Difficulties with search - not finding a topic with the same title as search query


I’ve been looking at search recently and noticed that it’s not all that useful on the forum I self-host, even when I search the exact title of the topic, leading me to believe that it might not be working properly on my forum. I also decided to try out semantic search to see how its results compare.

Here I use normal search but the topic I’m looking for does not show in the results:

To compare, I also tried semantic search (here the target topic I’m looking for is 3rd):

Unfortunately, if my search is less exact the results are completely different (I’m unclear how any of those topics relate to the search query):

(For comparison, how to appeal my ban shows similar results to how to appeal your ban at least)

Information That May Be Relevant

Discourse version installed (updated forum around 12 hours ago): 3.1.0.beta4 (b46899e5fa)

Settings for semantic search:


Hidden site setting for search:

I also ran rake search:reindex to be sure the index was updated, same results.

Try yourself here: Search results for '' - Dark Gaming


Is there an issue with my normal search? Should it really not find the topic when I search using the exact title?

Is it expected that semantic search performs as above, where a slightly less exact query finds completely irrelevant topics? (I clicked on one of those topics and found no mention of ban or appeal)


Just throwing this out: have you tried putting quotes around your search query?

“how to appeal your ban”

Should find only the instances of those particular words in that order.


That does help to find an exact match. It limits the results to 9 in total, which contains the right topic (though the target topic is still not first). However, I’m not so sure that new users will be using quotes in their searches, nor will know exactly the title.

Mainly just wondering if the behaviour in the OP is expected at the moment or whether there’s something broken with my installation.

1 Like

how to appeal your ban

more relavant
appeal ban (different theme)

less relavant
Relavancy varies based on what you type in.

(Note - try changing your search results, as this may affect the results.)
(Edited due to not helping with situation)

1 Like

appropos of nothing, i have to giggle at the topic of “how to appeal your ban” :sweat_smile:

1 Like

The site is often used to appeal bans which is why “how to appeal ban” is being showcased.

Example topics can be found here:

(link failed so edit)

1 Like

oh i see, a ban not related to being suspended from the forum. that makes more sense now.

aha Discord bans DOH i should have guessed. i like your forum btw.

1 Like

we’re not running the AI yet but i’m curious about how it’s working with the searches.

1 Like

It picks the search results using semantic-related queries like this:

1 Like