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User:AKhatun/Intro to WMF Search Data
The search platform team at the foundation saves some temporary data from searches done in various wikimedia projects, analyzing which can help us understand what improvements can benefit users and what we can do to create better search experience for them. To do this, we need to first understand how search works and what are the various data stored. This page is intended to help you get started with search and search data: with resources, links, and brief explanations. This is not an exhaustive list or a complete explanation of all things related to search.
Where can you search from?
- There is a search bar in every page you visit. The main page, content page, every page. This is called the GO box.
- The landing page for most projects have a search bar in the middle of the page. Like www.wikipedia.org, www.wiktionary.org, etc
- The search special page, like en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search
How search works
As you start typing on any of the search boxes mentioned above, the search process has already started. Every letter/group of letter typed fires a search event; once you press enter/click the magnifying glass icon, an event is fired; once you click a search result from the search result page, another event is fired. More about events later.
Here are some of the possibilities with searching:
- You start typing in the GO box or any other mediawiki search bar. After each letter you type, you get a drop down of tittle suggestions. These are called autocomplete searches. Sometimes if you type mutiple letters with quick succession, you will get these suggestions when you pause.
- You can click one of the tittle suggestions and go to that page directly
- Or, you can press enter or select search for pages containing <your text>. This takes you to the search results page.
- In the search results page, you will see your search results, results from other langauge wikis (if applicable), results from sister projects, and advanced search options. This is also the search special page. You can continue to perform other searches from here or read your results.
- Sometimes, the word or phrase you searched for may have no results. If the system thinks you meant something else, it will search for that and show those results instead. Search for azpw, the results will be populated for the word aziz and says Showing results for aziz. No results found for azpw.
- Sometimes the word or phrase you searched for has very few results. If the system thinks you meant something else, it will recommend a different (possibly correct) search. Search for alsha, it will say Did you mean: alpha. It still shows the little results it found for alsha, but you can click on alpha and view those results instead.
- On the side are results from sister projects
- At the bottom of the results are results from other language wikis if applicable. Search for বন্য প্রানি for example.
- Some wikis have results from Wikidata at the bottom as well.
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