Meta Search Walk Settings

Walk Settings is somewhat of a misnomer for a meta search profile since it doesn't do any walking of its own. On this page you list the host(s) and profile(s) to search and merge when this profile is accessed.

For each profile you want included in the search, list the full URL to that machine's .../search interface, e.g. e.g. http://searchbox/texis/webinator/search/. You can use localhost or instead of the hostname when using profiles on the same machine as the meta search.

The Display Name column is used to provide a user friendly name for this profile that will be displayed if the user is allowed to choose which profiles to search.

The Bias setting allows you to apply a ranking bias to your metasearch targets. You can add or remove rank to results from a given target by increasing or decreasing the bias for that target. Setting bias to 3 will cause results from that target to have 3% higher rank than it normally would (a 76% result would become 79%, etc.).

The Status column shows the status of the remote profile once a host/profile has been entered and Update has been pressed. If the target is searchable, OK is displayed. Otherwise, text explaining the error is displayed. Refreshing the page re-queries the target profiles.

If User Selection is set to Y then the user will be presented with a list of Display Names and can choose which ones to search. Leaving them all unchecked will cause them all to be searched. The list is submitted via the mu query string variable (one profile per mu value, multiple values if needed). If User Selection is N then any mu value(s) are ignored.

The Meta Mode setting controls whether profiles on the same host will be searched serially or in parallel. "Sameness" of host is determined by the Target Search URL setting, so using different names or a name and an IP address will allow you to mix serial and parallel.

The Results Merge Method setting controls how target profiles' results are merged and sorted by the meta profile. Two methods are available:

  • Requested order The results will be sorted as requested, i.e. as specified by the order query-string variable (or if that is unset, the meta search Result Order search setting). This is the default. Thus, results from different target profiles may or may not be mixed together (depending on how they sort by order).

  • Target profile order The results will be sorted by their Profiles setting order first, then by requested (order variable) order. This will result in all results of the first target profile being shown first, then all results of the next target profile, etc.

Note that in both cases, the target profiles still individually sort their results according to requested order. The Results Merge Method setting only affects how those top results are then merged and sorted by the meta profile.

Max Backend Data Size provides a sanity limit on the information collected from metasearch backends. You can usually leave this untouched, but it may need increased if you're getting Max Page Size exceeded errors in your metasearch results. This can be caused by having an exceptionally large number of results per page (thousands), or very large Additional Fields.

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