I am curious to know how does your search engine work and what can I do to better improve my search. As it stands now, when I place a search for a particular person in the City, County and State where they were born and may have resided the search takes me everywhere outside of the City, County and State but not in City, County and State which I ask it the search to be made. All search engines I am familiar with exhausts the closest search range that is ask of it before going out of the search area that is initially asked for. Example: I ask to search for Johnny doe in Waycross Georgia. Your search may give the name Jonny Doe but the initial location is nowhere in Georgia. When I use another search engine such as (family Search or Ancestry) the search engine goes as close as possible to the person in the City, County and State first, exhausts all possibilities before going to some far off place outside of the range. This means that one has to use valuable un-necessary time in his research to find what he is looking Thank you for your response.
The best resource for learning how to utilize SuperSearch is the blog post we did about it when we released the feature. There is a TON of detailed information in the blog post. After reading, you'll pretty much be an expert!
I'm a brand new member, and I agree with Richard. And it's not just "location" that gives unusable, superfluous results...I can search for a very specific individual, one with an unusual name, and with a specific birth date, birth location, etc, and receive thousands of "possible" matches, including people who lived decades earlier (or later) than the individual I'm looking for. The name I want isn't at the top of the list, and I have to assume that it's buried deep in the file--if it's there at all, and if I have the patience to search thousands of entries to find it. Previously I used Ancestry.com, and easily found ancestors whom I can't locate (so far) with this search engine.
Following your advice, I tried the Advanced Search, inputting exact first and last names (LUSK, an uncommon one!) exact date of birth (May 2, 1827) and death (July 18, 1907), and location of birth (Pennsylvania) and death (Allamakee county Iowa).
I got back 167,000 pages of data, consisting of 3,334,401 possible matches. The search engine failed to sort in any logical fashion (i.e. by year of birth, birth location, date of death, etc), so I was forced to plow through entries for men who were born decades after my ancestor died, and lived in states a thousand miles from Pennsylvania.
After going through several pages of this dreck I did the only sensible thing and gave up. Sorry, but this is impossible...you positively must find a way to sort the data so the most promising matches appear first.
I have seen census records for my ancestor, so I know he existed (Ancestry.com has no trouble finding them). I'm a new user at My Heritage, and so far I'm disappointed. This is not what I paid for.
1) You can refine the searches by using the filters on the bottom left of the screen (including the First name and Last name filters which can do a lot of work!)
2) You can search only by specific collections (such as the U.S. census) by choosing them from the main screen of the "Reseach Page" under the "Categories" title.
3) Try viewing the results by pressing the "Summary" view, it gives a much clearer understanding of what you have received from our search engine and gives an opportunity to refine even more.
We are constantly adding new information, and we do take into account the feedback you write. We understand that Ancestry is giving us a hard time competing but what they don't have is the collection of our family trees which is the main source for information. You can find so much useful information just by searching the collection of MyHeritage family trees!
I thought you would be interested to know that we are in the midst of some very important changes in the way SuperSearch returns results that will be to your advantage.
Currently SuperSearch works kind of like Google in the sense that it gives you ALL possible results and then ranks them according to relevancy. That's why if you search for a specific name and you might expect to get a few results, you actually end up with thousands or hundreds of thousands of results.
The best results are supposed to be at the top, so even if you get back a huge number of results you might only need to look at the first page. Just like in Google.
We leave the seemingly irrelevant results in the list because its possible that mistakes were made in spelling or with dates. This means results which at first glance might look wrong could actually be good results upon further investigation. We want to give you the opportunity to review those matches and make the decision whether or not they are good or bad rather than automatically filtering those out.
I hope this helps to give you an understanding behind the reason why you receive so many matches when you search a name.
Now to the changes we're making.
1. We're adding a check box to automatically make all search fields exact. Checking this box will greatly reduce the number of results without having to go to the Advanced search and set the exactness of many different fields.
2. Improved ranking. We're doing a lot to increase the relevancy of the results you get at the top of the list. This should greatly increase the chances you will get good results at the top of the list, regardless of the number of hits you get back.
I'm posting this on the other forum thread you posted on as well, for the benefit of anyone who may read this post later.