Introduction – Why Reddit’s Search is Bad and How it Makes Life Difficult
The issue can be summed up in one word: algorithm. The search algorithm levels the playing field and is supposed to show posts that are relevant to what you’re looking for. In a lot of cases, it does a decent job of doing this. But there are still many instances where it does not work as expected and instead shows posts that seem completely irrelevant to what you’re looking for, or it shows a lot of posts that are relevant to what you’re looking for and then sprinkles in a few posts that have no relevance at all. Why is this? In order to understand that, we need to know a little more about exactly how Reddit’s search works.
The Bad & the Ugly – Where Reddit’s Search Engine Falls Short
First of all, if you have many different users with different interests posting, you need to have some sort of system in place that will allow everyone’s posts to appear to everyone else. Think about it this way: if person A, who is looking for information on religion posts a question and person B who is looking for information on motorcycles also posts a question, but person B’s post doesn’t show up for person A. Then person C who is looking for information on food posts a question and, again, that question doesn’t appear to anyone else except person A. This can lead to some pretty frustrating experiences with users who are looking for certain types of content. Having one person who is looking for information on religion, food, fashion and the like will probably be fairly limited because his posts won’t show up to anyone else.
Reddit’s search engine is a very simple one and it is fairly easy to find things if you know how to use it. To be more exact, here are some of the good/bad things about it:
Search Results Analysis – Let’s Look at Some of the Usual Suspects
Of all the factors that contribute towards making Reddit’s search bad, this is probably the most obvious. For example, if someone searches for “reddit dogs” then it would be logical to expect that the results will include posts about dogs. But in many cases this is not the case. Instead of finding relevant posts about dogs, people end up finding irrelevant posts on topics such as motorcycles, this blog, and other randomness.
It’s worth noting that search results are not over-represented in this manner for all words; this is probably just a glitch in the algorithm. For example, when one searches for “reddit dogs”, the performance is quite good. The same is true for other words such as “buddies” or “friends”. However we’ve observed many instances of poor search results for various other words, including cats and dogs .
What You Need to Know about Reddit
When Reddit was first created it was meant to be a site that caters to communities. Much of the content you find on Reddit is made up of posts created by community members and then voted on by other members of that community. The voting system is what helps determine what ends up on the front page as well as which posts get “bumped” down to give way for new content.
The front page of Reddit displays a changing list of stories based on what the community votes for. If something gets enough votes it will have its own post on the front page, but not enough and it will end up in “subreddit” which are categories created by other community members. Subreddits are broken down into smaller communities based on shared interests and then used to help categorize Reddit posts based on their content.
What Can We Do? Let’s Make Reddit a Better Place!
Since Reddit is meant to be a community, it makes sense that the amount of active users in a community will impact how well the posts are displayed. For example, if you want to read about motorcycles you probably don’t want to see posts about religion. In other words, we need to make communities on Reddit more focused and cohesive in order to make searching for content easier.
To that end, we’re improving our search results in the following ways:
– more useful, relevant and specific communities will appear at the top of search results for popular searches – similar to how Google delivers more relevant results as you type into their search bar – improved relevancy for user and community searches – easier discovery of related content within a subreddit, like “trending” or “new” posts – easier navigation to find what you want from a list of highly relevant posts from a subreddit –.
Why is Reddit Search so bad?