Linden Lab have issued a call to arms with a recent blog post about plans to improve SL Marketplace search. There’s a survey link in the blog post.
Search has been done and redone and done again in Second Life. There’s only so much you can do with search relevancy because people are gits when it comes to trying to manipulate search results. In Second Life we’ve seen the use of bots to increase traffic and therefore relevancy. We’ve seen the age old classic of using search terms that have no bearing on what the parcel or marketplace listing offers.
I can recall in the 0ld days, possibly whilst it was still XStreetSL, people using white text on a white background to hide keywords that were not remotely related to the listing. People abusing the system, unsettles any search engine and unfortunately, people will abuse the system.
Then there are issues that are pretty unique to the SL Marketplace which are caused by the system itself. The free listing forever policy means search results are cluttered with lots of old content that has been created by people who are no longer active in Second Life. There’s an argument for keeping content around, old content doesn’t mean bad content but content should ideally be tied to an active avatar.
Then there are issues such as demos and colours. Demos are an important tool for customers. Different colours offer different options for customers. However they should not be individual listings. Different colours and the demo should be available via one item display. This would make browsing stores on the SL Marketplace easier for a start.