The Liar's Club, Again
Talk About Selling Out

The Search Button Doesn't Actually Work Very Well At All

I noticed in the statistics for this blog that the search button has been used a lot over the past few days. Don't feel paranoid: it doesn't record any info about who's doing the search, just that the URL has been referenced. So as a public service I must tell you (if you haven't figured it out already) that the search is unreliable. It's almost worse than no search at all, because it often fails to find the most obvious and prominent things. It's very frustrating.

If I really want to find something, I use Google's site-specific search: follow the search term with "site:www.lightondarkwater.com." For instance, a search for "Mary Karr" (or case variants thereof) using the Typepad search fails to find two recent posts which mention her name. But using this search string with Google does:

mary karr site:www.lightondarkwater.com

I think Google offers some sort of search plugin that can be used to implement a local search, but I tend to avoid using Google these days if there's an alternative. My first choice for internet search in general is DuckDuckGo, and then Google if that result is unsatisfactory in some way. It also has the site-specific feature, which doesn't seem to work quite as well as Google's. I just tried the Mary Karr search there and it got the two recent mentions but not a couple of older ones in comments that Google found.

I should probably at least put some kind of disclaimer on the search button if I can't replace the Typepad search with something better, as it can be quite misleading. It hasn't improved for years so I guess it isn't very important to them. 

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