An important change to torrent searching We recently made a major change to the search behavior of the browse page. As some of you have already noticed, the default behavior for torrent searching has been changed to be AND-based. This means that, by default, all of the words entered in the search box are now required to be present for a torrent to appear in the search results. Most search engines work this way and it is what most people expect when they search for something. Previously, the default behavior used OR searching, which meant that as long as any of the entered words were present, a torrent would match and appear in the search results. A more detailed explanation of the change, including several examples, follows for the benefit of the less technically proficient among us.
Let's start with a simple example to exhibit the usefulness of the search change. Suppose you searched for 2012 DVD9 in an attempt to view most of the untouched releases for material released this year. Under the old behavior, any torrent that included the word 2012 or the word DVD9 would match your search query and would thus be part of the search results. Needless to say, that outcome would likely not match your expectation, as thousands of DVD9 torrents from years other than 2012 would be included in the results. Under the new behavior, only torrents that include both the word 2012 and the word DVD9 would match your query and be part of the search results.
An important caveat is that the change only applies to searches that do not contain any of the special operators. These special operators are shown in the Example Searches section at the bottom of the torrent table and include things such as the + and - characters when they are prepended to words. Therefore, if you search for horror japan -ghost the site will perform an OR search wherein any torrent that contains the word horror or the word japan and which does not contain the word ghost would be matched and would be part of the search results.
There is also a special keyword that has been added for situations where forcing an OR search is desirable but none of the special operators are needed. Including the word "or" in your search will tell the site to override the default search behavior and perform an OR search. This behavior can be handy in cases where you want to search for a name that has multiple common spellings, something that occasionally occurs when an Asian name is romanized. Only a single instance of the keyword is necessary to force an OR search.
While the old search behavior worked well enough for anyone who had read and understood the Example Searches section, for other members it could be a regular source of frustration and occasional confusion. We hope that the new behavior will prove less confusing and enable everyone to more easily find what they are looking for, especially those members who have not been part of the community for years. If you have any questions about the change or want to provide other feedback, there is a forum thread on the subject where you can post away.