Community Central
Community Central

Hey everyone!

We’re excited to share our latest search updates coming to the site! Fandom’s product initiatives are designed to introduce features to support your experience. The partnership between Product and Community ensures our users’ best interests and creates an engaging and user-friendly experience.

We’ve known for a while that search has needed improvements, and it’s something the community has been asking for a lot. Most of our focus the last few years was on building the Unified Community Platform (UCP) and the Unified Consumer Experience (UCX), so with those projects completed it opened up a lot more time and resources to be able to devote to other aspects of the site, including the search experience.

One of the biggest questions to answer is where to start spending those time and resources in the search experience. We’ve heard your feedback loud and clear, but we also wanted to make sure that our efforts would go to where they would have the most impact for all users of the site. Last year, our engagement experiments were all about answering the question of: is it possible to keep fans around longer to engage with more content if we provide them with the right experiences? One of the areas of focus was search, so we could provide a meaningful search experience that would lead users to the content they were looking for in a concise and helpful way.

From the feedback gathered from testing, we found that it was possible. We consistently saw 15-17% of users highlighting text and taking additional actions to search, share, and like content. Oftentimes, those that were highlighting were copying and pasting back into Google to find what they were looking for. We wanted to serve a need by making the search more user friendly.

If you enjoy getting lost in new information about your favorite fandoms, you’ll definitely be interested in this new search update. We’ll walk you through the different updates that we’ve made and would love to hear your thoughts.

Dynamic Reranking[]

In March, we released a search improvement called Dynamic Reranking; a backend update where we essentially now use AI to help us re-rank search results based on user clicks, to make results more relevant on the search results page (after you enter a search query). Now, based on what users are clicking throughout Fandom, we’re able to deliver relevant content at every step of your search experience and improve the utility of search.


One of our most recently released features is highlight-to-search, which allows you to search across wikis and dive deeper into your favorite fandoms. You can learn more about something on a particular wiki or across different wikis easily, and highlight-to-search allows you to access the relevant content you’re looking for.

How does it work? Simply highlight text on a wiki, and you’ll be prompted to search the current wiki or search all wikis. You can expand your search as far as you’d like and explore new content. We currently support searching up to 500 characters with this feature, but we encourage you to search small (3-5 word) strings to get the best results possible.

Highlight-to-search allows you to engage with your favorite fandoms and take a journey to learn more about your favorite characters. Maybe you’re interested in learning more about the DC Universe and you come across some interesting information about the series Titans.  If your interest is piqued, highlight the Dick Grayson and get the backstory on his character from the Titans wiki or discover more content about him or any other characters across other wikis. You can browse and select videos, articles, blogs and much more!


This experience is primarily geared towards fans who aren’t wiki editors. Because of that, we’ll be introducing a way for you to turn off highlight-to-search if it’s not something you’re interested in seeing while you work on your wikis.

Trending Results in Search[]

Not sure where to start with your search? Our search modal now provides a few recommendations to support your search experience. Check out the top five trending searches when you click into the search box on Fandom. See what wikis people are visiting and jump down the rabbit hole.


This is something that our team will continue to refine. We know there’s been a few instances of trending search terms slipping in that shouldn’t be there, so we’re looking at how to optimize that so it’s as useful as possible.

See What Others Like You Are Interested In[]

Logged-out fans can now engage with a new recommendation carousel experience on wiki article pages on desktop and mobile. “Others like you also viewed” carousels, one in the right rail and one towards the bottom of the page, surface recommended pages on the wiki that a fan is currently viewing (so if you’re on Wookieepedia, you’ll see Wookieepedia pages there). Our recommendations are powered by an ever-improving algorithm managed by our experienced Data Science team and factors in what fans are engaging with to surface the most relevant articles to our users at all times. You can explore this experience on every wiki article page, including one of our favorites, Ichigo Kurosaki | Bleach Wiki.


What’s Next for Search?[]

Now that these initial improvements are in place, we’re looking ahead to improve relevance on the Search Modal level and improve your search experience. Using the data gathered from 2021’s experiments and the information we’re gathering from highlight to search and beyond, the expectation is to upgrade the search experience holistically to meet the needs of users and help them find content quickly and with ease.

Earlier this year we announced our 2022 plans which included the upgrade to MediaWiki 1.37, an expansion of creator tools (more on that at Community Connect!), and exploring moderation and search. We’ve launched creator tools like Interactive Maps, and expanded quizzes and even began Mediawiki migrations, but another important element throughout the list of action items includes the improvement of current experiences from our engagement experiments and we’re excited to provide our users with an expansive search experience. Looking into Q2 and beyond, you can expect to see more search improvements. For those that want to keep things light, you’ll have the option to hide highlight-to-search in the near future. If you’re as excited as we are then stay tuned for visual updates to the modal and search results page! This will make it even easier to find the content you’re looking for.

Enjoy the New Search Experience![]

As avid consumers of fandoms, scratching the surface isn’t enough. Fandom’s features like interactive videos, maps, and quizzes give you the ability to dive deeper into the content you love, and learn more about your fandoms in an exciting way. The more we can make search more useful, the more it will be another great tool to continue your exploration.

We’re interested in learning what you discover using these search improvements and if it has made your search experience better! Our team is committed to improving features to make experiences on Fandom better! These search updates are the beginning of many improvements. Tell us how you are using the search feature in the comments below!

Fandom Staff
Hey I'm JP, Senior Community Manager, Creator Outreach at Fandom.
I'm a huge fan of Law & Order, VEEP, and a long list of anime.
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