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Using the "Search By" Feature

When searching for needs, agencies, or events, you can use the Search By feature to filter items by various parameters, including distance, phrase or keyword, and Title. This article explains how your Connect system runs searches on various types of phrases and keywords.

Searching By Phrase

One of the search options for needs, events, and agencies is Search by Phrase.


Note: Because a site manager can override the term "phrase," your site might show the word "keyword" or "term" instead.

Searching Agencies and Events

When search agencies or event by phrase or keyword, your Connect system search both the title and the description for an exact match. Here are a couple of examples of how this works:

  • If you search for "community," the system will display all items that include "community" in the title or include "community" somewhere in the agency profile (when searching agencies) or event description (when searching events). It will not display items that have "communities" but not "community," as it only pulls exact matches.
  • If you're search for a partial word such as "comm," you'll see all items that include "comm" in either the title, agency profile (for agency searches), or event description (for event searches). So, for example, a search on "comm" will pull items that include "Community Center," "communication," commuters, etc.
  • The system also searches agencies and event tags. Tags are a designation applied by your site manager. If an agency or event is tagged "community," then a search for "community" will display it (but a search for "comm" won't, unless that partial word is included somewhere in the title or description).

Searching Needs/Opportunities

The need search, which is the most used search on most Connect sites, works differently from the agency and event searches. When you're searching needs, the system first looks at the length of the search term and then runs the search based on that.

Keyword Less than Four Characters

If the keyword is three or fewer characters:

  • The system looks at titles and displays any needs that include the keyword. (For example, a search for "cat" should pull everything from "Cat Herders" to "Catalogers" to "Educators.")
  • It also looks at tags and displays anything that has an exact match.

Keyword Four or More Characters

If the keyword is four or more characters:

  • The system looks at titles and descriptions for words that match or include the keyword. For example, if you search for a word like "tutor," you will see needs that have "tutor," "tutors," or "tutoring" in the title or description. A search for "tutors," will yield fewer results because the extra "s" is not included in "tutor" and "tutoring." Only those needs with "tutors" will appear in the search.
  • The system searches tags for an exact match. A search for "tutor" will include any needs that have a tag of "tutor" (but not "tutors" or "tutoring.")
  • The system searches the posting agencies whose names contain the keyword. For example, a search for "comm" will pull all needs needs posted by any agency that has "comm" in the title (e.g., Downtown Community Association).

Not Seeing What You Expect?

Your Connect system uses Full-Text Search in SQL Server to find agencies, needs, and events based on keyword. Full-text searches weights certain terms differently than others, so you may not always see the results you expect. When searching for needs in particular, try using several versions of the same term (e.g., tutor, tutors, tutoring) if you don't find what you're looking for at first.

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