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Search Bar Not Working


CarrieT

Question

Site URL: https://www.spiritofhealthkc.com/

For several months now our search bar has not been working properly. We have a title called, "Best Practices For Avoiding & Combating Viruses" but if you search the full title these ways, it says it can't find anything:  "best practices for avoiding & combating viruses" "best practices for avoiding and combating viruses" "viruses" "Best Practices For Avoiding and Combating Viruses" 

However, if you write it exactly how the blog is written with the same punctuation (caps and & symbols), it will show up "Best Practices For Avoiding & Combating Viruses" or "Viruses"

This happens with all of our blogs. 

I've reached out to Squarespace numerous times over the last few months about the issue. They've re-indexed the site several times and below is their most recent response. 

Is anyone else dealing with this? Any ideas on what is going on?

 

"After taking some additional time to investigate, I can confirm the issue you're seeing with the built-in search bar is due to an issue on our end. In this case, the issue is preventing partial phrases or keywords from returning results. In order to view a specific post in search results, the exact title needs to be entered. 

I can also see you previously reported this issue in February, 2020 on a separate email request and can confirm we have noted your sites instance of this issue for our Design and Engineering teams to review. They’ll use this feedback when implementing fixes and improvements in future releases."

"This bug's impact will vary depending on a number of factors like the type of site, the volume of content, how visitors navigate the site, and the ways the content is promoted or organized.  For example, a lot of sites may never experience this behavior because of their site's structure/content or how often their visitors dig up older posts. 

For your site in particular, it looks like all of your posts are on a single Blog Page with posts dating back to 2014. If your visitors are frequently searching for older posts, you may want to consider creating multiple Blog Pages so you have an additional layer of organization - Blog Page, Category, Tag. Also, since the Blog Page and Summary Blocks display posts in chronological order, you may want to create a tag/category specifically for these popular posts.  

You may also want to consider hiding the Search Block from your Navigation due to its inconsistent results.  You can do this from Design > Site Styles > Header:Layout > Search Position > Hide. This will encourage visitors to explore the other links and pages you've set up for finding this content."

 

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I have good news and bad news.

The good news:

I have found that Microsoft offers a very good and inexpensive search. You can put it together and add java script to a Squarespace site using the Code Block. Works great after a couple of days of testing. Unlike Google, it's ad-free. Works great on the test.

Try it here: https://wtgpoa.org/test  (password: search)

Try "park" and "fences" and "bears"

Here a link that introduces it. It seem this has been around for a couple of years.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/bing/apis/bing-custom-search-api

https://blogs.bing.com/Developers-Blog/2018-04/bing-custom-search-build-a-customized-site-search-experience-in-just-a-few-minutes

The bad news:

It's Microsoft.

1. It is very inexpensive, I think. I cannot tell you exactly what it cost. Microsoft's Azure pricing on it's service, but especially so on this, is very complicated. (Tip: The vast majority of Squarespace users would probably sign up for what the call "Pay as You Go.")  Here's not very useful link:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/bing/apis/pricing

2. Microsoft's UI for setting this up is a nightmare. Know a bit of coding isn't going to help you much. The toss around labels such as "Endpoint," "Keys" and "Instances." There is no "done" when you're done. There is a ton of reading they want you to do.

3. You have to set up a Microsoft account and get into Azure. Big deal? Well, good luck finding custom search when you sign in. It's all of Azure. It's one for dang thing to manage. Use the links above.

So, am I going to use it? Maybe. It's the client's call and I'll have them test it. They're going to love it and the cost will not bother them. But, I'm a set-up and leave guy. I don't offer much support afterwards. I provide them with names of Squarespace shops who will help. But, they aren't going to know this Microsoft package, so the client will be taking a risk. I'm still thinking about what I'm going to recommend.

Thought?

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I'm having the same issue.  But Squarespace Help is telling me I need to remove all the custom code from my site before they can test it.  ("While you're welcome to use custom code to modify your site, sometimes it can interfere with Squarespace’s built-in code and cause unexpected errors. Can you temporarily remove any custom code from your site for testing purposes?") Have other people done that? I don't have a huge amount of custom code on my site but it's scattered over 500 pages and it would take me at least a day or two to remove it and then get it back up there properly (and what would the site look like during that time?) Is this a real thing or are they just kind of pushing me off?

It would be GREAT if this got solved by Squarespace, so it would great if people would up vote @CarrieT's original question. It would also just be great if they would reply to this thread with some possible options/work arounds while their engineers are at work. 

Thanks so much @NotACoder404 for taking @Addcontext's Microsoft Search bar idea and really spelling out how to do it. @Addcontext said they couldn't quote how much it cost to do this, but can you? Also, don't mean to be a pain, but can you add pictures of what your search bar looks like and what the results look like? (Not that I love Squarespace's Search results page... it looks pretty janky to my eye).

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On 6/9/2020 at 7:41 PM, CarrieT said:

Our search bar has not been working properly. I've reached out to Squarespace numerous times over the last few months about the issue.

This is a fairly old thread, but as new users continue to discover this issue and then read this thread, I thought it would be helpful to confirm that this is still an ongoing issue today (September 2021). 

As Squarespace said in their response to @CarrieT's ticket:

Quote

"I can confirm the issue you're seeing with the built-in search bar is due to an issue on our end. In this case, the issue is preventing partial phrases or keywords from returning results. In order to view a specific post in search results, the exact title needs to be entered." 

As fixing search is likely to involve a lot of engineering work, it's unlikely to be something that Squarespace can fix very quickly. You may not want to rely on the internal search feature, especially for the discovery of products on a site, as a valid search is likely to produce a "no results" answer when products exist.

For product discoverability, it may be worth improving filtering and categorisation of products, rather than adding search. For example, allowing users to filter by 'size', 'colour', 'brand' and so on, in addition to product categories like 'Dresses'. 

Alternative search products include:

  • Swiftype. This is one of the best available and is reassuringly expensive.
  • Google Custom Search. This is free but difficult to style and includes Google branding.

sf-digital-signature-logo-email145.png.46606a2288a2847f44d81b9b7b58f3a5.png
Hi! I'm Paul, an independent Squarespace Consultant since 2007 and founder of SF Digital, building the features that Squarespace didn't include. Our mini-extensions allow you to pick dates in any format, show prices in other currencies, take orders without payment or improve your cartI value honesty, integrity, transparency and respect . Links in my posts may refer to SF Digital products or may be affiliate links.

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