Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

If you search for 'thisisdummytext' you get no results.

If you search for '+title:rating [jquery] thisisdummytext', you get some results and if you change 'thisisdummytext' to any garbage text, you get the same results. This means 'thisisdummytext' has no effect and doesn't participate in the search. Why not?

All the stuff in the search text box should be doing something for search. Adding filters limits the result results for the rest of the keywords.

(I know about +body: and other filters but that's not my question)

share|improve this question

A search for +title:rating [jquery] thisisdummytext will return posts that absolutely have the word "rating" in their title and filter them to only include results with the tag , weighting them based on the presence of "thisisdummytext" (most apparent if you're on the relevance tab).

As you've noted, "thisisdummytext" returns no results on its own, so while search does attempt to use it as part of the process, it isn't contributing anything that has an impact on the results.

You can see this a bit more clearly using the following searches:

If we force search to use "thisisdummytext" as an inclusion/exclusion criteria instead of a weighting criteria by searching for +title:rating [jquery] +thisisdummytext instead, we do indeed get nothing, since there aren't any posts with a title containing "rating" and the text "thisisdummytext" at all, let alone tagged with .

Applied to our example searches above, a search for +URLS +title:etiquette yields only two results, the ones that were most highly ranked in the previous example because they did include "URLS".

In short, if you want +title: to act as an actual filter in this case, you'll need to make sure that your base search term is required in the results by prefixing it with +.

share|improve this answer
I don't understand when you say participates in the search but doesn't contribute in the results.. what does that mean? "thisisdummytext" should bring back results if it exists in the title OR body, just as if it was used without any filters. I am adding filters, one by tag and another by title. Therefore, I should be getting fewer results when I add more filters. "thisisdummytext" as used is not a title filter. If I want it to be one, I would add another +title for it as in +title:thisisdummytext – Tony_Henrich Dec 24 '11 at 22:52
No, title: applies to all terms after the colon, as mentioned at the bottom of the search help page. The way your search is constructed the results of "thisisdummytext" don't preclude the other criteria from returning results. – Tim Stone Dec 24 '11 at 23:15
It's also possible that there's either a caveat to the + here, or that it doesn't work with things like title:, but I can't say for certain which one it is at the moment since I'm on my phone. – Tim Stone Dec 24 '11 at 23:52
You are wrong. Only the first term after the title applies to the title filter. Do the test yourself instead of relying on some docs, which could be incomplete. I have supplied several examples already. Here's another example: 'title:latest information' brings back 5000+ results. Most of them don't have 'information' in the title. This means not all terms after the title apply to the title filter. – Tony_Henrich Dec 26 '11 at 6:26
I'd actually have expected title:term1 term2 to search for titles containing either "term1" or "term2", weighting higher those that contained both. Still, it seems that you're correct that it isn't using all of the terms as it claims to. I had tested this previously, but I must have circumstantial observed what I had thought was the actual behaviour. I've updated the post based on the results of further testing. – Tim Stone Dec 26 '11 at 16:04

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .