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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Magic Café Tech Help Area » » Searching with Google? » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Tina I
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Oslo/ Norway
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I did a search at the Café that returned way too many hits so naturally I wanted to narrow the search. To my surprise I was told that I couldn't make a new search so soon after the last one! Now, I guess there are some technical reasons for this (server load I reckon although I have never seen this on any other site) but I was wondering if you guys have discussed adding Google site search? It would 'transfer' the server load of a search to Google. Maybe offer it as an alternative during the obligatory waiting time?

And a tip to other frustrated searchers: You can use google to search the Café only. For example:
Quote:
card control site:www.themagiccafe.com
emeline
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135 Posts

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Hi all.

I agree with Tina I, there is a problem with the system. Furthermore, I've noticed that the search toolbar of the Café doesn't work so well.

Emeline
Jimeh
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Inner circle
Ottawa, Ontario
1399 Posts

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Quote:
On 2008-07-30 03:41, Tina I wrote:
And a tip to other frustrated searchers: You can use google to search the Café only. For example:
Quote:
card control site:www.themagiccafe.com



Good to know, thanks Tina!
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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Emeline there is not a problem with the system. Your complaint is very vague. The search function has many options to narrow your search.
Where the magic begins
Tina I
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Oslo/ Norway
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Thanks Dave, that explains it.
Still, my post was really about the idea of getting some help from google... and I see the last post in that thread is about the same thing. It has gone unanswered though. I guess that's a "no"...
emeline
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Hi Dave.

My complaint is vague because I'm not fluent in english so my vocabulary is quite poor! I'm sorry.

Every time I want to search, for exemple, an username or a sleight name, the system just indicates: "Sorry, you cannot run a new search so soon after your last search was run. Please try again shortly." I understand what it means but the system writes this message whereas it is my first search! That's not logical.

Emeline
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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Emeline, you should only see that message if you try to do a second search within 2 minutes of the first. For instance, if you did a search for "wallets", waited 1 minute and then searched for "packet tricks", you would get that message. You should not see it when you try to run the first search on "wallets"
Where the magic begins
Tina I
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Oslo/ Norway
194 Posts

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Quote:
On 2008-07-30 11:38, emeline wrote:
Hi Dave.

My complaint is vague because I'm not fluent in english so my vocabulary is quite poor! I'm sorry.

Every time I want to search, for exemple, an username or a sleight name, the system just indicates: "Sorry, you cannot run a new search so soon after your last search was run. Please try again shortly." I understand what it means but the system writes this message whereas it is my first search! That's not logical.

Emeline

Try clearing out your cookies...
emeline
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Hi Tina.

Thank you for your help.
I've cleaned the cookies so it works better, now.

Emeline
Review King
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Eternal Order
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Emeline your English is much better than mine or most people on this site. It's wonderful to have you on thew Café!
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
emeline
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Hi Christopher.

Thank you for the sweet compliments; I'm quite flattered and deeply moved. The Café is assuredly a nice place!

Emeline
David Todd
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I belong to a lot of discussion forums (including several other magic discussion forums) and none of them have this "Wait for 2 minutes between searches" rule . What's the real story on that ?

I've never encountered such a restriction on the search engine of any other forum.

What is the reason for this ? I remember when the Café search engine did not have that restriction in place, obviously something was changed and it is not absolutely necessary to have it that way.
Gene
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Howard City, MI
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Ok, I'll discuss it one more time ...

Quote:
On 2008-08-14 21:34, David Todd wrote:
I belong to a lot of discussion forums (including several other magic discussion forums) and none of them have this "Wait for 2 minutes between searches" rule .
I've seen it before, it's what actually gave me the idea to help reduce load on the server.

Quote:
On 2008-08-14 21:34, David Todd wrote:
I've never encountered such a restriction on the search engine of any other forum.
Try the forum at harmony-central.com. (There are others I know about, this is just one example.) Their wait time is only about 15 seconds, but after a lengthy search here (of all 2+ million posts, I might add) the server needs a longer period of time to recover.

Quote:
On 2008-08-14 21:34, David Todd wrote:
What is the reason for this ?
Dave has already pointed out one such topic. There are many others on the subject as well.

Quote:
On 2008-08-14 21:34, David Todd wrote:
I remember when the Café search engine did not have that restriction in place...
So do I. I remember just about each and every complaint about search restrictions put in place to keep the site up. I also remember the complaints due to the site being down because the search engine crashed the server. Can't have it both ways.

