In the mathematics stackexchange, I found myself searching "radial decreasing maximal" to try to find results about a specific lemma. The first result that was related to the lemma I was interested in, had the word "convolution" in the title, which I thought would be good to add to my search terms. However, when I included the word "convolution" there were no results found.

I was wondering if this is a known issue, and if there are suggestions to not lose search results by what appears to be a result of searching with too many keywords?

Update: I have decided it likely has something to do with the title of a question not being looked at by the search engine, since the word "convolution" was only in the title and not the body of the question. (Every other word was also in the body.) So, is there a way to make sure that your search includes the title as well?


1 Answer 1


Thanks for bringing this up. This is as designed, though it definitely isn't intuitive. The thought process in your update is nearly correct.

What happens is the search engine takes your query "radial decreasing maximal" and says "OK, search title, body, and tags for these terms, and a match is defined as any post that has all of these terms in the title, all of these terms in the body, or all of these terms in the tags. Anything that matches on more than one field gets boosted". In short, it searches each of the three fields separately and independently for a match of all of the words.

Your first query matches on the body, and so results are returned. Your second query, "radial decreasing maximal convolution" (which as a side note is totally incomprehensible to me, Math is hard!) does not exist entirely in just the title, or just the body, or just the tags, and so there are no results. There are options to search title, body, and tags as one large field (AKA "match if all of the query terms appear in at least one field but they don't have to all be in the same field" AKA "make the three fields into one big field to match on" however when we A/B tested this, it decreased successful searches, which is bad. This is why we don't change it.

BUT NOT ALL HOPE IS LOST! You can control what fields are searched for what terms! Try:

radial decreasing maximal title:convolution

Which should get you what you desire.

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