Why doesn't 404 page search locally instead of google?

(Jay Pfaffman) #1

Discourse Meta returns the

Oops! That page doesn’t exist or is private.

page with some recent topics and at the bottom

Search this site

but it uses a Google search. This is worthless for sites that aren’t indexed, if instead it returned a list of local searches, or, better, the search page.

This would come close to solving my “I can’t guess the slugs” problem for an import.

(Jeff Atwood) #2

Because Google is quite a bit better in the “type random words into search, some of them misspelled or missing entirely, and get a decent search result” department.

That’s why.

The budget for that sort of effort is many orders of magnitude over what we at Discourse can bring to bear on the problem. Google has 57,100 employees many of whom work on search. We have… eleven.

If you end up on 404, you are sending a strong signal that you need serious help. So we offer serious help.

(We do suppress this part of the page for private sites, obviously, as google can’t see into private sites. @techapj added that feature a while back.)

(Jay Pfaffman) #3

That much is true. When you’ve got a bunch of imported data, though, being able to through those words to the local search is gold. I think that to solve my “we want redirects for the old slugs, but don’t have the slugs” problem will be to redirect all topics to a local search for the slug terms.

That’s cool. Does “login required” == “private”? I’m getting the google search on this private site.

(Jeff Atwood) #4

Could be a regression, @techapj can check into it.

(Jay Pfaffman) #5

I’m wrong. It is turned off on my private site.

Sorry, @techAPJ.