Quote:
On 2008-08-14 21:34, David Todd wrote:
... it is not absolutely necessary to have it that way.
Could you please tell me how to do it then? Apparently, you know more than I do.

I love it when people, regardless who they are, come in here and complain about things that are in place here that aren't in place elsewhere. Generalizations are made, criticisms are offered, yet they have no idea what kind of balance is needed to keep such a large site up and running as efficiently and completely as this one is.

As far as "complete" is concerned, let's take the search engine as an example. I have personally rewritten the search engine from the ground up six times (with several revisions in between) because people weren't happy with it. At one time I even used the same type of system another forum software uses, but that wasn't good enough here either and didn't last very long.

Well, guess what? I ran a search on the other forum I pointed out (on harmony-central.com) for the single term "fender". Harmony-central is a musician-oriented site, and they should have hundreds upon hundreds (if not tens of thousands) of posts using the word "fender", wouldn't you think? Nope! All I got was 228 matches on 16 pages, which went back only two days. (Go ahead, try it for yourself.) Do you think that kind of result would be tolerated here? No way. That forum, as it happens, uses probably the most popular for-pay forum software package available: vBulletin. That's a very busy forum too, and yet for popular word searches, they don't return very many matches, do they?

That's another subject - matches returned. Many forum software packages don't offer a complete set of results. This one does - again, because the members demanded it. A couple of my search engine versions required either selecting a time period from which to search (maximum one year at a time) or selecting some other parameter when running keyword searches, i.e., search for a keyword and have to enter a username, select a forum, or whatever. All of that was to limit the amount of power needed to complete the search. Nobody, and I mean, nobody, liked those setups. I didn't either, but I had to do something. Those restrictions didn't last long though. To be very truthful, if it weren't for no-restriction keyword searches demanded by the members here, we probably wouldn't have to be paying for a quad-processor server like we are today. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about member demands or anything, I'm just pointing out that all of the previous versions just weren't quite good enough and they wanted more. I would have demanded better myself.

Ok, now let's take on one of my favorite subjects regarding searching: Exact-phrase searches. vBulletin doesn't offer it. phpBB doesn't offer it. Who does? The Magic Café, of course! It's here because the members demanded it. It took me awhile, but I finally figured how to create it, be able to use it with such a huge dataset, and still not have it crash the server. It works. It's kind of slowish, but it works - all on its own, without any help from Google or anybody else. (We couldn't afford that anyway.) Go ahead, try to find a forum that offers exact-phrase searching. If you find one (and that's a big "IF"), feel free to send me the link. I'm talking about an actual forum now, not something using Google as a search engine because they have thousands upon thousands of computers. That wouldn't be a fair comparison. I would certainly be most interested in checking another one out to see if it's indeed a self-contained search engine and if it could be used here. I doubt it, though. When I began looking for search engine options I specifically looked for forums that offered exact-phrase searches. After many hours of searching, I couldn't find even one.

I would be most grateful if someone could tell me how to build a search engine with the same functionality as we have now, but with no restrictions, and one that will not crash a quad-processor server when people run search after search after search in rapid succession. Unfortunately, I doubt that will ever happen.

Sorry.
Somebody kick me off the computer, will ya? Smile Smile
Tina I
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Quote:
On 2008-08-15 10:55, Gene wrote:
Ok, now let's take on one of my favorite subjects regarding searching: Exact-phrase searches. vBulletin doesn't offer it. phpBB doesn't offer it. Who does? The Magic Café, of course! It's here because the members demanded it. It took me awhile, but I finally figured how to create it, be able to use it with such a huge dataset, and still not have it crash the server. It works. It's kind of slowish, but it works - all on its own, without any help from Google or anybody else.

Sorry but I just can't help my self: I entered into Google
Quote:
"It took me awhile, but I finally figured how to create it" site:www.themagiccafe.com

It gives exactly one result and it took 0.49 seconds. And it suggest to fix your typo...
So the question remains (which was my original question in this thread): Why not use Google? You can still use the fancy forms to create the search string. When the tools are there why not use it?
Gene
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Howard City, MI
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Forums have their own search engines because Google's results aren't always up to date. This has been discussed before.
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David Todd
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Quote:
On 2008-08-16 03:07, Gene wrote:
Forums have their own search engines because Google's results aren't always up to date. This has been discussed before.


Ok, you all know best how you want to run your forum. I honestly haven't come across that "wait 2 minutes between searches" restriction on other discussion forums , but I believe you . I guess I use different types of forums for the most part.

