Common Questions About Search
Why are the results not in the order that I would expect?
The primary reason that results seem like they might be returned out of order is because there is a random element to the rank that we give each search document. This allows us to expose courses that might otherwise have been buried too far down the list to be seen, which both helps authors get exposure and improves the feedback that we get because we see users interact with more courses.
Won't this create an inconsistent experience for the user?
The randomness added to the query is seeded by the user id, so each time an individual user searches for something the results will be in the same order. However, if two different users attempted the same search, they might see results in different orders. This sort of behavior is fairly common among searches on marketplaces, like ecommerce websites, because it helps prevent [winner-t