[wp-meta] [Making WordPress.org] #1692: Plugin search quality improvements

Making WordPress.org noreply at wordpress.org
Fri Dec 2 02:53:27 UTC 2016

#1692: Plugin search quality improvements
 Reporter:  tellyworth                           |       Owner:  tellyworth
     Type:  enhancement                          |      Status:  assigned
 Priority:  normal                               |   Milestone:  Plugin
Component:  Plugin Directory                     |  Directory v3.0
 Keywords:  dev-feedback needs-docs 2nd-opinion  |  Resolution:
  needs-testing                                  |

Comment (by gibrown):

 @nerrad thanks for testing and giving feedback. That's really helpful.

 > "event" search term

 Ya, thanks for pointing this one out. Similar to "backup" this is tricky
 because it is a common word. We've played with weights a lot in an ad hoc
 manner already, so I get worried that more ad hoc tuning will just break
 something else. I'm planning to work on testing some large samples of
 search terms as mentioned a bit in this
 search-logs/|post]]. This may end up happening after the new search
 launches because there seems to be good agreement that the new search is
 still much better.

 > high number of resolved support threads - Is this a good thing to use

 Right now we are only using the count of resolved threads, and I agree
 with some of your points. The new index we switched to earlier this week
 also includes a percent resolved field which I'm going to experiment with
 adding to the query. In general, I think we should include this signal in
 search for two reasons:
 1. It is a pretty good signal that the plugin author cares about
 supporting users. If the plugin doesn't need much support it is likely
 that the other plugins "competing" on a particular search term also don't
 need much support.
 2. To the extent plugin author's want to improve their search rankings,
 let's use signals that encourage them to improve the user experience.
 Other signals in the index along these lines (not yet deployed):
  - total active installs for the contributors to a plugin: encourage more
 plugins; for authors of popular plugins, rank them higher (under the
 assumption they are probably also well written)
  - number of months during which the plugin was updated : encourage
 longevity, and regular updates
  - percentage of one star ratings responded to: encourage taking feedback
 seriously, addressing problems
  - number of translations: wordpress is global, plugins should not just be
 in English, encourage translations

 Also, unlike active installs, these are things that are more under the
 plugin authors control. I think this also tries to address @lukecavanagh's
 concerns about new plugins and active installs. By adding more signals, we
 should be able to provide other opportunities for new plugins to rank

 That said, I think active installs is a very very good signal. A 100,000
 says that there are at least tens of thousands of individual users who
 have both installed the plugin and for whom it is working. Given the 100k
 search queries a day, a very small percentage are developers, and so IMO
 we should not be suggesting brand new plugins that have no history to
 them. In cases where we know something about the plugin author we could
 try to do some boosting.

 WP has a very large and successful ecosystem. It is one of our strengths.
 We should help users take advantage of it. I'm reminded of the yearly
 feedback in the WP user survey where "plugins" are highlighted as both the
 good part of WP and also the most frustrating (see
 https://ma.tt/2014/10/sotw-2014/ slide 22). I'd say the current state of
 plugin search is a big part of why plugins are so frustrating to users.
 They search for something, it's not clear what would be a good choice, and
 then what they choose is not actually well supported and breaks six months

 Anyway... that's my reasoning for some of the ideas I'm pursuing... these
 are important things to discuss, so thanks for bringing them up.

Ticket URL: <https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/1692#comment:91>
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