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Author Topic: A better search engine for this site  (Read 9430 times)
KC
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« on: March 12, 2006, 09:43:57 PM »

As some of you may have noticed, the search engine on this site leaves something to be desired. For one thing, even if you use "advanced search," there's no way you can do a search on an exact phrase. If you're looking for something like "Man with no name" ... which is made up of four words that are very common in other contexts ... it's hard to get a good result.

Today I hit on the idea of applying the power of Google to this task. It's possible, using Google's Advanced Search (http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en), to limit your result to a single domain. In this case, on the Advanced Search page, enter clinteastwood.org/forums in the "Domain" box. Put the phrase you want to search on in the second box at the top, where it says "Find results ... with the exact phrase."

You can also do this on Google's regular search page. Just put the phrase you want to search in the search box in quotes (like this: "Man with no name") and follow it with site:clinteastwood.org/forums.

Obviously with something like "Man with no name," which even as a phrase is very common on this site, you may want to add some other words to narrow things down a bit!

One caveat: It seems to take Google a while to get around to indexing these things. I did a search on "Huffman" and didn't get the recent obit thread for Phyllis Huffman ... nor any of the posts in the Off Topic forum discussing Felicity Huffman's performance in Transamerica or the awards/nominations she received for it. So for newer stuff, you can use the "Advanced search" on this site, and use the "Message age" box to find items no older than 30 days, 60 days, or whatever you like.
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Lilly
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2006, 01:59:41 PM »

For one thing, even if you use "advanced search," there's no way you can do a search on an exact phrase. If you're looking for something like "Man with no name" ... which is made up of four words that are very common in other contexts ... it's hard to get a good result.

That used to really annoy me, but some time ago, I found that suddenly the exact phrase option did work.  Am I losing my marbles, or am I the only one that does indeed get exact phrase results returned if I enter the phrase with quote marks around it? ???

Re using Google...it's even easier if you have the Google Toolbar on Firefox (and probably with IE too - I think it used to work back in the dark ages when I still used it).  You just enter the phrase in the toolbar and hit the "search current site" button (assuming you opted to display it in the toolbar). 8)
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KC
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2006, 10:38:04 PM »

That used to really annoy me, but some time ago, I found that suddenly the exact phrase option did work. Am I losing my marbles, or am I the only one that does indeed get exact phrase results returned if I enter the phrase with quote marks around it? ???

Darn, Lilly, that does seem to work! I don't know why I didn't think of it; I usually do try putting phrases in quotes if they don't tell you otherwise. Maybe it's because the search on this site used to have the explicit option to search words "as a phrase," and when the option was no longer there, I assumed the feature wasn't either.

Oh well, you can still try Google if this site search fails to turn up something you "know" was here ... as seems to happen fairly regularly. I just did get a result with Google that I couldn't find here, even using quotes in my search.
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Lilly
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2006, 04:49:13 PM »

Yeah, there is still the odd thing I'm sure is on the site, but can't turn up, neither with Google nor with our own search. :-\

I just noticed that the exact phrase search on this site cannot distinguish whether the exact phrase is within another word or not.  For example, searching for "in america" returns "plain america", because it contains the phrase. >:(  In practice this doesn't matter too much though, because the majority of the results are sound.
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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2006, 03:32:59 PM »

am I the only one that does indeed get exact phrase results returned if I enter the phrase with quote marks around it? ???

Hey thanks Lilly,whenever I'd remember to use the search engine,I'd just type in what I was looking for and I would get all these results that had nothing to do with what I was looking for.
Now I put the quote marks around it and it's much better.
Cheers. O0
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2006, 04:00:47 PM »

Cool, tgy. O0  It certainly is a pain sifting through all the results you get otherwise. :o
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Lin Sunderland
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2006, 05:41:17 PM »

Thanks Lilly what a time saver.   :)
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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2008, 06:06:26 PM »

I just spent the good part of the morning searching for a post of mine where I compared the two 3:10 To Yuma films.

Using the search function here didn't help me at all, so I started searching through threads from around February this year when I saw both films on the same day. Still no luck, until I tried the "what was the last western you watched" thread and went back to February this year and sure enough there it was.

The only thing I can think of as to why it didn't show up in my original search was the titles are in italics, although I wouldn't think that would make a difference.

