How to make search more effective in efi site?:
Different members may be trying different tricks to get desired results on search in

It will be worth learning if we tell each others’ side.

I generally search on a name, preferably a botanical name, which generally lands my desired page, which needs to be edited to incorporate a new observation. But sometimes on common name also, if required.
Recently, I have been trying to search on a ‘genus name’ + ‘place or state name’, to get shortlist of species so far reported in our database from that ‘place or state’. This generally narrows down the species from many, in a particular genus. This I find really useful, where we do not have comparative images of a genus.
There may be many other similar options, which we are willing to learn from our members.
So pl. tell us here.


May I request you to pl. let me know who has used search in efi site & who has not.
This is just for my curiosity & to know the acquaintance of members in this matter so that it is highlighted to members, if required.
Just a simple yes or no will do.

Yes. I used search in EFI site

I open the website frequently for seeing some entries.

Did you ever try search box in efi site at top right corner ?

No …,  I usually enter to a particular family and genus in alphabetical sequence. I never used search option. 

Thanks, …Pl. try, you will love it.

Yes, Sir. Many times

I do. Whenever an ID is suggested by me I also add link to the generic or species page which invariably need searching a species or genus page.

Thanks, …, Did you do so by manually browsing to that page or you use search option by typing something in the search box in efi site at top right corner ?

In both ways- manually by opening family and then selecting genus and then species; as well as directly typing species or genus name in search box. But typing in search box is easier than manually going through the family.

Yes, I do it very often..

I use the search box on the top, it is always helpful..

Yes i have searched using both search option and even using google search.

I never used search box but searching by other method

I use search to reach a page in eFI site.

Yes … i use the search box as well as directly going to families  

Oftenly I search through the eflora search engine, otherwise, google search many of occasions helps to reach post at eflora.

I have been using it very regularly, for general use when trying to identify or confirm a species
1. /                                 for consolidated information regarding any species/genus/family
2.!forum/indiantreepix              to go through different threads
for both using search window at right upper corner in first, left centered in second, inputting Genus name, binomial or family name in the search window works very fine in filtering data.
For Flowers of India I generally scroll down to Botanical names page, but find that even Search window in the home page is very efficient.

Thanks, …, Have you ever used search option in efi site?

I have given both the links. Is there any third?

I meant search at /

I use this feature regularly when I know the genus/species. It works quite well giving me links to the genus page and the individual email messages that mention that genus.
I am sorry to be uncommunicative for a while. I am busy with the state elections and will have more time after the ninth.

Thanks, everybody, for the overwhelming feedback.
The main purpose was to know as to whether our moderators are aware about this or not.
It carries many advantage over manual browsing as it shows results of similar/ confusing species also.
I will explain this by giving an example. e.g. On searching on ”Codonopsis viridis”, I got the following results in the following order:
The above shows that results have been shown on priority with main search page being shown first. Genera page Codonopsis is shown because it contains details of all the species including the searched one. Codonopsis rotundifolia is shown as it has been confused with the searched species in some earlier efi discussions. In fact two of the posts of Codonopsis rotundifolia were wrongly identified earlier as Codonopsis viridis, which I corrected yesterday. Family page of Campanulaceae is shown as it contains comparative images of all the Codonopsis species including that of the searched one. Valley of flowers- List of plants is also shown as it also contains the name of plants found in the valley of flowers.
The above search results tells you a lot of things, which may be helpful to the searcher in many ways including getting proper identification.
e,g. if somebody posts images of Codonopsis viridis, while including in efi site, I will search on Codonopsis viridis and get these results. Than I will open both pages of Codonopsis viridis and Codonopsis rotundifolia in separate windows. After going through images at both species pages, I will conclude to myself whether posted species has been correctly identified or not. If it does not match with images at either of the pages, than I will also open the page of Codonopsis for seeing the comparative images and finally nailing down the id & advising so on the group.
I hope this exercise has lessons to those who are not aware of the importance of this aspect.
Pl. give your feedback, if you feel it has been of some use to you.

I think, there is no problem in searches on efloraofindia page. If you search in google, most of the time you will not get results for your search due to lack of tags.
I searched for Codonopsis viridis and found no results in google. When searched for Codonopsis viridis and efloraofindia, the results appeared.

Thanks, …,
This is really strange. In both ways I could not find efi page on Codonopsis viridis (page created on 11/2/11).
But for search on Codonopsis rotundifolia, this page appeared at 4th place like Codonopsis rotundifolia – efloraofindia – Google Sites (page created on 26/8/12).
What could be the reason ?

I further checked up with google search to find out about all the species in efi in this genus.
Results are as below:
Codonopsis pilosula (does not appear on simple search, but appears on top while searching with efloraofindia word)
Codonopsis lanceolata (does not appear on simple search, but appears on top while searching with efloraofindia word)
Codonopsis viridis (Does not appear even on search at Codonopsis viridis + efloraofindia)
Can anyone explain this ? I am unable to understand this.

