As previously announced, Linden Lab has been hard at work on an all-new way to search Second Life. Today, as part of the 1.18.5 Release Candidate, we are excited to announce that the new search mechanism is live and ready for you to try out! This change should improve both the search experience and the quality of your results.
We understand that many of you may have questions about the new search, so we’ve compiled a Search FAQ in our Knowledge Base. We’ve also got a video tutorial available. Want more? Listen to a clip from our upcoming Search Podcast with the Linden Lab Search Team here and here – full podcast coming soon!
The points below highlight the key things you should know about the new Search:
- The new search is additive to the current search
- The new search returns information about land, profiles, groups, wiki documents, events, classifieds, and some individual objects
- You have the ability to choose what you want to include in search
- Classifieds are returned both within and next to the search results
Using the New Search
There is a new “All” tab in the Search window, but the rest of the tabs, including the All (old) tab with the current All search functionality, are still included and functional. Using the new All tab, it’ll be easier to find relevant results when you’re searching for land parcels, Resident profiles, groups, classifieds, events, and individual objects marked for inclusion that are present on public parcels. In order to try out the new search, you will need to download the latest Release Candidate. Once you have installed this new version, you will notice that there is an additional tab added to Search that looks different than the current version. This is the new Search All tab!
New Search Results (click for larger image)
The new search is easy to use – simply type into the search box and click the “Search” button. The results will quickly be displayed, along with any related classified ads along the right-hand side. You are able to limit your search by category (Classifieds, Events, Groups, People, Places and Wiki) or search all of the categories at the same time.
Included in the New Search
The new search includes land parcels, Resident profiles, groups, Second Life wiki articles, classifieds, events, and some individual objects. Please note that while the initial population of search was based upon various defaults, going forward, everyone will be able to determine what they would and would not like to be included in search. You are able to make changes to search visibility, although it may take between 1-3 days for changes to be reflected in the search results.
Privacy and the New Search
Every Resident has the ability to choose what is and is not included in the new search. For example, the shortened version of your inworld profile is included in the search by default, which only includes your avatar’s name. You can choose to include an extended version of your profile in the search by selecting the “Show in Search” checkbox on your profile.
New Extended Version Profile (click for larger image)
Please be aware that the new search results will be available to the public. Anyone with a web browser will be able to view the new search results from the Second Life website. The search results may also be picked up by other external search engines such as Yahoo and Google, although we are not explicitly asking search engines to crawl them at this time. It’s important to remember that this information is not tied to your real-life identity and is the same information that anybody could see with a free Second Life account.
How the New Search Works
The biggest change you’ll notice is that the “Search All” dialog box has been dramatically changed and improved. We’re using an all-new system that creates ordinary HTML web pages out of data from the Second Life system, and uses a Google Search Appliance to both index and provide search results from the information. These servers are an off-the-shelf product that Google makes available for purchase by an individual or organization, and the servers and data are hosted at Linden’s co-location facilities. We have not entered into any working partnership with Google.
The web pages for search are publicly viewable on the web at large. Eventually they will be available indexed by Google, Yahoo and other search engines (in a similar way to how all other information online is indexed). Please check out the Search FAQ for more information.