Searching in discourse doesn't seem to work



Is it just me or is the searching on discourse completely broken?

I searched for “R4R” & got back 2 results, both of which are quite old and none of the more recent items containing “R4R”.

Searching for “@Ten” got me 1 result which is definitely not right.

Am I doing something wrong?


Hi @Dave, interesting question. I haven’t had any issues with search on Discourse myself, but admittedly I don’t use it much.

I’m not sure how common the term ‘R4R’ is on the forum - I don’t remember it actually being used. Using Google to search the forum only produces a couple of results too, although Google only has access to the public categories.

Searching for Ten does bring up some random discussions for me, primarily in Spanish:

I wonder whether that’s because the letters ‘ten’ appear in a lot of Spanish words, e.g. the verb ‘tener’. These are the instances of ‘ten’ in the top ranking discussion from that search:

tener, existente, tengan, Tenemos, contentas, entender, Ten en cuenta…

This does seem a bit unsophisticated as search algorithms go. That said, @Ten’s profile does come up for me (at the bottom of the screenshot above). Does that not happen for you @Dave?

The Discourse crew do seem to be working on some tweaks to search, judging by the latest beta, but I think these are primarily visual changes.


Hi @james,
To elucidate, I was searching for “@Ten” (not “Ten”), which should, apparently search for articles written by him, of which there are plenty, none of which are in Spanish AFAIK.

I also know that the following article:
mentions “R4R” more than once, but doesn’t appear when “R4R” is searched for.

Is that clearer?


Hi Dave,

Ahh, I see! Sorry, I didn’t realise you were searching with the @ symbol.

I think I know why the search didn’t work as you expected. It sounds like you were looking for private messages from Ten and about R4R, is that right?

For reference, a private message is one sent to a specific member or group of members. These always list the people and/or groups included at the bottom of the first message in the conversation and have an envelope icon in the title, e.g.:

By default, the search bar trawls discussions in the public categories you have access to, so it won’t pick up your private messages. In order to search your private message inbox (e.g. to find the linked message you posted above), you need to navigate to your inbox (by clicking on your profile picture in the top right, then on the envelope icon that appears below) and then search, making sure the ‘search in messages’ box is ticked.

Does doing that provide the results you were hoping for?

archived #5