Monday, September 28, 2009

The search feature on this blog

Every time I create a blog—and how sad is it that I can even use that phrase; most people only ever have one blog—I do my best to keep Blogger’s little “navbar” at the top, so that you can use the search feature. (The one exception is the serna Book Blog, where I just couldn’t make it fit.) Really, it’s not even for your use, it’s for mine; if I want to refer to a previous post I’ve written, I want to be able search for it, and find it quickly.

But there’s one problem with the feature: it doesn’t work. You’d think that implementing a search feature for a blog should be easy; I’m not even looking for PageRank or anything, just a simple text search, but it just plain doesn’t work. Since I started this blog, there have been isolated incidents when it did work, but lately it hasn’t worked at all.

And when I say “it doesn’t work” I mean it doesn’t return any results. I can go to that little search box and type in a word, and Blogger will tell me I got no results; I can do the same search on Google, and tell Google to only look at results from this blog, and Google will find the results. How can an external search engine find results when Blogger’s own search can’t?!? (To do this in Google, use the site keyword; e.g. to search this blog for the word “multitask” you’d search for this:

Now, this blog has been March of 2005, but I won’t go back that far. Let’s just assume that the feature has only been broken since I updated to the “new” Blogger, in January of 2007. (I love the irony of linking to a post that I’d meant to delete, and never did.) Even if the feature has only been broken since then, that’s still two and a half years that the search feature hasn’t worked. And, as I say, I always ensure when making updates to the blogs’ templates to keep that “navbar” handy for my readers, because I’m always assuming that some day Blogger will fix it. It only occurred to me today that two and a half years is plenty of time to fix something as simple as a text search, so if they haven’t done it by now, they probably never will.

If I ever get a couple of hours of spare time, I guess I should remove all of the navbars, and implement search boxes on all of my blogs, that use Google instead of Blogger’s search.