Garlic Toum | Blog

Indexing Videos, Engine Tweaks, and Recent Searches - Oh My!

Sat Dec 26 2020

We know a lot of users like recipes in a video format, so starting today GarlicToum has started indexing videos! Along with video searches, we've made some tweaks to the search engine itself and added the ability to see recent searches on the homepage!

We know a lot of people like to watch vides of recipes being made, so we started indexing videos! It follows the same sort of ideology we have across GarlicToum of only searching through bare neccessities - titles and authors. We may end up adding ingredients that are listed in descriptions, but that is yet to come. We have a bunch of ideas around video search and better integrating more types of search results on the platform, so stay tuned!

Rank-shuffle #

One of the big issues we noticed while using GarlicToum, is that whenever we did a search for something generic, like "green beans" or "chicken" the results would all be listed alphabetically by author. This goes against our core of democratizing search results. No site/author should get preferential treatment in the search results. This happened because the internal search "score" was the same for generic searches, and the search engine would default on returning results in alphabetical order by author. We've gone in and tweaked the engine to "shuffle" results with the same score. This "rank-shuffle" process allows different sites to be at the top of our results, so no one site can dominate results. Again, this will primarily affect more generic searches and more exact searches will still return the accurate results you know and love. Currently this shuffling happens when we update the search index, around every couple of weeks. Longer term, we want to update the index and shuffle-rank daily.

Recent Recipes/Videos #

The existing search engines have trained us to re-perform a search to get to sites we've seen before. With the recent rank-shuflle changes, performing the same search may result in a different order from what was seen before. To help with some of this, and make finding previously searched recipes easier - we've added "Recent Searches" to the homepage! Now after you click through a search result, the site will keep track of the last few things you searched for. This is all stored in your browser (in localstorage). We hope you find this feature useful!