I further checked up with google search to find out about the same species available in efi & FOI in this genus.
Results are as below:
Codonopsis clematidea – efloraofindia – Google Sites (efi page appeared at 15th place)- FOI (appeared at 2nd place)
Codonopsis ovata – efloraofindia – Google Sites (efi page appeared at 11th place)- FOI (appeared at 2nd place)
Codonopsis gracilis – efloraofindia – Google Sites (efi page appeared at 2nd place)- FOI (appeared at 4th place)
Codonopsis rotundifolia – efloraofindia – Google Sites (efi page appeared at 5th place)- FOI (appeared at 4th place)
Codonopsis pilosula (efi page does not appear on simple search, but appears on top while searching with efloraofindia word)- FOI (appeared at 9th place)
Codonopsis lanceolata (efi page does not appear on simple search, but appears on top while searching with efloraofindia word)- FOI (Does not appear even on search at Codonopsis lanceolata + flowersofindia)
Codonopsis viridis (efi page does not appear even on search at Codonopsis viridis + efloraofindia)- FOI (appeared at 1st place)
From the above, it appears that this problem is there in FOI also, but to a lesser extent. This may be due to FOI pages being much more older and popular due availability of images on their pages since the beginning, while we have started adding images only since last two years.
May I request others to comment in the matter pl.

As much as I believe, Google Search results are based on many parameters … the “most searched” word(s) will have the “most” results, and among the results – the “most visited pages” and “most connected pages” will tend to feature among the top results.
Codonopsis viridis page in eFI site
1) could be lesser visited among other pages,
2) could have been comparatively recently made (the Googlebot takes some time to index the newly added pages),
3) could be less connected to other pages. (chances of page to feature in results depends on how well it is linked from other pages – assuming that the other pages are well visited).
After a month or so, please repeat the same searches, their ranks will be seen gaining.

Flowers of India results mostly appears at second or third place.

Yes, …
I hope we will also pick up with large scale insertion of images in past two years (around 50,000 unique images). A similar number will also be inserted in coming two years.
I also hope further comparative images will give us more advantages in future.
If somebody have any suggestion, pl. come forward.
Hi, …, You were talking of tags- Would you pl. clarify this to us ?

I meant spiders or crawlers in on the website. Have you got user ID and password for updating the site?
Then, it can be done easily by some expert.

Thanks, … I could not follow you. Pl. clarify. Yes, I have got password and user ID. 

1. Search results many times user specific, it will depend on your earlier search history, even if it was made from a different device: mobile, different PC, etc
2. Adding efloraofindia in search has no meaning, as user would be searching without knowing where will it find the record, adding India would be meaningful if we are filtering records for India.
3. To my experience of several years, Flowers of India, always scores over most other websites including efloraofindia.
4. Ranking in search records would depend on how common that species is, and how many websites would have it.
5. Wikipedia entry, Dave’s Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden, eFlora websites, would always score higher, if they have entry for searched plant.
In my simple search
Codonopsis clematidea  FOI was at 22, efloraofindia 28
Codonopsis ovata          FOI at 5, efloraofindia 7
Codonopsis gracilis       FOI at 23, efloraofindia 4
Codonopsis rotundifolia FOI at 9,  efloraofindia  7
Codonopsis pilosula   simple search puts FOI on 15th page (approx 150), efloraofindia does not figure in even up to 20th page, probably the plant being important has numerous entries, adding of word India brings FOI to number 1, efloraofindia number 16
Codonopsis lanceolata simple search gets FOI on 18th page (approx 175), efloraofindia does not figure in first 20 pages, adding word India brings FOI to 10, efloraofindia to 11
Codonopsis viridis FOI at 6, efloraofindia not even up to 150 entry; addition of India brings FOI to number 2, efloraofindia to number 4, but only Codonopsis entry, Codonopsis viridis only as Mail Archive entry.

Thanks, …, for this very important feedback.
It is an eye opener, which I was not aware of at all.
In your results I find that both FOI & EFI are almost neck to neck.
In fact, earlier I always looked for FOI entry on google search, for validation/ verification of posted plants etc.
I also sought entry of FOI on google search, for adding its link in the references at efi pages.
Many a times I got efi entry also on search, but I never opened it as I was already working on that page (in another window) for addition of numerous posts etc.
I always go to efi pages but only through efi site search & not through google search.
All this may be the reason for my google search results being skewed in favour of FOI compared to efi.
Thanks a lot again for your valuable insights.

Thanks, …, If I have to look for entry about a specific site, say efi- than adding the word efloraofindia generally shows it at top.

Most of the people use general google search and do not get results for efi entries at the top places.
Results show efi entries at top mostly in those cases where information from other sources is not available especially in exclusively Indian Flora.
I’ll send you detailed technical information after talking with my friend on how to increase visibility of efi in Google searches. 

Thanks, …
It will be interesting to see your results as … has sent.
May I request you to pl. post your results on simple google search.
It will help us better understand the matter.

OK, Sir. After duty hours.

Waiting for your feedback.

I have noticed some very interesting results during this time regarding google search.
1. If you keep on searching on google again and again, the desired results start coming towards the top.
2. efi results which were appearing in twenties earlier, they have now started appearing in top ten in my searches.
3. When searching again for “Codonopsis viridis”. No results from efi  appeared while, FoI was at no. 2.
4. I searched for Cotoneaster microphyllus. No results from efi in first 50 results, while FoI was at top. We have lots of photographs on
this plant and extensive discussion by …
5.  Some websites pay money to google for showing their page at the top as advertisement. While, tags or crawlers added in the webpage
make the page more searchable.

 6. When a same thing is searched again and again, search results for that keyword becomes more prominent. This is automatically done by the
google servers.
7. One more example: If you search for “Govt College Shimla”, you will get results for Centre of Excellence, Government, Sanjauli. at No.1
position, while there are more than 15 colleges in Shimla. This is happening as our computer operator keep on experimenting something new
with the website.
Now, the question is, what can be done to improve the search results for efloraofindia.

Thanks, …, for your interesting observations.

Yes, I do.

yes I use it many times

I open efi some times.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *