2 Replies Latest reply on Oct 14, 2014 3:40 PM by ben.taub

    Browse vs Search


      We are getting some questions from users about the difference between Browse and Search.  If you use the same criteria (say a word or two in the title of a document) in Search and in Browse (say for content) you get completely different results.


      So the algorithm for Search I think weighs Tags most heavily then content text (which presumably includes Title), but in Browse - the box says "Filter by Text" and there is also a "Sort by" drop-down that includes "Title".  However, since the "Filter by Text" is clearly not a "Search" box in the same sense of the word, what is it?  I think this is a case where it makes more sense to us among the Jive cognoscenti than the average user (think "performs as Designed" vs "Bug" - it is clearly not a bug).


      So how do I explain these subtleties to the average user?  Frankly, I think Browse should use the same engine as Search and more importantly, I think the use case for the average user is that they are equivalent.


      Any thoughts?



        • Re: Browse vs Search

          Hi Benjamin.


          The primary difference is that the search engine uses a complex set of algorithms to figure out a set of results that best match a set of keywords. Title and tags affect the relevance score more than the body content, for example. We go even further than this, leveraging social signals, such as activity and connections, modification date, and even "official" or "outdated" content to raise or lower the relevance score to put the best possible content in front of the end user.


          The browse system, on the other hand, is a completely separate engine that queries content from the database, rather than the search index. It's more appropriate for browsing / exploring content when you aren't searching for a specific term. A good example is "Documents you've authored in the last week" or "Open questions in a group". You don't really care about a particular term, but rather the set of results that match your criteria. One of those criteria happens to be "filter by text" which doesn't change the way content is sorted to show the most relevant results, but simply removes content that doesn't have any matching terms. This filter is meant to enable me to still see a list of content I've created sorted by most recent first, but to be able to filter those results to only include content that contains the term "jive".


          I agree that the filter by term box on browse can often be confused with search. As we move more signals into the search index, such as content your participated in, we'll be able to eventually merge these two experiences into one. Hopefully that information and context above will enable you to explain the difference to any end user that might ask.