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October 7, 2006 12:03 AM

Broken: Mobile Marketing Association search term limit

Mma Roland Reinhart writes in:

I visited the Mobile Marketing Association Web site and found the site search function to be very odd.

The site search explicitly states "Keywords shorter than 5 characters will be ignored"

Well, typical keywords for mobile marketing include: SMS, MMS, WAP, PSMS, TXT, text - all of which are 3-4 characters long.

This just struck me as not very user friendly.



This is incredibly odd. It is reasonable to set a min number of characters to filter out things like "the" and "of", but this does not work in an environment full of acronyms.

Posted by: freedomlinux at October 7, 2006 08:05 PM

I agree, this is not a really user friendly search engine, especially not for the line of business this company is in.

Posted by: gravano at October 7, 2006 08:51 PM

Reminds me of a hardware forum I go to that used to have that problem. It filtered common acronyms such as CD, DVD, CPU, GPU, PSU, HDD, PPU, HDCP, mobo...etc.

Posted by: TIBE4ME at October 7, 2006 09:51 PM

Sounds like the guys running the web site have no knowledge (or concern?) about what the site's actual product/service is. . .

Posted by: Nutsy at October 7, 2006 10:33 PM

Indexing a search database becomes increasingly difficult for the server to process and handle the lower the number of letters it has to index. Even so, most "weak" searches will have a 4 letter minimum, and everyone else will have 3, mainly because of the examples cited.

Posted by: Chris at October 9, 2006 01:19 PM

That's a clever solution, with only one minor problem: it doesn't work.

Posted by: Zephyr at October 9, 2006 01:29 PM

I'd be shocked if Verizon did this.

Posted by: st33med at October 9, 2006 03:39 PM

A common way around this problem is to tune the search engine's stopwords file.

Also egregious: the field is labeled "Seach Rule."

Posted by: engaging experience at October 9, 2006 05:10 PM

if you use wildcards like this


it will work, which is actually scary...and insecure...

Posted by: Charles Richardson at October 11, 2006 07:15 PM

That is so very wrong.

Search people used to not index short and frequent terms, but that was back in the Bad Old Days, when disc space was expensive and they could force researchers to type long and complex queries.

For simple search, I tell my clients to not even bother with stopwords, you never know when someone will look up The Who.

What once made sense is now Broken. But the new version is much better!

Posted by: searchtools at October 12, 2006 03:27 PM

Seems to work for me - works cool too!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Whaddup at October 16, 2006 11:43 PM

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