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MSDN and TechNet Search: now more refined...

MSDN and TechNet Search: now more refined...

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Several months ago, we did a deep-dive on MSDN and TechNet search with a dozen users. They were generally impressed, but had some feedback on a few items. We've addressed several of their concerns and more, so I wanted to outline what's better now...

  • Speed. You feel the need. Actual response time (not just what's reported on the page from Live) has been improved by one third due to reduced page size, fewer requests, and improved cache-ability. And that's for your first query. Subsequent searches are *much* faster (about 2x) because practically everything but the results themselves are cached and served from a CDN.
  • Refinements for each result. We've added a list of the refinements that match each result, which serves as a "more like this" function. Click a refinement on a result, and the query will be re-run with that refinement added.

  • Page titles fixed. The page title for search results used to be "MSDN Search - searchterms". It's now "searchterms - MSDN Search", which is handy for when you have search results in multiple tabs and you're looking for a specific set, or for looking through your feeds in a reader if you've subscribed to several search results.
  • Fixed EN-(not US) refinements. If you're in the UK, Australia, or South Africa, give us another try! Previously, the US library was not being searched in all English-language, non-EN-US searches, making non-US English searches essentially unusable for MSDN. This is fixed now...
  • Added refinements for SQL 2005, SQL 2008, Exchange 2003, Exchange 2007 on TechNet, and for Sharepoint on MSDN and TechNet.

  • Fixed a few more refinements, like Office, which was returning as a match for every result on TechNet because of some Library TOC changes.

Hope you like... Please let us know if there's more refinements that you'd like to see added or improved. See the search blog for more details.

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  • Chris here... Using our search term analytics tools, I see that the day after this post there was a spike in searches on "search msdn with live search"... I'll take that as a compliment on this post :)

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