For those interested, we thought we’d explain a subtle change in Nowcado’s (get it for Android or iOS) search results coming in the next update, in case you notice the behavior is somewhat different and were wondering why.
We have noticed and heard some feedback that the current Nowcado search results are too strict and unforgiving of small spelling errors, especially involving whitespace and partial words. This is because each word in the search bar was only allowed about 1-2 characters flexibility.
Instead, we will now be using ngrams. It works by scoring each product based on the degree to which the letter sequences in your search bar match the letter sequences in each product’s name and category. For example, searching for “whiskey” will now match against “whiskey”, “whi”, “whis”, “whisk”, “his”, “hisk”, etc. The more matches there are, the higher the relevancy score. The ordering of the search results will be influenced by each product’s relevancy score, price, and distance (weighted depending on which sort you specify).
This could mean that you see a few products that aren’t very relevant (i.e. “pineapple” flavors match “wine”), but only near the bottom of the search results. We feel this is much more preferable than giving zero results for a minor misspelling of a brand. This change also allows us to easily tweak the scoring of results in the future, based on common patterns that we see that seem less than intuitive.