Searching for articles is getting a much needed boost in intelligence. When
searching for an article on any Wikimedia project, a list of possible
matches appear as you type. This incremental search
suggester' helps narrow down possible results for your search query.
Currently the completion suggester is very literal - mistype a word and you
won't see any suggestions. The Discovery team has an update that will make
the search better at detecting typos and spelling mistakes. The list of
suggestions is also tends to be more accurate and relevant to the original
search query. You can see the improvement for yourself as a beta feature
The plan is to begin rolling out this update in the coming month.
This improvement will impact all Wikimedia sites (with the exception of
Wikidata). With the initial rollout, there will be a few limitations. For
technical reasons, the completion suggester will only affect articles in
the mainspace, not other pages like policy or user pages. Those searches
will continue to use the existing incremental search. We're hoping to
expand the scope of the completion suggester to include other pages in the
future, but this will not be a part of the initial release.
Why are we making this change? The success of our A/B tests on the
completion suggester show a reduction in users who find zero results when
searching. We also have a fairly large number of Wikimedians (nearly 19,000
editors since December 2015) using the beta feature, and we've received
positive feedback on the feature so far. The completion suggester has the
potential of lessening the need for redirects based on spelling mistakes as
The goal is to bring these updates to the default search across all
Wikimedia projects in the coming month. This change will affect the
completion suggester in the main search box on desktop, mobile apps, adding
links in VisualEditor, and the search box on the Wikimedia Portal.
Here are two animations showing the completion suggester before and after
(using a misspelling of "Abendessen", with a missing "s").
* Completion Suggester results for "Abendesen" on German Wikipedia before
* Completion Suggester results for "Abendesen" on German Wikipedia after
Since December 2015, nearly 19,000 editors have already opted into the
completion suggester beta feature. We encourage you to try it out and share
your feedback on the Completion Suggester discussion page
If you'd like to read a little more about the work of the Discovery
Department and other improvements to search, please check out the Wikimedia
read about CirrusSearch
<https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:CirrusSearch>, the Mediawiki
Extension that powers our search.
Community Liaison - Discovery