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The proverbial search for the needle in the haystack: The improved search function makes it easier to find content in Wikipedia.
Richard Bartz , Munich aka Makro Freak , Murnauer Moos Marsh 2 , cutout by Atelier Disko for WMDE, CC BY-SA 2.5

Advanced Search for Wikipedia & Co.

technology 496 Wikis use the advantages of the new search feature making it easier to find content.

The German-language Wikipedia alone has more than 2.2 million articles (as of December 2018). Attempting to find specific content can sometimes feel like the proverbial search for the needle in the haystack. That’s why if you go and search the world’s largest encyclopedia, you will see a new interface that provides several common search terms. No longer will people looking for their favorite type of salad be faced with the dilemma of 50,000 search results for rocket. More specifically, search pages now have an additional visual interface that provides several common search options. For instance, when you type space, Nasa, and missile into the field “Not this text” and salad into “One of these words”, you can narrow your search for rocket down to little more than 100 results. Other options are to search in page titles, for exact text, to look for pages in certain categories, with a particular template, etc.

These changes, called Advanced Search, were developed by Wikimedia Deutschland with support from the Wikimedia Foundation. The idea for this feature was born in a workshop series with authors in Germany. From there, it was developed together with the different language communities with the help of prototypes and feedback rounds. It became the new default interface for the search page for all Wikimedia wikis in November 2018.

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