Forum Search Refinements are Broken, Horribly Broken... RRS feed

  • Question

  • For the longest time, and still to this day, I'm afraid to say that Google is the best way to search for Microsoft content.  That said, Bing itself isn't useless - but the embedded Bing search in the forums/MSDN is.  This may not be a forums-only issue - so please let me know specifically who to report this to so that I can be the squeaky wheel.

    Here's a perfect example that demonstrates to me that the "custom" search engine used on MSDN/forums is pathetic compared to Bing and Google.  I'm browsing this thread, preparing to answer, and I need to link to a library article about string literals.  So what do I do?  Open a page to this MSDN portal, and enter a search query of "SSIS string literals".  I get a list of results that includes forum posts:

    I'm not interested in those (I know what I'm looking for), so I go to the "refinements" area (which nicely shows I'm restricting myself to SQL Server content), but it only shows "Forums" as a source of the results.  Crazy in itself - but here's the institutional-crazy... I click the "x" beside Forums to exclude those from the results, and...

    WTF?  I still get results... and they're all still forum posts.  So what do I have to do?  Go to Bing directly.  (I'll spare you the comparison to Google.)  Using a query of " SSIS string literals", I get what I'm looking for at the top of the results:

    And get this - even if I don't specify a restriction of I still get that as my top result:

    Now, I see (but can't be sure) that the MSDN results are still found by Bing... so maybe it's the added capabilities of the Forum/MSDN searching?  In fact, it seems to be.  If I remove all of the refinements...

    What's this?  I now see a couple other technologies listed on the left as refinement candidates... "Win CE"?  Seriously?

    I guess so.

    Todd McDermid's Blog Talk to me now on
    • Edited by Todd McDermid Wednesday, January 19, 2011 5:18 PM Images added
    Wednesday, January 19, 2011 5:08 PM


All replies

  • Ahh yes, I can see from the length of time since this posting that the Microsoft Moderators are actively seeking an answer.

    I was just going to post a question in the same regard, but I'll just go away for now and hold my breath till Microsoft answers :-)


    Friday, February 11, 2011 3:52 PM
  • What is really annoying, in the case of Answers, is that Google is clearly being blocked from completely indexing those forums.  E.g. it comes up with the same useless incomplete search results that BING does.  If you really want a complete search of Answers forum posts, e.g. to find something that you know you have seen before, you need to have a local archive, e.g. as created by the NNTP bridge.  Sounds like it is not the same case with the other "brands"?  Be grateful.  ; }
    Saturday, February 12, 2011 2:56 AM
  • Sorry for not replying sooner. It seems fixes are in the works for later this week. Our next deployment (Thursday this week) should address these search issues. Thanks

    Note: the update later this week is not for the Answers forums, just msdn, technet, microsoft and expression.

    Community Forums Program Manager

    Monday, February 14, 2011 8:01 PM
  • Excellent.  I can confirm that the "By Source" filters are working much better!

    Now some butt needs to be kicked to correctly categorize the content - the Integration Services item I was searching for in the above example is still allcoated to Windows CE...

    Todd McDermid's Blog Talk to me now on
    Friday, February 18, 2011 12:54 AM
  • And we have since updated the search platform again, so hopefully the search works even better.
    Ed Price a.k.a User Ed, Microsoft Experience Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)
    Wednesday, November 2, 2011 9:25 PM