This issue was first brought to my attention some days ago by a forum member, and I’ve since noticed it on a few occasions, but I’ve been unable to establish the cause. (By it’s very nature, it’s hard to spot when it happens.)
We have an ongoing game thread where we use search to check that an entry has not been posted previously. A search for “legs” in that thread shows it in the wiki post #1, and also at post #2503 by SuperTed, but it omits the earlier post by FemaleAdda at #2430.
There is no formatting or anything in the omitted post to explain this, as far as I can see.
I thought it might just be a glitch caused by the length of that topic, but I’ve since encountered it elsewhere. For example here:
“Trending” doesn’t appear in the search results, although it’s clearly in the post. Likewise “hashtags”:
But a general search (rather than topic search) does show that post:
The term “trending hashtag” also appears in an earlier post in that topic, but does not appear in a topic search for either of those terms. In both these cases, the term is in a list, which I thought might be causing an issue, but this post in the same topic has no lists and doesn’t appear in topic search for any of the terms I tried.
Bizarrely, if I search for “quality”, it doesn’t show post #40 in the results, but does show my reply - including the instance where I quoted that post.
The term “quality” also appears in posts #14, #16 and #37 in that topic - none of which appeaars in the search results.
I use this kind of search extensively, where I think I’ve seen a post - or something very similar - before, and I want to check whether it’s been copied from earlier in the topic. At the moment, it’s not reliable. Unfortunately, I cannot find any common factor in the omitted results.