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28/03/2009

New search tools

The previous live search form that sat in the column to the right was getting a little creaky. The archives on this site are quite large now and it just wasn’t returning the results properly, and/or there were too many for it to handle adequately. Sometimes I couldn’t find what I was looking for, although I knew it was there.

So, I’m trying out some new search tools.

The search box to the right will return posts which contain all of the terms you put in, of any length, although not necessarily as a complete phrase. If you want the exact phrase, put it in quote marks “like so”. If there are more than one page of results, they are now easier to navigate.

The new ‘Advanced Search’ page – see the tab at the top of the site – will return results with the search terms highlighted and has an number of other ways to refine your search. The ‘help’ link on that page will tell you more. A couple of annoyances, though. It won’t search for terms less than 4 characters long, unless searched as ‘string’; and you can’t specify the exact phrase with quote marks – although searching for the phrase as ‘string’ is meant to return posts with the exact phrase only, it actually returns all posts which contain each word. The advanced search is still a distinct improvement, though, I think.

All comments, views and suggestions welcome.

By the way, the old Law Search google customised search page has been taken down. I hadn’t updated its database in a long time and it was far too general to be useful. So that has gone for good.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.

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