Tonight we launched a bunch of improvements to the site's search engine. The search box in the sitewide page header is the same (we didn't want to clutter the interface), but the search results page is much improved:
- First of all, you'll actually get a search results page consistently. It used to be that if you searched for an exact brand or product name, the search engine would redirect you immediately to the brand or product page. For a lot of people this worked out pretty well, especially when using the gear reviews, but it made life difficult when trying to search the forums. So now every search will lead to a full results page, which will include a big bold summary of the brand or product in cases where it used to redirect. Here's a good example.
- From the results page, you can refine your search by area of the site. Options include the entire site, gear reviews, forums, and articles (which includes the news, gear guide articles, and the blog).
- The layout and look and feel is improved. The ads that Google puts on the results page are now displayed down the right side instead of up above the actual search results. The colors also match the rest of the site a bit better.
As always, bug reports or suggestions for additional improvement are welcome here or in the feedback forum.