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Topic: why do searches bring up other books?

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Subject: why do searches bring up other books?
Date Posted: 2/19/2008 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I've noticed that book searches often bring up completely different titles (or authors, when I'm doing an author search.) Anyone know why?

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I've noticed that too.  It's annoying, but I guess the search engine here just does that.  I've also left out an apostrophe, and it will not pull up the book at all.  Odd.

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 8:16 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Yes, I've noticed that it's very precise  - the words have to be properly spelled and punctuated. That makes it even stranger that it brings up some many unrelated books.

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 1,051
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I've seen that if I type in a topic to search, the unrelated books have that word in the description (both fiction and non-fiction.)

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2007
Posts: 530
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That's one of my unanswered questions, too!  :)  I have to admit, I really wish it wouldn't b/c the books that come up really don't have anything to do with the book I was looking for.  And it's weird because their titles will literally have NOTHING to do with what the search said.  So strange... :)

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 10:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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Here's what I've noticed about that.  IF I spelled my search terms correctly, and the book isn't among the first couple listings, it won't be hidden among the pages of books.  I think the default is for the system to give you exact matches first, followed by matches which have similar topics or terms.  So, no need to go searching through all those pages to find your book, that's good news at least!

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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First, make sure you're selecting "All Books" after your initial search. If your book is still not showing up (particularly if you're searching for the exact title), report it as a bug to R&R.

Lisa, I was looking up a novel a while back. I used the exact title. It didn't show up on the front page, even after choosing "All books" and verifying the spelling I was using. I knew the book was in the system, because I could find it from the author's page. I also was able to find it with an ISBN search. I reported it to R&R as a bug, because it should have come up right away.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 2/20/2008 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,145
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If you are using the search box at the top of the screen, that is the same as using the Keyword search on the Advanced Search screen. The default settings on this search are:

  • Posted Books Only
  • 100 Results per Page
  • Sorted by Relevance Ascending

The keyword search brings up books other than the one you entered, because it is searching the title, author, isbn and description fields. If you click on the details for some of those books, you'll see that the words you entered appear in the descriptions.

If the terms you entered are found in the title, author or isbn fields, then those books are considered more relevant to your search and they get a lower relevance score so they will appear first in the results. Actually, if there is a match in the isbn field, it goes straight to the details screen because any match there means there's only one book that satisfies your criteria.