Understanding Search Results

Hi all,

I just ran a “deeper web search” similar to this:
((a OR b) NEAR/2 d) AND (x OR y OR z) and got around 20 responsive hits.

I then modified the search to be:
((a OR b OR c) NEAR/2 d) AND (x OR y OR z) and then only got 2 responsive hits.

I quit DEVONagent, relaunched it, pasted in the 2nd search and received zero hits! I then tried the 1st search again, and also got zero hits!

This puzzles me, as I would have thought that I’d receive greater than or equal to the number of responsive hits from the 1st search because I added another term.

I ran a similar search a few days ago and got fewer hits when I added more terms. I’d really love to know why I’d get fewer hits when I added more terms with an OR operator.


Did you check the Log tab?

I did indeed, and it showed all of the expected things; “no match”, “disallowed”, “no content”, “404”, “advertisement”, etc. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Does what I’m experiencing make sense? Why would I get 20+ responsive hits, make a slight modification, and then get no hits, and then not be able to get the original 20+ hits again?

It’s difficult to test without legitimate search terms.