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Search Doesn't appear to be searching Titles


When using the search, it appears it only searches the body of a question - not the titles, and maybe not even the comments (I haven't been able to test that fully yet). Is there something we can look at to see why it is not searching the question title? This is an important feature for us.

It also does not appear to be searching the answers.
Edited Sep 19, 2013 09:11 AM
additional information
asked September 19, 2013 at 8:49 AM


2 Answers


Additional information -- it appears it is not searching for this particular title or any others similar, but it does search for some. I believe it is a flaw in the way mysql search works, so there is nothing to be done to fix it. When the title has a hyphen in it, the search doesn't seem to "see" anything beyond that (at least in the title).

Title is:

Work Hours Report - AFFORD.TXT

When searching, it does not see the AFFORD.TXT.
Note the title here (the question is towards the bottom):

Note the search doesn't return anything:

Note when I search for the first part of the title, the "- AFFORD.TXT" does not show, but it is the correct questions

answered September 20, 2013 at 6:41 AM
Fist about title search: try searching "searching titles" on this site. You will find this question, confirming that searching by title works.

Second: comments are not added to search index, so searching in comment does not work. This can be changed but will require tweaking indexer and search.

At this time search is powered by MySQL Full text search feature. One thing about MySQL full text search is that it will exclude documents from search results if the results are not unique enough. For example if you have just 3 questions in your new database and 2 of the questiosn have "building widgets" in the title, then searching for 'building widgets' will not return any results because MySQL will consider the results to be too common. I think document must appear in the index in less than 50% of documents to be returned in results.

Read this document:

Especially this paragraph:
"The search result is empty because the word "MySQL" is present in at least 50% of the rows. As such, it is effectively treated as a stopword. "
answered September 20, 2013 at 6:05 AM

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