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Search results sort order seems random and arbitrary


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Posted (edited)

Hi folks,

I'm trying to figure out what affects search results.  They seem to be semi-random, and arbitrary, and I'm constantly selecting the wrong thing.

Here's an example.  I'm looking for the app World of Tank Blitz, so I start typing W O R, and expect to hit Return to launch the app.  But here are the results as I type.

 

w.png

 

wo.png

 

wor.png

 

Why do items 1 and 2 keep shifting as I type additional letters.

 

To me, it seems like anchored string matches should sort first in the list of items, but in any case, the results shouldn't bounce around like they do.

 

Thoughts?

 

Edited by MrC
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7 hours ago, MrC said:

Why do items 1 and 2 keep shifting as I type additional letters.

 

You've probably partially trained Alfred to associate some of those specific strings with a specific application.

 

8 hours ago, MrC said:

They seem to be semi-random, and arbitrary, and I'm constantly selecting the wrong thing.

 

Yeah, you're kinda doing that to yourself. Alfred learns from your behaviour, and you're giving it contradictory signals by repeatedly selecting the wrong thing.

 

Actioning the same item two or three times for the same query should lock it in, and Alfred will reliably make it the top result. But you can only "latch" one item to a specific query. In your example, you need to use, say, "wo" for "Scan to Word" and "wor" for "World of Tanks Blitz". If you do that consistently, Alfred will always make the respective app the first result. But if you aren't consistent in what you select for a particular query, Alfred won't be consistent, either.

 

More generally, it's a very good idea to actually check what's selected in Alfred before actioning it. Alfred runs a bunch of different searches in parallel (for files, for contacts, for applications, for workflows etc.) and its results can bounce around till they've all finished.

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