Support » Requests and Feedback » WP Plugin Search results BROKEN – misordered

  • Resolved meckdahl


    I tweaked my plugin (ScheduleMAX Online Scheduling) about a week ago and searched for it and was surprised that the search filters “Sort by: Relevance, Newest, Most Popular, Highest Rated” had entirely different results than a couple days earlier, and were not correct at all.

    For instance searching for “online scheduling” (Relevance) now is listed by most downloads.

    Searching for same with (Highest Rated) gets results that have 4 or more stars, but are not the highest rated.

    Searching for same with (Newest) will provide results for plugins that have been updated in the last year, but not sorted by “Newest”.

    I noticied this first on April 5th, 2012.

    Try doing some other plugin searches and see how the results are not sorting correctly.

    Have a great day,

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • As there has been no action on this.

    To Reproduce:
    Search plugins for “sort order” by popularity:

    Note in these results, the total downloads are not sorted by popularity as requested.

    (Here are results in brief)

    WooCommerce – excelling eCommerce
    Version: 2.0.8
    Updated: 2013-4-18
    Downloads: 760,977

    NextGEN Gallery
    Version: 1.9.12
    Updated: 2013-2-15
    Downloads: 7,129,091

    Social Media Widget
    Version: 4.0.2
    Updated: 2013-4-11
    Downloads: 1,019,041

    Ultimate TinyMCE

    Version: 4.4
    Updated: 2013-4-9
    Downloads: 1,359,350

    “Popularity” is not the same thing as “total downloads”. Popularity is based on downloads over a recent time period. Total downloads is the total from all time.

    Additionally, “relevance” is based on several factors, of which the download count is only a small part.

    “Highest Rated” is currently under reconstruction since the Reviews system went into place, changing how the ratings work behind the scenes.

    “Newest” is just what it says, but it’s not the same as “most recently updated”. It’s the newest in the directory.

    Except for the “highest rated” (which still needs more work), the results are sorting correctly. Just maybe not the way you’re expecting them to. Also, the order will change from day to day as the counts and everything else changes. It’s not meant to be a fixed order, nor should it.

    More to the point, if you’re doing searches in our directory to try and game the search engine to get your plugins to the top, then you’re doing it wrong and you need to stop doing that. Focus on making your plugin better. This is a better long run strategy than pulling SEO tricks like keyword stuffing.

    Let’s try same search with Highest Rated, which is obvious where it comes from, the most stars is 5th, not first (I added the exact stars below):

    (results in brief)

    NextGEN Gallery
    Version: 1.9.12
    Updated: 2013-2-15
    Downloads: 7,129,112
    Average Rating:
    4 stars [ 4.3 Stars ]
    Author: photocrati

    Grand Flagallery
    Version: 2.70
    Updated: 2013-4-16
    Downloads: 781,035
    Average Rating:
    4 stars [ 4.2 Stars ]
    Author: Rattus

    Updated: 2013-4-15
    Downloads: 1,965,888
    Average Rating:
    4 stars [ 4.1 Stars ]
    Author: sociable

    Widget Logic
    Version: 0.56
    Updated: 2013-1-6
    Downloads: 546,051
    Average Rating:
    4 stars [ 4.2 Stars ]
    Author: alanft

    Version: 2.2.11
    Updated: 2013-3-27
    Downloads: 210,391
    Average Rating:
    4 stars [4.9 Stars ]
    Author: Stefan Boonstra

    As I stated above, “Highest Rated” is currently under reconstruction due to the reviews system changing the way ratings work.

    I would be great if the search results showed what they were searching based on, so it was clearer how the order is determined.

    If it was based on newness of plugin to repository, then the date added to repository would be a more logical date to show, rather than last updated date.

    It seemed like the logic changed recently, and it was mystifying me.

    Thanks for responding.


    I would be great if the search results showed what they were searching based on, so it was clearer how the order is determined.

    We don’t want you to know how the order is determined, for much the same reasons that Google doesn’t give out the details about their search algorithms.

    You shouldn’t care about the search results. You should about the users of your plugin, and making your plugin the best plugin for the job. That will get you more users, more satisfied users, word of mouth, and ultimately lead you to better results.


    We DO have the best product, easiest to use, least expensive, targetting small businesses (Less than 5 employees).

    However that does not guarantee it will madly take off. It also takes work to get the word out and get enough trials going for people to realize how good it is. Luckily more and more of our new customers are comparing to our competitors and are blown away by how elegant and easy to use the interface is.

    Have a great day,

    I agree with your statements, but my point is that focusing on our search engine isn’t really particularly helpful to your ultimate goals. The majority of people don’t find plugin recommendations from our search engine. Some do, certainly, but in the long run, it’s like Google. You don’t always click on the top result.

    Today I added version tracking to our plugin because I saw it can be graphed, which adds valuable information, and may have found my issue:

    I found the unusual search results of the ratings due to my plugin dropping its search tags, likely due to a typing mistake on my part. I was trying to figure out why people searching for a plugin like ours was not being listed in results. It then seemed like many of the results were giving odd results. Different than what I would expect.

    I was trying as a fellow developper to let you know you seemed to have a search problem, which you do, it is just limitted to ratings it would seem. I had introduced a bug in my keywords that I had to find and resolve on my own.


    Today I added version tracking to our plugin because I saw it can be graphed, which adds valuable information

    If you’re talking about the pie chart of versions on the stats page, I would not consider that data to be particularly trustworthy at present. Our gathering mechanism for the version information is not very accurate.

    Also note that when you make a change to a plugin, the change in search results is not immediate. Our search system indexes on an infrequent and odd schedule, so changes can take days to take full effect, sometimes. In the meantime, the order may fluctuate wildly immediately following a change.

    Thanks Samuel for you time,

    I appreciate your work and feedback,

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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