close ad
Install the LAtest Updates to Work with CC 2017 and CC 2018
open ad
View Menu

Technical Support Forums

Free, outstanding support from WebAssist and your colleagues

rating

A Few Observations/Questions

Thread began 2/10/2010 4:41 pm by robert222776 | Last modified 2/24/2010 6:55 pm by toms016390756 | 1875 views | 8 replies |

robert222776

A Few Observations/Questions

I implemented BOSS on my own site (without any customization of the search results content) to better understand how it works, My conclusions are admittedly empirical (no search theory involved here) since they come from my own testing. Perhaps they are obvious to those familiar with how Yahoo (Web) or Google search works.

1. I compared BOSS search with Yahoo's Web search. modifying the search terms slightly for the Web search case. The results were nearly identical for the Web search and my site search.

2.As an interesting side note, (for some reason) one page on my site was never indexed by Yahoo spiders. Consequently a search for keywords within the content on that page did not show any results for either my site search or the web search. BTW, Google did not miss indexing the page.

Conclusion: For the BOSS search to work, a page(s) must already have been indexed by Yahoo. The BOSS API itself does not initiate or do any indexing of the site. Hence the real meaning behind your marketing statement, "Add the power of Yahoo!'s search engine and extensive search index to your website". It seems obvious to me now, but I really did not give this point much thought before.

3. The search results displayed (most of the time) come directly from the meta tag for description content (BOSS calls it "abstract"). If the meta description content="", then search terms from the page content will be displayed prominently in the search results. This is true for both BOSS and Yahoo Web. In one test case, results displayed page content (instead the description content). My site is not large, only about 13 pages, so experimental sample sizes were small.

4. Most of the time, if there is meta description content, then the content on the actual page is ignored for a BOSS search, i.e "no results found". When I searched for the same phrases from actual content on my pages with Yahoo web, I got positive results.

Question: I am interested to know if others see this too, or if Web Assist has seen this? I do not really know if the page contend was not indexed, only that it was not displayed in the results.

Question: Is the length or number of words in the meta description a factor, such that long descriptions effectively leave no room for page content to be displayed, and short descriptions do leave room?

Question: What parameters control the amount of results displayed?

Question: What are the drivers that determine the BOSS results content that is actually displayed (beyond what I see in the Dreamweaver bindings)?

I do not see any Dreamweaver bindings for "page content" even though the content has been indexed by Yahoo.

Inconsistency in what seems to be driving the results makes it hard to have confidence in BOSS, especially for larger sites. The concern, obviously, is that BOSS is leaving out pages that should be counted in the site search results, even though Yahoo has indexed them.

Question: What might cause this to happen? Is this a fundamental limitation in BOSS, or a limitation in my understanding/implementation of BOSS?

Question: How should (can it?) the BOSS_include.php file be edited such that page content is always included in the search results?

I hope I have not bored everyone with these questions and observations. I am admittedly not a search guru.

Thanks,
Robert

Sign in to reply to this post

Eric Mittman

As far as I know the results that are returned by the implementation of BOSS should match what you get with a Yahoo search.

Do you have an example for us of a search that can be performed on yahoo that gives different results than the BOSS results? A link to your search page on your site and the terms used for the search would be ideal.

When we have an example of this it will be easier to determine what might be happening and why.

Sign in to reply to this post

robert222776

Try this:

www.evantagefive.com

Search phrase: "Our initial one-hour consultation with you is free" without the quotes, which is the first line on the Consultation page. I got no results found when searching on my site.

Then try on Yahoo search:

Search phrase: "evantagefive Our initial one-hour consultation with you is free" without the quotes. You will get a result.

The big question for me is why doesn't BOSS see the phrase in the main content. I realize it looks for the information inside of the meta description tag when there is content there, but it does not appear to look at the page content (unless meta description content="".

How can I force BOSS to look at the page content all the time, besides the meta description?

Thanks,
Robert

Sign in to reply to this post

Eric Mittman

Thanks for the details, I can see just what you mean. I was not able to determine why the results are returned differently. I have opened a ticket for you on this issue. To update the ticket please login and visit your support history.

Sign in to reply to this post

robert222776

Thanks Eric. I have provided contact information and uploaded files of interest. Please let me know if you need anything else.

Robert

Sign in to reply to this post

Eric Mittman

This should be all that is needed for now, when the ticket is responded to you should receive a notification.

Sign in to reply to this post

robert222776

Here is an update on the problem from the ticked opened by WA.

WA Engineering reports and I quote "we don't have any control on the results that are being returned by Search for BOSS, or any control over what content to read on your site pages. Search for BOSS return the results that are being returned from the the Yahoo Search for BOSS API, which is controlled by the indexing of the pages."

From what I can tell, content is indexed by BOSS. However, repeated testing shows what I believe might be limitation of BOSS, or a bug. Anytime my search word or phrase included a hyphen, I got "no results". I tried a number of hyphenated words that appear on my site such as e-Commerce, full-service Web Design, in-depth knowledge of web design, etc. Note that the main Yahoo search was fine. Only BOSS failed to display search results for hyphenated words.

I know the hyphenated word has been indexed because if I search using the words that precede or follow the hyphenated word, I get the results I should, including the hyphenated word appearing as part of the returned text. I just cannot use a hyphenated word in the search phrase.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Robert

Sign in to reply to this post

robert222776

Here is the fix for the hyphen problem:

WA was able to reproduce this issue and has logged the issue in their bug base. To fix this issue, look for this line of code on the page that displays the search results.

$word = "/^[a-z|A-Z|0-9| |-|\"]+$/";

and change it to:

$word = "/^[a-z|A-Z|0-9| |\-|\"]+$/";

Thanks WA!

Robert

Sign in to reply to this post

toms016390756

I had noticed when searching yahoo or google in the past that sometimes you can get different results based on the ip location of your search. So if I search for "buy xyz" on west coast of the US and my friend searches the same phrase on the east coast. the results order can be a bit different from one another.

Sign in to reply to this post

Build websites with a little help from your friends

Your friends over here at WebAssist! These Dreamweaver extensions will assist you in building unlimited, custom websites.

Build websites from already-built web applications

These out-of-the-box solutions provide you proven, tested applications that can be up and running now.  Build a store, a gallery, or a web-based email solution.

Want your website pre-built and hosted?

Close Windowclose

Rate your experience or provide feedback on this page

Account or customer service questions?
Please user our contact form.

Need technical support?
Please visit support to ask a question

Content

rating

Layout

rating

Ease of use

rating

security code refresh image

We do not respond to comments submitted from this page directly, but we do read and analyze any feedback and will use it to help make your experience better in the future.

Close Windowclose

We were unable to retrieve the attached file

Close Windowclose

Attach and remove files

add attachmentAdd attachment
Close Windowclose

Enter the URL you would like to link to in your post

Close Windowclose

This is how you use right click RTF editing

Enable right click RTF editing option allows you to add html markup into your tutorial such as images, bulleted lists, files and more...

-- click to close --

Uploading file...