Search - The cornerstone of the site

We've recently introduced a new search function on the site. You can find it here: Search

That's great, but want to know how it works and how to get the best from it? Read on.....

There are a few different ways that you might reach the search page:

  1. By visiting the search page directly.
  2. By typing a word or phrase into the search box in the header.
  3. By clicking on a 'more content' or 'see all' link from either the main or channel homepages.
  4. By clicking to view your Watchlist results from your Watchlist details page (subscriber only).

For some of those the search may be prepopulated with filters and keywords, but all of the below still applies.

Parts of the search page

There are 3 main sections on the search page:

  1. The top/header section
    (show in green in the screenshot right/below).
    • See the count of results
    • Page through the results
    • Change how much content is shown in the search results
    • Change how the results are ordered
    • Enter keywords/phrases to search by
    • Reset the search
  2. The filter/facet section
    (shown in orange in the screenshot right/below).
    • Change the date range of the search
    • Filter the search results down based on a selection of predefined criteria
  3. The results section
    (shown in purple in the screenshot right/below).
    • See the search results and click on them to open the relevant content

The filters in detail

The filters at the left of the search give you quick access to narrow the search results down using a predefined set of criteria.

Next to the filters is a number which indicates the count of articles that match that particular filter in the current search. If you selected one of the filter criteria these numbers will recalculate based on the new number of matching articles in the filtered selection. These counts can provide good context to the search.

Some of the filters have a ‘+ view more’ link just below them. If there are more filter options than can be comfortably displayed on the screen by default then this link will show and you can select if to show more filter options in that section.

Below is a little more detail on each of the filter types:

  1. Date – Change the date range over which the search is carried out. There are a number of predefined periods or you can enter a custom period of any length.
  2. Content Source – Is the content written by WTiN’s industry experts or is it curated from 3rd party sources around the Internet.
  3. Channels – Filter the search down based on one of WTiN.com industry channels.
  4. Article Types – Filter the search based on the type of content (news, insight, previews etc.).
  5. Sectors – Which if the horizontal industry sectors does the content fit into?
  6. Themes – Which of the vertical industry themes does the content fit into?
  7. Locations – As content is added to WTiN.com we use AI techniques (https://www.wtin.com/ai) to extract the relevant locations form the content. Here you can filter the content based on these geographical locations.
  8. Companies – Similar to locations AI techniques (https://www.wtin.com/ai) are used to extract relevant companies and organisations from content. Filter based on these here. You may also want to use the keyword/phrase filter to search for company names.
  9. Authors – Filter the search based on content authors.

The industry sectors used in the ‘Sectors’ filter operated on a hierarchical basis. That is there are top and then sub level sectors. To allow for this in the filter panel there are ‘+’ and ‘-‘ icons used to expand/contract the top/sub levels of the hierarchy.

Keyword and phrase searching

To search using a keyword or phrase you can enter content into either the search bar in the header of the site or if you are on the actual search page you can enter a value into the search bar there too:

The search on WTiN.com uses a search index (https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/services/search/) that can be queried in a number of different ways. You can use combinations of words, phrases and syntax to build searches that do more than simply return content where the words entered are contained in the corpus of articles. The below table outlines the various options:

Type Example Result
AND operator (the default) smart textile innovation Any content that contains the words ‘smart’, ‘textile’ and ‘innovation’ in any order/location.
OR operator smart OR textile OR innovation Any content that contains the words ‘smart’ OR ‘textile’ OR ‘innovation’ in any order/location.
Whole phrases “smart textile innovation” Any content that contains the specific phrase ‘smart textile innovation’.
Fuzzy searches innovat~4 To do a fuzzy search, append the tilde ~ symbol at the end of a single word with an optional parameter, a value between 0 and 2, that specifies the edit distance. innovat~4 would return matches for innovator, innovate or innovation.
Proximity searches “product innovation”~5 Proximity searches are used to find terms that are near each other in a document. Insert a tilde "~" symbol at the end of a phrase followed by the number of words that create the proximity boundary. “product innovation”~5 will find the terms product and innovation within 5 words of each other.
Wildcard searches perform? or perform* You can use generally recognized syntax for multiple (*) or single (?) character wildcard searches. Note the search supports the use of these symbols with a single term, and not a phrase. This is similar to a fuzzy search. perform? (single wildcard) Will return matches for ‘performs’ whereas perform* will return matches for ‘performance’, ‘performing’ etc.
Combinations 1 acquisition AND "digital print"~5 Will return content with the word ‘acquisition’ and where ‘digital’ and ‘print’ are within 5 words of each other.

Key tip: If you want to search for a whole word or phrase then enclose it inside quotation marks. For example, “smart textile applications” will search for that specific term and not content containing the words ‘smart’, ‘textile’ and ‘applications’ in any order, which would be the result if quote marks were not used.

Ordering the search results

The search results can be ordered in 3 different ways. The first 2; 'newest first' and 'oldest first' are obvious in their function and operate on the published date of the content.

The third option is 'relevance'. A relevance search only applies when a keyword or phrase search is used (see above). This type of sorting will take the search word/phrase entered into the search, analyse content across the whole site and return that which is most relevant first. The basis for calculating a relevance score and therefore ordering is TF-IDF or term frequency-inverse document frequency. Broadly the method calculates how frequently the term occurs in a document.

Combining & resetting the search

Remember that you can use all of the above (filters, keywords/phrases and ordering) in combination to build a search just as you want it. For example, if you enter a search word or phrase and see the results you can then filter these results further using the filter panel to the left.

If you want to reset the search at any point simply click the 'Reset' button.

What to know more?