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understanding the search ...


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November 13, 2014 15:02



I am struggeling with the search. I am using php.

1. when I seach for an item_name “butterfinger” I am getting back 200 lines. But only 8 of which really have the string “butterfinger” in their item_name. All the others have “butterfinger” in the brand_name (brand_name was empty in this search).

2. Then I add a minimum score of 4.0 to the search and get back the correct 8 “butterfinger”-lines. But when I now search for an item_name “wheat” (still with the min_score of 4.0) I get nothing back. Even though there are many items having the string “wheat” in their item_name. In fact there are 4 items that have exactly the name “wheat” – the exact 5 letters that I am searching for.

What am I doing wrong?

Thanks a lot!


November 13, 2014 15:11

Matt Silverman

Hi Wolfgang,

Our goal is to allow the end-user to find the food they are looking for as quickly as possible. To do that, our search algorithm ranks various attributes of the item including the brand name and popularity.

Here are the default results for butterfinger:

It does look like those results need to be improved a bit on our end (which we are working on for our 2.0 API launch in early 2015), but within the first 10 search results there are definitely the entries that a user would likely need based on that search. We do not recommend adjusting the min_score parameter.

Can you let us know if this answers your question?


November 13, 2014 15:48


Hi Matt,

thanks a lot for your answer. It proves what I found: exactly delivers the 8 lines I was talking about.

But it does not explain why it delivers all the other items that DO NOT HAVE the string “butterfinger” AT ALL in their item_name.

It is a very good thing that using your API I have the possibility to search for item_name AND brand_name. But what is the reason then to search for the item_name also in the brand_name? IMHO it makes no sense to return items that don’t have the string that I was searching for in their item_name at all.

If I want to look for the same string in item_name and brand_name I can do this easily using the API.

Best regards

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