Interesting thing is that I have found that Google actually does update its' cache of Magic Café postings frequently . I just posted something yesterday about a certain trick and today I found my post in the search results using Google.

I'm curious about something: if you're not interested in integrating the Google search results into the Magic Café search tool bar then could you insert a robots.txt file or meta tag:

META NAME="robots" CONTENT="noindex, nofollow"

into the code for the Café posts so that Google doesn't cache any of the Café posts ? Unfortunately, Google makes it really easy for people looking for exposures of magic effects to use Google to find out information that they probably shouldn't be able to find so easily . Despite the official "no exposure" policy of the Café , a lot of magic methodology does gets exposed during the back-and-forth chatter between magicians . (I'm guilty of this too, sometimes inadvertently using certain terms that I probably shouldn't mention on a publicly accessed forum) I'm pretty sure you do already have a meta tag for "noindex, nofollow" in the Secret Sessions area , so why not have the rest of the Café protected in that manner as long as you don't want to take advantage of Google search anyway ?
Gene
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Yeah, we've talked about that before too (exposures and such being picked up). We don't have any special protection for posts in the secret sessions areas, it's not needed because the 50-post requirement effectively eliminates the ability of spiders to index those pages. The same holds true for private forums, hidden forums, private messages - basically anywhere that needs the member to be logged in. The only areas that can be indexed are those seen when logged out, and the combined efforts of membership and staff do a pretty good job of getting rid of exposure posts in those areas. At the end of the discussion it was simply a matter that Steve didn't want to do that.

Sure, Google finds a lot, and if you want to use that then please do. There are many people who prefer it, some people even have made their own pages with their own forms so they can enter their own search terms and select one of their favorite sites from a drop-down list. Craigslist.org is a good example for that. They have different areas that can be searched, but only one area can be searched at a time, so some people use specially-made search pages. The only problem with that is that when Google finds the ads on CL, many times the ads have been taken down, the item sold, or the ad expired. Anyway, forum packages (vBulletin, phpBB - the list goes on and on) typically don't offer a Google search option, probably because it can take a day or two for the post to be indexed (much longer for non-popular sites), or even never. Google searches also can't return posts from specific forums, or specific users, or specific dates, or anything like that either. That's why forums typically don't use Google as a built-in search solution. Google is the "home" page on my computer. I know what it can do, but I also know what it can't.
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David Todd
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Quote:
On 2008-08-16 17:26, Gene wrote:
... the combined efforts of membership and staff do a pretty good job of getting rid of exposure posts in those areas. At the end of the discussion it was simply a matter that Steve didn't want to do that.


That's a good reminder to all of us that we need to be very careful of the language we use when discussing magic methods on the open, public areas of the Magic Café. The concerned members and the loyal staff catch a lot (but not all) of the exposures , but there are also some casual remarks that are made about certain tricks on certain threads that any layman of average intelligence could piece together into a working knowledge of how certain tricks work (and not just specific tricks, but general principles of magic that ought not to be public knowledge) .

With the increasing number of hostile-to-magic YouTube exposers and people posting exposures on other sites it is more important than ever to be careful about what we post here in areas that are open to the public and searchable by Google. (Google Cache is "forever" , so the words we post never go away in practical terms . )

And just my .02 cents : maybe time for Steve to reconsider the policy of allowing the Magic Café posts to be cached by Google. I'd rather have to live with the "wait 2 minutes between searches" if I also knew that the Café posts could not be searched using Google and therefore an easy source for exposures would be cut off .
Gene
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Howard City, MI
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I'm sure he'll be reading this at some point, and if he wants us to do that then we certainly will. There are certain things I take care of that he doesn't need to be bothered with, but when it comes to things like that I don't do anything unless he tells me to.
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Gork
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Quote:
Forums have their own search engines because Google's results aren't always up to date. This has been discussed before


Google updates sites regulary based on their pagerank in Google. So if you got a big site and many links to it (as the Café surely is) Google updates multiple times a day sometimes. This should be enough to find all but the very recent posts.

So sure do not remove the search algorythm but PLEASE ADD a second searchbar besides it with googlesearch as long as there is a search restriction.

Please just add a Google searchbar beneath the normal or if not possible at least in the "Advanced search" tab so one can refine the search if he runs into the restriction.

This 2 minute waitung really sucks if you got 15 min pause where you quickly try looking something up and then e.g. mistype at the search.
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