If you go searching for search (OK, so searching for search) at The WordPress Helpers, you’ll find
34 now 35 pages that return as a match. Think you know what that means?
Depending on where you do your searching for search, and how you structure it, your results will differ. We aren’t talking about search engine optimization, the subject that has caused so many pages here to pop up as matches for s-e-a-r-c-h, but literally about the behavior of your search efforts—or that of your website visitors.
Search engines like Google and Bing return different search results because of the way their algorithms parse queries, but in most ways you can get reasonable results from your search engine of choice by understanding search operators. Lorelle VanFossen has laid out the way search engine search works; take a look at her piece by clicking below.
What Lorelle touches on much more briefly is the way searching works inside WordPress. And honestly, WordPress search can be a bit of a disappointment.
The closest thing there is in WordPress to search management is a feature called Omnisearch. Omnisearch is part of Jetpack, where it’s been available for almost two years.
Omnisearch makes it possible for you to search non-modally across different types of WordPress content, but without some serious extra-geeky tweaking also reduces the results you get … if theoretically making the act of searching for search more meaningful.
If you want your WordPress search to be as useful as search engine search, you’ll need to add a plugin. We’d recommend one, but frankly we’ve never seen a WordPress search improvement plug-in that works well enough to do so. For example, this search plugin may do the job, but the options are such that selecting the right choice is a job in itself!
We generally recommend that to provide your users with the best search experience you point them to Google-driven search inside your site. For example, http://wordpress.answerguy.com/?s=search tells Google to go searching for search, but only here.
Got all that?
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