The old search sucked. I think everyone would agree. I used to use google site searches instead.
The last search engine, prior to the new changes, was a godsend. imo, it was the best feature of the overhaul.
However, the newest version of the search engine is rather mediocre. Thank goodness it now defaults to searching within a board, but the results are not by relevance. It appears to be a rather random set of results given by date. I assume the only thing they all contain is whatever term was used in the search field.
eg, if I search for "pizza" in the PNW board, these are the results I get:
Texas girl needs some ideas here!
piggygirl - January 26, 2007
cool eats in Seattle
schraminvan - January 20, 2007
delivery in ballard?
donita.reason - January 18, 2007
semi-swanky Italian Saturday lunch in Seattle
ajsm - January 17, 2007
Great food in Portland
lebelage - January 13, 2007
Happy Hour Suggestions Seattle
BoomOp - January 12, 2007
Devotay - January 11, 2007
Bainbridge Island, WA
MahiMahiFish - January 03, 2007
Everett WA - Please give me your favorites!
sasha1 - January 03, 2007
Espresso- no Starbucks swill
Avid Rita - January 01, 2007
Queen Anne Updates?
TacoBusHound - January 01, 2007
PDX Top Five Dish 2006
patrick - December 29, 2006
relocating to Seattle, eating-wise
djuna - December 16, 2006
Seattle Convention Center (7th and Pike) Quick Lunch under $10?
sasha1 - December 14, 2006
Restaurant Gift Certificate in Portland
adroit_minx - December 11, 2006
And so on. Obviously, the majority of these will be useless if someone is truly interested in pizza. They may have to go pages before finding a useful result.
I would suggest either employing a "relevance" sorting option, or at least giving some method to search by title only.
Also, you really need to show the number of replies on threads. While the first recommendation might be a PITA depending on whether you wrote your own search mechanism, etc, adding in the number of replies, even if conditional on the type of result, should be pretty darned easy. It would help a ton in recognizing which are useful threads.
Finally, it would be great if you had an advanced search with the ability to narrow results by poster and by date. At least, that would be the most important things, imo. I'm often searching for older, comprehensive threads as I'm sure others do, and this would help a lot.