Advanced Search returns irrelevant results

I’ve noticed that our Omeka site is returning many non-relevant search results. We use the Advanced Search module 3.4.21, Omeka-S v. 4.1.0, theme is Default 1.8.0.

Our site includes 25 items with “Walnut Street Bridge” in the title - most of these also include the bridge name in the description. Here are the search results when I do a controlled Advanced Search on the title field - these results are as expected.

When I do a general keyword search in the main search field on our site for the phrase Walnut Street Bridge, I get thousands of results, and the first page doesn’t contain any expected/relevant items.

Adding quotation marks around the phrase in the general/keyword search definitely helps, however the first result is not what I would expect based on “relevance” ranking as it’s supposed to be doing. I would expect those items where the phrase appears multiple times (such as in the title and description) to appear first. The item that does appear first - the portrait of Joshua Beck - is a more recently-added item, so I do wonder if the sort setting “Relevance - descending” is actually doing “Date added - descending”.

Is there something I can configure to enable general keyword search results to provide expected, relevant results? Is this a relevance ranking issue? Perhaps it’s using a default operator of “or” and would perform better with “and”?

The sort does seem like it’s not working properly for you there… I’ll have to do a little looking into that. Just since it does involve search, can you check for me if disabling the Advanced Search module affects that ordering for you at all?

On the irrelevant items, that’s going to be down to how the fulltext search works. The standard “keyword” search treats every individual word as optional: you only need to match one to be considered a match. So you’re going to get a lot of matches that just have the word “street” in there, for example. The ones that match multiple should still be sorting to the top though, so I think the particular poor usability you’re seeing there is also a a result of the relevance sorting not working properly.

Thanks John. I briefly deactivated the Advanced Search module and the ranking of results is definitely better - see screenshot.

OK. It seems likely that the issue is related to Advanced Search, then. Since that’s not one of our modules I can’t provide more detailed help past that, but you might think about reporting the issue to the module developer. Of course, if you can live without the module, not using it is an option too.

Thanks John, I’ll report this on the module’s Gitlab page. I really like the ability to customize the search form and the filter options, so I hate to let it go.