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sherpacurt

Request: please improve search algorithm

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Search is the most important aspect of evernote.  All the nice data entry features are useless if you cant find what youre looking for. 

 

I'm frequently annoyed by search results on windows desktop app and iphone app.  When I enter a search term, the top matches are usually larger notes with my search term appearing once somewhere in the body, while notes with my search term in the title are down lower in the result list.   I typically create a title for my notes that includes words I am likely to search for, so having these way down the result list (not even on the first page) is frustrating.

 

Search engines always rank search terms in the title higher than in the body.

 

Secondly, you can improve search results by applying term-frequency/inverse-document frequency (TF-IDF).

Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tf%E2%80%93idf

 

Also, you should be using standard stop words.  Common words in the search phrase, like "a", "and", "the", "or" should be ignored or treated as "OR"/"not required" and weighted very low.  Currently evernote treats them as required terms and seems to weigh them as highly as other words.

Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_words

 

 

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If you have a title naming scheme, you can take advantage of that using the intitle:<text> search term, which searches note titles exclusively.

 

Aside from that, Evernote doesn't order search results as you suggest; it's a pure yes/no filter match, ordered by the current note list sorting criterion (e.g Title, date updated, etc.). That would be the place where they'd probably put such a facility (e.g. Sort By Relevancy, or some such).

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Thanks for the "intitle:" search tip, Jeff.  Handy way to get around evernote's terrible search algorithm. 

 

Your description explains why the search result list is so bad... they dont apply any of the basic/standard search ranking techniques.  Not sure why they dont, there are plenty of open source libraries available for indexing documents and doing sophisticated search result ranking (lucene for example, which is really easy to use).

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@sherpacurt:  EN Mac has had for a while now an option to "Sort search results by Relevance".

Perhaps this would provide the search ranking you are looking for.

 

Don't know if/when this will be made available to other platforms.

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