Search is broken? Needs advanced features?

Been looking around the site for the past eight hours, covering various topics. I've tried a couple of machines to verify, and all I can say is that the search seems broken. When I want to sort results by date, they don't really seem to be sorted that way at all. Possibly they are sorted by date of last post, but that hardly seems helpful in some cases, and threads get hijacked around here all the time and, it seems, rarely closed. Also, it is sometimes difficult to find Sub-categories. They don't appear at the top of some forums, and you have to dig around to find them to create a new post....usually by searching for a topic and then grabbing the correct URL from the specific path at the top of another message.

While sometimes I appreciate the wealth of knowledge, often times it seems like articles are way too dated to serve any purpose. When I'm looking for the best HTPC HDD, I really don't care what they were selling back in 2008...it simply isn't relevant anymore. It would be nice to limit searches by date, or by specific forum category and/or sub-category.


I tried to search for other articles on this...but you understand the irony in that attempt, yes?


Kinda my 2 cents, kinda my cry out for help in which way to make Tom's Hardware much more functional...

Thanks.
10 answers Last reply
More about search broken advanced features
  1. Are there specific enhancements to our search feature you'd like to see?
  2. jpishgar said:
    Are there specific enhancements to our search feature you'd like to see?


    Since I don't know the breakdown of forum messages you get, I don't know which one makes the most sense. Since I am fairly comfortable building machines, I usually only find myself posting more general questions on Tom's...the kind of questions which get asked on a regular basis but which also change on a daily basis. (What's the best HDD for the money...how does the chipset compare....etc.) For more detailed technical questions, I usually find myself at either the vendor's support forum or at good ole MS to diagnose system error codes. So, at the very least, "I think" that being able to limit searches to OP date range would be quite helpful. Because technology changes so fast, questions about compatibility, price, benchmarks, etc... are very time sensitive. Also, I try to encourage veteran users to move "Stickies", "Wiki's" and detailed guides to Wikipedia. Generally speaking they will get more attention there, proper evaluation, and provide a level of magnitude greater usefulness. RAID can only be explained so many ways, and coming across 38 detailed posts explaining RAID in one forum while looking for actual benchmarks or troubleshooting tips.

    At the end of the day...the community is better known and better defined by experts and veterans who frequent THG daily. A polite survey of "Badge holders" might makes sense. Just remind them that they need to think about how a newb might search for answers on the site based on its design and the menus currently in place. If someone were to type in "Best motherboard for $100" right now, they might get their top 3 articles from back in 2006 which discuss processors no longer manufactured with a "winner" that is no longer in business.

    However, I bet each of the veterans/moderators could put together a fairly similar list of "Top ten ?s" asked...and then chose advanced search fields around those areas. I'd be happy to "eDiscuss" the topic in detail, but I think that the real stakeholders would give more meaningful results. Damn, did I just peg myself as a former consultant?


    So, I take it that the search isn't "broken"?
  3. jpishgar said:
    Are there specific enhancements to our search feature you'd like to see?

    Yes, just use Google for the built in search (easier coding too). The current search is cr@p. I find Toms stuff MUCH faster via Google.
  4. MGHolley said:
    However, I bet each of the veterans/moderators could put together a fairly similar list of "Top ten ?s" asked...and then chose advanced search fields around those areas. I'd be happy to "eDiscuss" the topic in detail, but I think that the real stakeholders would give more meaningful results. Damn, did I just peg myself as a former consultant?

    So, I take it that the search isn't "broken"?


    That reassures me, because this is actually one of the first things I did upon arrival. I have a list being assembled by the moderators of the top issues, bugs, feature requests that is being fleshed out for proposal to development. You definitely did peg yourself as a consultant, and I'll be sure to broach the topic with mods with regards to advanced search features.

    As for search being broken, no, I wouldn't say that it is broken. It does work... it just doesn't work as great as it could yet. ;)
  5. jpishgar said:
    That reassures me, because this is actually one of the first things I did upon arrival. I have a list being assembled by the moderators of the top issues, bugs, feature requests that is being fleshed out for proposal to development. You definitely did peg yourself as a consultant, and I'll be sure to broach the topic with mods with regards to advanced search features.

    As for search being broken, no, I wouldn't say that it is broken. It does work... it just doesn't work as great as it could yet. ;)


    Great! Glad to hear its being looked at. Robust search (as well as FAQ & wiki's) are perhaps two of the most powerful features for these "self help" forums....yet so few sites implement them properly. As a well known and respected site, I'm hoping Tom's will get even better. The fewer forums, BBS, and message boards I have to join to ask questions, the happier my inbox is. :)
  6. noob question, i see the "search" button in a thread however how do i search a forum such as Motherboards & Memory : Gigabyte Forum

    search for GA-MA770-UD3

    am i missing something?
  7. The search is always forum-wide. If you want to do a section-specific search you can't, but you could use Google or Bing since they are better at picking up relevant posts. Just add "site:tomshardware.com/forum/" (without quotes) to the search criteria.
  8. randomizer said:
    The search is always forum-wide. If you want to do a section-specific search you can't, but you could use Google or Bing since they are better at picking up relevant posts. Just add "site:tomshardware.com/forum/" (without quotes) to the search criteria.


    Maybe you could add the specific forum name in the Tom's search box. I don't have time to experiment with that but I did one search and it looked like it worked.

    You might try adding the specific forum name to our Yahoo, Bing or Google search as well.

    I'm not sure why Tom's hasn't added a search feature at the forum level. I did see one post from a couple of years ago that said click on the magnifying glass near the post reply button so maybe they had it in the past.
  9. I have to give Tom's a big fat FAIL on the forum seach capabilities. Even VERY basic and very OLD forums have the capability. No excuse really.
  10. Slee_Stack said:
    I have to give Tom's a big fat FAIL on the forum seach capabilities. Even VERY basic and very OLD forums have the capability. No excuse really.


    There is a platform upgrade coming soon. It should improve the search features available.
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