Slaw Uses Google Site Search

For some time now I’ve been dissatisfied with the way that WordPress, the engine that enables us to blog, handles site searching. There was no easy way to make it search for a whole word rather than a portion of a word, and Boolean searching was only possible on the advanced search page. The results of a search were not arranged by relevance but only by date, which was often unhelpful. And only posts were searched, not any other documents on the site.

As a result I’ve substituted Google’s custom site search for the built in WordPress search function. You ought now to be able to do here whatever you can in your usual Google searching, and as well search through any and all publicly available documents on the site. The results, however, will appear on a page on Google’s site that will replace the Slaw page from which your search was launched. Of course, clicking on any of the results of your search will bring you back into Slaw, ideally at the very point you were seeking. You will see as well that clicking on the Slaw banner on the search results page will open up Slaw’s main page once again, so we hope you won’t get lost.

Please let me know if you encounter any difficulties. And if you’ve been avoiding the search function because of difficulties you’ve experienced, I hope that you’ll come back to it now in its new and improved form.

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Comments

  1. A difficulty I’ve noticed with Google site search is that it finds a given post twice: once in the normal archive and again in the archive of posts by that author. This doesn’t happen with comments or other documents, of course. I’m thinking I can live with this for the increased speed and utility of the search function.

  2. You are right, the Google search works much better.

    Not sure if you noticed, but search terms with hits in the COMMENTS section, link the user to the XML file and not the actual post.

  3. You’re right, Elda. I hadn’t noticed. Because I use Firefox that works out ok for me, because the browser translates the XML into nicely legible text — and invites me to subscribe to the feed. But this might be a problem for others. I wonder if there’s a way to get Google to do this right?