Today we are throwing the switch to change our default results sort to a single list, instead of showing results for each city separately. The separate cities sort options will still be available, but new visitors to the site (or visitors who have deleted their cookies or are visiting from a new browser) will see results in a single list by default.
The main reason for this change is that we have found, in the past few months, Google has been missing an unacceptable number of results for most searches. We reported the problem to the Custom Search Engine engineering team at Google, but they were unable to determine the cause (at least with the resources that they were willing to dedicate to it). Unfortunately this affects not only SearchTempest, but any other classifieds search engine that relies on Google, as well as anyone going to Google.com directly for their searches.
We weren’t willing to just live with poor results, so we started looking into alternate solutions. What we found was that the Bing search engine now finds considerably more craigslist posts than Google for most searches. It doesn’t find all of them either, but by combining the two, we can find most results, for most searches. Now, what does this have to do with sort options? Well, unfortunately Bing charges per query for their search, so it would be cost prohibitive for us to search each city separately using Bing. Therefore, we’re switching the default sort to a single list, where we can supplement the Google results with Bing. (In the future if there’s enough interest, we may offer a Bing-powered separate cities sort for a small fee.)
We also still do offer our Direct Results view, which doesn’t miss anything, so that might be of interest to some of you, especially if you like having the results separated by city. You can learn more about Direct Results here.