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Search Function on TES

Discussion in 'Tes Authors' Group' started by Krazikas, May 15, 2017.

  1. Krazikas

    Krazikas Occasional commenter

    @TES Resource Team @charliep86 - Perhaps you can answer my questions....

    OK – I do a search for ‘general election’ – highest rated. https://www.tes.com/resources/search/?q=general election&sortBy=highestRated

    Why, oh why, do the following appear in the top 10 results with no general election resources to be seen?

    https://www.tes.com/resources/search/?q=general election&sortBy=highestRated

    Handbook for OCR Philosophy and Ethics

    UK Democracy and Government

    Fractions decimals & percentages

    Unit 1 GCSE English/English Language exam scheme

    GCSE Germany in Transition WJEC Full SOW and Lesson

    Statistics 2 powerpoints


    Whilst I am on the subject of search - on what basis are resources selected to appear on the first page on relevance? They do not appear to be by most sold, highest rated etc.

    Last edited: May 15, 2017
    CurriculumForAutism and mrajlong like this.
  2. cliftonc

    cliftonc Guest

    It's a by product of the sorting by highest rated.

    If you sort by relevance, you get the most relevant results: https://www.tes.com/resources/search/?q="general election"

    Why does sorting by highest rated give odd results? Think of it as a two step thing:

    1. The search engine we use goes and finds all of the resources that we think match your search term.
    2. We then order them as you ask. In this case we use a reasonably complex calculation that ensures that those with more ratings are weighted more heavily (or you'd have a lot of single 5-star ratings at the top).

    Unfortunately step 2 down plays relevance, and so you can see a resource that was perhaps relevant enough (maybe just) to be included in step 1, that is above others that appear much more relevant if doing a site wide search.

    To prove this isn't Tes specific, you could try it on www.amazon.co.uk. Search for a broad term like: 'battery'. Change the sort order to 'Avg Customer Review'. You will get a lot of things at the top that don't appear very relevant.

    Regardless, we're constantly looking to improve search for all the possible permutations, so this is a good example we can use to tune and experiment with how it works - it's really complex to get right, and as I'm sure you can imagine each time we pull a lever to improve one thing it can impact many others.

    We also look at the types of searches actual users do - e.g. do they filter in via the facets on the left first? Do they just use text search? - and try to optimise it around that.

    Re. the first page - it's based on the search engines perspective of relevance, where we look for the text in the following fields: title, description, categorisation, author name and content of attachments. This is in order of most to least important.

    If you were wondering, we use a very common open source search platform: http://lucene.apache.org/solr/
  3. mrajlong

    mrajlong Established commenter

    The trouble with weighting by the number of reviews is the issue with the previously free resources (with a lot of reviews) that come up first. Whilst genuine, made for premium resources, are buried on lower pages. And seeing that a lot of those reviews were for when it was free, this is misleading. It often takes a while for new resources to start selling because of this issue i.e. have to "hope" someone finds them and reviews them and let's face it, only about 1% of sales generate a review - so they remain buried. I know that if someone changes the filter to "newest first" this would change things, but how often will a customer do this?

    I appreciate this is a complex issue - but as has been said too many times to count, the reviewing issue needs to be addressed urgently!
    Alice K and Krazikas like this.
  4. CurriculumForAutism

    CurriculumForAutism Occasional commenter

    Once buyers find a resource they like, they might buy more resources from that teacher if they could search within the shop.
    peterfogarty and mrajlong like this.
  5. Krazikas

    Krazikas Occasional commenter

    Thanks for taking the trouble to explain.... I realise that it is very complex. It's just very disheartening that a lot of time is spent on making resources and they rarely get seen .... lost somewhere in the abyss.... There have been lots of suggestions given by authors elsewhere about improving the review system so that purchasers leave more reviews which might improve the presence of 'quality' resources in the search results: about encouraging the production of quality resources by authors instead of incentives like "£2 for every resource on one day" which culminates in the frantic production of hundreds of wordsearches and photo resources which further 'buries' very educational and worthwhile quality resources......
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
  6. Krazikas

    Krazikas Occasional commenter

    By the way is there any way of deleting posts on here if you make an error?
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
  7. HotForest

    HotForest New commenter

    I don't know if it's changed but when I tried to change free to paid you had to completely delete the resource and begin again, thus losing all reviews?

    I have the same annoyance with 'browse' - so if I browse 'development' under geography I get 250 pages of results and mine right at the back. Surely if TES wants to drive traffic, a mix of the newest and most highly rated should appear first.

    To add to that, most reviews are only on products 2+ years old so anything made in the last couple of years is at an immediate disadvantage..
    Krazikas likes this.
  8. peterfogarty

    peterfogarty New commenter

    I am not sure if this is correct as I'm sure you cannot change a product from free to premium, except by creating a new product and uploading it all again, hence loosing all your stunning or terrible reviews in the process.
  9. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    @peterfogarty You used to be able to. That's why some pretty average older premium resources have hundreds of reviews.
    Krazikas and mrajlong like this.
  10. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    If too much time has elapsed so that you can't edit your post, the only way to remove a post is to either 'report' your own post and ask for it to be deleted or ask, by using the alert function, TES_Rosaline.
    Krazikas likes this.
  11. mrajlong

    mrajlong Established commenter

    There was a brief time when you could change from free to premium thus maintaining the reviews you had received when it was free - like I said: misleading AND little thought given to copyright when it was transformed to commercial use. These premium (once free) resources are the ones with 10+ reviews and the majority from 2 years ago, that come up first on a lot of searches!
    Krazikas likes this.
  12. hoppytimes

    hoppytimes New commenter

    Understandable with regards to changing free to paid. I am a bit annoyed you can't change paid ones to free without starting a new listing.

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