Direct Results loses hits when radius bigger than 200 miles

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thrashercharged
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Direct Results loses hits when radius bigger than 200 miles

Post by thrashercharged » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:59 pm

I've observed that Direct Results loses hits when I expand the radius greater than 200 miles. Using Chrome and Win7. Example:

1. Search zip code 48380 (Milford, MI just west of Detroit about 40 miles)
2. Search for "1963 buick riviera" in All Sale/Wanted using Direct Results
3. Use 200 mile radius (or less) - check results for Michigan/Wisconsin
4. Observe there's 5 hits. 3 from Jan2 - 2 in det>Dearborn Heights and 1 in Det
5. Now expand the radius to 250 miles (or greater) and check results for Michigan/Wisconsin
6. Observe those 3 hits I specified have disappeared. I get 3 hits total - 2 from before, and 1 additional one added since I expanded the radius. But the ones in Detroit Metro have disappeared.

I've observed this with all searches. Above is just an example. I've noticed when I expand out the radius too far, I typically lose Detroit Metro when using 48380.

Any ideas? I don't know if 200-250 miles is always the cutoff, I just noticed it was radius dependent and just pinpointed it down for this example.

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Tempest Nathan
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Re: Direct Results loses hits when radius bigger than 200 mi

Post by Tempest Nathan » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:16 pm

Huh. That's bizarre... Can you copy and paste the link to the Michigan/Wisconsin page in both cases?

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Tempest Nathan
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Re: Direct Results loses hits when radius bigger than 200 mi

Post by Tempest Nathan » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:38 pm

Never mind, got it. And presumably the Detroit checkbox is still checked on both pages. It just doesn't show the results in the second case.

thrashercharged
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Re: Direct Results loses hits when radius bigger than 200 mi

Post by thrashercharged » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:29 pm

Nathan,

"Never mind, got it."
So am I to understand that you were able to recreate my example and the problem? I would attach a screenshot but I don't seem to be able to paste it in this forum.

"And presumably the Detroit checkbox is still checked on both pages."
Are you referring to the "Include Nearby Areas" checklist? That's the strange thing - Detroit isn't listed in that checklist under either the 200 nor the 250 mile radius search.

Now, I did just notice a difference and a clue - using that zipcode 48380, which is 40 miles west of Detroit, using the 200 mile radius, the search is centered on Central Michigan, and it does find the hits in Detroit. However, the 250 mile radius is centered on Milwaukee, WI (which is nowhere close to Detroit!) and it doesn't find the hits in Detroit, presumably because Detroit is farther than 250 miles from Milwaukee.

So here's what I'm finding. Using 48380, a 25 and 50 mile radius centers in Ann Arbor, which is logical because Ann Arbor is the closest CraigsList city to Milford, and Detroit is in the "Nearby area" list.
A 75-125 mile radius centers in Flint (which is farther from 48380 than Ann Arbor).
A 150 mile radius centers on Lansing (even farther away)
A 200 mile radius ce
A 250 mile radius centers on Milwaukee, WI

So it appears the issue is that as the radius increases, the center doesn't stay in the nearest city to the desired zipcode. Which means that 200-250 mile delineation for "losing" hits isn't fixed, it just happened that when I went from 200 to 250 in this area it switched center cities and Detroit just happened to fall outside of the specified mileage radius.

So, is this fixable?

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Tempest Nathan
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Re: Direct Results loses hits when radius bigger than 200 mi

Post by Tempest Nathan » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:20 pm

Ya, so the reason Milwaukee is normally chosen as the home city is that it is the most central city to the combined Wisconsin/Michigan area. However, since your zip is on the edge of that area, as you reduce your search radius below 250 miles, Milwaukee is no longer included in your search, so a new central city is chosen. That's all happening as it's supposed to. The problem would appear to be that Detroit is not in range of Milwaukee. We can indeed fix that; will just have to re-jigger our groups a bit.

For the moment you can work around it by changing the 'Group results by' dropdown from 'area' to 'state'. That will split up Michigan and Wisconsin, and pick better central cities for each.

Thanks for the detailed bug report!

thrashercharged
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Re: Direct Results loses hits when radius bigger than 200 mi

Post by thrashercharged » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:22 am

Nathan,

Thanks for the response. Yeah, I understand to get around Google and CL rules it's all a compromise, I can see why you had to group areas together, etc. I'd assume there are other areas where something like this is happening - where the user's desired zip code is a major metropolis, but when the radius is expanded too large and the central city changes to one over 300 miles away, that major metropolis falls out of range.

I found it very strange that in doing >250 mile search radius from Detroit, I was getting no hits within Detroit, which is impossible. Obviously, this isn't acceptable - I know to use the State grouping now as a work around but I'd think you'd want to check every other region grouping to make sure this isn't happening elsewhere so others aren't missing local hits.

Tom

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Tempest Nathan
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Re: Direct Results loses hits when radius bigger than 200 mi

Post by Tempest Nathan » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:58 pm

That would be ideal. Ironically we're limited in the testing we can do, because in an abundance of legal caution we avoid actually visiting craigslist at all. So we determine the correct structure for the links using sources like Google, but can't actually visit them ourselves.

Anyway, I've split Michigan and Wisconsin into separate groups, so you should be able to switch back to the 'area' groupings. We're also going to review for other cases where similar issues are likely, and we'll just add a margin for error when creating new groups.

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