As some of you may have noticed, the search engine on this site leaves something to be desired. For one thing, even if you use "advanced search," there's no way you can do a search on an exact phrase. If you're looking for something like "Man with no name" ... which is made up of four words that are very common in other contexts ... it's hard to get a good result.

Today I hit on the idea of applying the power of Google to this task. It's possible, using Google's Advanced Search (http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en), to limit your result to a single domain. In this case, on the Advanced Search page, enter clinteastwood.org/forums in the "Domain" box. Put the phrase you want to search on in the second box at the top, where it says "Find results ... with the exact phrase."

Then I remembered this thread and KC's original post, and I tried the google advanced search and there is what I've been looking for, and it only took a couple seconds.

Quote
What was the last western you watched?3:10 To Yuma (2007) 3:10 To Yuma (1957) SPOILER ALERT This was interesting seeing two different versions of the one film on the same day. ...
www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?topic=5064.540;wap2 - 7k - Cached - Similar pages

google
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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2009, 05:54:43 PM »

One thing I've noticed using google's advanced search when I'm looking for something on this site is that the page I get sometimes is just text with a white background, it's not the actual page from this site.

Anyone know what the story is there? It doesn't always happen, but I'm curious as to why it does sometimes.
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KC
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« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2009, 06:20:39 PM »

Yes, I get that too. I think it's the page "formatted for printing." If you click the "Print" button at the top (and bottom) of each page, that is what you will see.

I continue to use Google a lot for searching this site ... it really does pick up things you can't find with the site's search engine.
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D'Ambrosia
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« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2009, 12:54:40 AM »

When reading through (or about to print) long and reoccurring treads users are able to use this feature to skim through or speed-read the topic without distractions (or waste of color ink), such as images, signatures, avatars, etc…  It does help when looking for specific pieces of information or intently concentrating on reading without all the bells and whistles.

Print Feature: Good.

Search Engine: Bad   
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Conan
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« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2009, 11:37:43 PM »

Print Feature: Good.

Search Engine: Bad   

Haha...  ;D every review should be done in this style.


D'amb's one-word summations: Good

Lengthy, wordy explanations: Bad


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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2010, 06:40:14 PM »

I did a search before about imdb on google advanced search and it gave me the page I was looking for, but the page came out in the "Formatting For Printing".

I couldn't reply to the post though. Does anyone know how I go about it?

I finished up searching through the off topic forum back five years before I found the topic here on the board and was able to reply. There must be an easier way?
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KC
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« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2010, 06:56:38 PM »

You just have to delete the part that says "action=printpage;" from the URL.

From:

http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?action=printpage;topic=8396.0

To:

http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?topic=8396.0

And never mind the question I asked in that old thread you posted in. ;)
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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2010, 07:56:41 PM »

Ahh of course. I knew there had to be an easier way.

Thanks KC. 8)
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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2011, 10:52:55 PM »

Well this was weird and damn annoying.

I wanted to quote a post of mine in the Aussie Thread where I asked SC, What has happened to summer? I typed that into Googles advanced search and the link to that post pops up, so I click on it, but it sends me to the very first post of the Aussie Thread!

That doesn't help me. >:(
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KC
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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2011, 11:04:50 PM »

http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?topic=8582.msg176632#msg176632 ;)

The Google search result gives you (or it gave me) a "Print Page" result. That gets you the whole thread on one page. Use your browser's search function to find the quote you're looking for on the page, and note the date. You can then find it in the thread ... though in this case, it was quoted in the next post and that link shows up in the "Print Page" format, so I just used that.
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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2011, 11:24:42 PM »

Thanks, but when I used my browser's search function, all I got was a google ad wanting me to upgrade my IE. :(
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KC
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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2011, 11:57:28 PM »

Well, you should be using Firefox. ;)

Seriously, that doesn't sound right. Are you sure you're doing it right? In IE, it's called "Find on this page," in the Edit menu. Or you can just hit Ctrl + F. You should get a small box where you can type in your search. It looks through all the text in the page that's on your screen at the time.

And if you already know the thread you want ... no need to use Google Advanced Search. Just hit "Print" at the top or bottom of any page of the thread, then use "Find" or "Find on this page" to find the post you want.
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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2011, 12:05:32 AM »

Sorry, I wasn't doing it right. When you said click on the search function on your browser that's what I did. Not on Edit, then find on this page.

Now we're cooking with gas. :)

Thanks KC. O0
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