed that when you type in a certain search word eg: supernatural but leave your cursor/arrow in the empty space then you get something random coming up eg: super sized shoes or whatever, but if you place your cursor/arrow away from the open block what you type in works fine.

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MacMuffin
I have noticed that when you type in a certain search word eg: supernatural but leave your cursor/arrow in the empty space then you get something random coming up eg: super sized shoes or whatever, but if you place your cursor/arrow away from the open block what you type in works fine.

 

this is quite intentional as we list in the search-box "look-ahead" recommendations. If we detect that you pause typing (i.e. if there is a 250ms delay between keystrokes) we do a lookahead search.

 

An example - you want to search for "rugby shoes":

If you type in "rug" and pause we will list recommendations such as "rug" but also items such as "rugby books". As you finish typing "rugby" the search recommendations get narrowed down to any items with the word "rugby" in it (placement does not matter).

 

The same would apply to your "Supernatural"-search. If you stop at "super" you would get "super 14", "superman", "supernatural" etc.

 

The recommendations are based on actual searches done by people using BoB and items being found - we felt that this would be a practical/fun addition to allow people to very quickly find items which are popular with other users (and things one did not think of searching before).

 

Eventually, as those items become less popular, they will drop out. The term "fifa" did not result in many search recommendations beginning of this year, but rank very high since the beginning of this month (and will drop out come August).

 

We will need to do a lot more to make the searches more efficient, but unlike eBay we give our users complete freedom in defining their item-listing (which then also complicates the searches quite a bit).

 

If you have specific recommendations/suggestions, please list the in our feedback section, we are always excited about new ideas and will implement those if they make sense/add value to the community.

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RISadler

Using a search term like "canon ?0d" doesn't work and neither does "canon *0d" work.

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RISadler

And the following still doesn't work correctly:

 

pentax-a ... which return all results containing the words "pentax" and "a";

 

pentax-m ... as above;

 

"pentax-m" ... (placed in double quotes) returns nothing, even though there are such listings.

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RISadler

Wait a minute.... the search goodies mentioned in the OP are only used by the AJAX script to generate the recommendations, but not by the actual server-side search programme. Highly frustrating and very half-baked (IMO).

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lilythepink

And go to Garden & Pets and try searching for pets ... it's a nightmare what comes up!

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Saint786

Hi all,

 

@ MacMuffin - I think this would be helpful especially in the coin section where prices fluctuate all the time. I for one would like to see what prices have been obtained for certain coins in the past, which are currently on auction or for a coin that i would like to put up on auction.

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MacMuffin
Wait a minute.... the search goodies mentioned in the OP are only used by the AJAX script to generate the recommendations, but not by the actual server-side search programme. Highly frustrating and very half-baked (IMO).

 

Completely agree with you on this. The AJAX search was relatively easy to implement as we keep a search history and matching any regular expression is not a problem. For the full-text search this becomes complex as it will run against the Oracle database. Although the server is quite powerful, any regex search against the DB reports poor response time, hence we disabled it for now.

 

Oracle is unfortunately not very good with the text-indexing and searching on regular expressions and doing just a simple search as you mentioned takes over 20 seconds - not the user-experience we want to give anyone.

 

Going forward we will put a proper search-cloud in place and need to revisit quite a few aspects of the search. This has priority, but at the moment we are focusing on some really cool features (long overdue) and then go back to focus on the search.

 

I know, not quite the answer you where looking for, but certainly a task on our (neverending) list of things to do.

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RISadler

Oracle... that explains a lot.

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MacMuffin
Oracle... that explains a lot.

 

not by choice but by inheritance - kind of like the in-laws, very difficult to replace ;). from your previous comments I consider you quite tech-savvy and you would then appreciate the IT problem of migrating to another platform - not something you can do overnight and finding a balance between not disrupting business, containing cost and pursuing something which makes technical long-term sense needs to be a carefully planned exercise.

 

Oracle however will not be around for long (at least not past 12-18 months from now).

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RISadler

I understand.

 

At my previous job I found it faster to do certain "data mining" routines by exporting the data from the Progress and Oracle databases to CSV files and then importing these into MySQL with optimised keys.

 

Another guy there did the same, but used an Access database!

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MacMuffin
I understand.

 

At my previous job I found it faster to do certain "data mining" routines by exporting the data from the Progress and Oracle databases to CSV files and then importing these into MySQL with optimised keys.

 

Another guy there did the same, but used an Access database!

 

That's easy enough if it is a non-transactional database, but as you can understand, on Bob we list every month 1m new items (at any given time we have 400-500K items open). Listing-quality and text-search capability due to the HTML-listings are not great and it is actually quite good to see that the current search performs well under those circumstances (every day users perform 5-10 searches per second and browse over 100 category-pages per second).

 

Oracle is starting to get too costly, there are no other commercial alternatives available. MySQL will probably meet its maker very soon (seeing that Oracle bought Sun and is chopping everywhere) and the only viable OSS option will probably be Postgres which we are going to look at in a few months and do a migration.

 

But yes, the search will be sorted soon, but as we announced at the sellers event, we will roll out SMS bidding, seller tools, mobile website, launch into Africa and then again go back to basics with stuff we have neglected (such as the issues regarding the search).

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RISadler
MySQL will probably meet its maker very soon (seeing that Oracle bought Sun and is chopping everywhere) ...

 

I was wondering what the Oracle logo was doing on my updated-this-morning OpenOffice... Well, it was good while it lasted and now it's the end.

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Free Soul Styles

Would it be possible to add a few filters for the bangles and bracelets section? Like Sterling Silver, Leather, Steel, Charms, Beads etc... It's a disaster having to go through pages of leather, plastic and beaded stuff to find a plain and simple sterling silver bracelet. I'll see a style i like and when i look at the description it's actually silver plated, yet in the main title it says Silver. Eventually i give up and go to the mall and buy one.

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qball
Would it be possible to add a few filters for the bangles and bracelets section? Like Sterling Silver, Leather, Steel, Charms, Beads etc... It's a disaster having to go through pages of leather, plastic and beaded stuff to find a plain and simple sterling silver bracelet. I'll see a style i like and when i look at the description it's actually silver plated, yet in the main title it says Silver. Eventually i give up and go to the mall and buy one.

 

The category managers are working on product attributes for Jewellery and Watches category, this will take some time as it is quite a large category.

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Free Soul Styles

That's awesome! Thanks!

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RRoux101

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Let us have the option to exclude Drop-Shipper from search results. When I want to buy something I want to have the option to exclude those who say shipping takes 15-45 days and can take up to 60 days. I DO NOT WANT TO WAIT THAT LONG!!!

Include a search category which sellers need to comply with where buyers can opt for waiting period for delivery or select local stock providers only. This is a serious hassle!!!

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