Combined Search not finding old post found before

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thrashercharged
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Combined Search not finding old post found before

Post by thrashercharged » Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:38 am

I've been following this listing using combined search for about 2 months (monitoring seller's price reduction) and SearchTempest has found this listing every time until today. Yes the ad still exists - I do find it using direct search. Yes I understand how new listings may not be found by Google/Yahoo and how a more specific search criteria might find it better (i.e., "1993 Convertible Cadillac Allante" might find it better than just "Cadillac" or "Allante".

Here's the listing: http://fortwayne.craigslist.org/cto/4646809554.html and it's titled: Priced to Sell! 1993 CONVERTIBLE CADILLAC ALLANTE - $2900 (Fort Wayne, IN)
Posted 2 months ago, updated 1 month ago.

Using the keywords "Allante" has always found this ad until today. I even tried to be more specific using "1993 Convertible Cadillac Allante" and it still doesn't find it.

Just reporting - not complaining, but wondering why. I've noticed this issue with other listings I've followed at times too and these are never new ads. Curious as to why Google/Yahoo suddenly stops finding listings.

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Tempest Nathan
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Re: Combined Search not finding old post found before

Post by Tempest Nathan » Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:39 am

Hi,

Thanks for the detailed explanation. Saves some back and forth! The issue here is that the ad was renewed. As you probably read in the FAQ, Google doesn't know when a craigslist post has been deleted. Therefore, if we don't do anything about it, SearchTempest will be full of expired posts that no longer exist. That actually used to be the case, and was a major annoyance. The best solution we can offer is to look at when ads were posted (or more accurately, when they were indexed by Google), and exclude any that are old enough to have expired. That way we remove all the bogus expired posts, so the only non-existent ads that still show up are ones that were deleted manually. That's still a decent amount, but not nearly as bad.

However, the down-side is, any ad that is old enough to have expired will not show up, even if it has been renewed, so is still visible. If it's your own ad, the solution is to re-post the ad rather than simply renewing it. For other ads though, the only way to keep finding them would be to use our Direct Results mode.

I realize this isn't ideal, but it was seen as the lesser of two evils. For the most part, ads that have been up long enough to expire and be renewed are not particularly valuable (since otherwise they would have sold already). Obviously there are exceptions though.

One thing we might be able to do is add an option along the lines of "Hide expired posts", which would be on by default. That would leave it up to you which annoyance you prefer. ;) I'll add that to our list to consider.

thrashercharged
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:23 am

Re: Combined Search not finding old post found before

Post by thrashercharged » Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:58 pm

Nathan,

Thanks for the reply. Does this mean that old ads that are renewed (i.e., old enough to have expired) won't be found by SearchTempest ever again? (Unless the seller reposts instead of renewing?) I understand that most ads that have been put up long enough to expire aren't particularly valuable. But I'm probably the exception as sometimes I'll have a passing interest in an item that I'm only interested in buying at a really lowball price so I'm just waiting for the seller to drop it into my price range where my lowball offer doesn't insult them!

You might want to put this explanation you just wrote me into the FAQ. Just a suggestion - I'm surprised you haven't been asked about this before but maybe people that monitor an ad like me are few and far between!

Thanks again, and thanks for providing SearchTempest - it's the best!

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Tempest Nathan
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Re: Combined Search not finding old post found before

Post by Tempest Nathan » Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:39 pm

Unless/until we make a change, that's right, they won't be caught by the default search. However, you can catch them by using our Direct Results mode or RSS feeds instead.

I am planning to add that option I mentioned, to make them show up in the main feed as well though. We'll update the FAQ at that time. Not sure exactly when we'll get a chance to do it though, because it isn't something a lot of people are interested in. Hopefully fairly soon though!

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