I've made it public, I've got the confimation email, it's been over a day and it's still not up. I'm probably missing something, but if anyone has any idea what, please tell me.
Hey, thanks for the feedback. There are a lot of pages with "slime" in the title, so it looks like yours is getting bumped off the set of results. Search works by "relevance" ranking, so a query for "slime" only matches 50% of your title, so it's 50% relevant. Projects with the same relevance are then sorted by their average popularity. One option is to introduce pagination, but that might not solve your issue. Do you have any ideas on how we can make this better?
Theoretically if my 2-word title doesn't appear, than no titles should appear with 3 or more words, but there actually quite a lot of them.
If results are discarded behind the scenes, then I think pagination with a configurable Results per Page and no total limit would be better. It'd also be helpful to have main page sorting settings of Popular, New & Popular, Top sellers, Top rated, Most Recent and re-use them for searches.
Relevance by percentage of title also seems like a bad heuristic since it makes me consider changing my game's name to "Slime" on itch.io, but I don't have any alternatives.
As an experiment I tried a custom google search engine pointed at itch.io and a search for "slime" gave me my game on page 3 and 4. Maybe that would be another option, but I don't know anything about licensing or costs or phone-home/user-tracking side-effects if google stuff is baked into a site. (Edit: itch seems to load google analytics by default, so that's probably not an issue then)
As far as searching by tag itself, I only found a slime tag link through the custom search engine and then found Slime Research. As an itch.io user attempting to search by tag, even after being told it exists, I have no clue where to find such a feature through itch.io itself. Something like this, along with the game-edit tag search where it shows you added tags, might be good.
Thanks for the response! Hope you find something useful in here.
Edit: As for the tag page you mentioned below, the drop-down list interface is pretty bad. Like I said above, copying the tag-editing system we use while editing a game and allowing users to search with that would be MUCH better.
Thanks for the reply. The relevance algorithm is a bit more complicated than I described above. For the relevance matching method the short description is also taken into account as words, but it uses a reduced weighting. Additionally, the way it adds up multiple occurrences might not be linear, and some words don't count because they are considered stop words. (These rules are defined in the sorting method that out database, Postgres gives us). In a future update I'm considering removing the sort description from the set of words. This is the kinda thing I need to spend some time testing though, since altering the sort to make some people go up will push others down, especially for broad topic based searches. This is why I think it's more worth it to push topic based searches to browse pages with tags.
I've added Slime as an approved tag so it will now appear on top when you search for it: https://itch.io/games/tag-slime. Another change I can think to make is show any tag if it directly matches the search query, even if isn't approved.
As an itch.io user attempting to search by tag, even after being told it exists, I have no clue where to find such a feature through itch.io itself.
I agree this is an issue. We have plans to add a freeform tag selector but we haven't had a chance to put together the UI yet.
I can't speak for 5ro4, but yes I expect my game to show up if someone searches for "slime". I currently have 7 referrers from searching "Slime Research", and 2 from search by "slime" tag. I also have 5 referrers from google and 1 from another search site, search query obviously unknown.
0 referrals from itch searches for "slime", is bad for me since I think I have less players than I could otherwise, and I think many people searching for "slime" would be interested in my unique gameplay, but they can't find it that way which is bad for them.
Sorry about that, I phrased the question ambiguously, I was trying to ask if someone who was looking for their game specifically would search museum. I'm trying to understand whether they have a userbase who knows their game by that name, or they're trying to show up in the list for the topic "museum."
Yes, I would expect people searching for "museum" to find my game. Also, as a user, I expect to find games with the word "museum" in the title when I search for it, followed by games which include it in the description, certainly before games that neither are museums nor contain that word anywhere. I also assumed that if there's no pagination it's because there are no more results, not because they are limited to a single page.
Anyway, I don't know if you made some changes already, but my game is showing now.
Thanks for the reply!
Thanks for the response. Sorry, I phrased my question ambiguously. I wanted to ask, is someone who is specifically looking for your game going to go to the itch.io search bar and type in museum?
The reason I'm asking is to differentiate between the intent of the person searching. For topic based searches, you're essentially competing for the slot with other games that share that topic. In those cases, I think pushing people towards browsing by tag is a better idea since those browse pages are more flexible. The goal of search is to show you what you're looking for: either a specific game (direct title match), or a list of games around a topic (topic match).
Someone who is looking specifically for my game would probably type the whole name, if they can remember it, but I believe someone who is looking for museum games should also be able to find it by just typing "museum".
I know when I'm looking for a specific game on itch.io (or any other platform), unless the name is short and easy, I'm unlikely to type it all.
Adding tags to a project don't alter how they appear on the search results. Tags are for classification and so you'll need to go to the respective tag page on our browse pages to filter by those projects. Search is currently set up to look for title matches (or match on the short description), but if you type in an approved tag it will suggest that page as well.