Here is a major problem we've had from Magento 1.4 that is still a problem in Magento CE 1.8.1.
If you search for a product the results that come back are not what you'd expect.
For example if I search for Canon 6D then the top search result is Canon EOS Rebel SL1 (Body Only), even though there is a product whose title is exactly "Canon 6D".
Then if I search for only 6D then the top search result is Nikon AF Nikkor 70-300 f/4-5.6D ED Telephoto Zoom Lens... because, I guess, it has the two characters "6D" next to each other somewhere in the title? Below that is Nikon D800 36.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) which doesn't even have the characters "6D" found together anywhere in the title at all.
When I have done some research into this, I keep finding people who are saying that it's just how Magento is, and the only way to fix it is either override the core code with some hack or another, or, use an extension.
I found a free extension that uses Apache SOLR, but it requires the installation of SOLR first, which is fairly complicated, and I'm not even sure our hosting provider would allow that, since it runs in Java and I don't know if our server has the right version of JRE etc. So this solution is very much not ideal.
Then there are some very expensive paid extensions, and I'm sure I can't get approval for that.
It just makes me wonder if there might be something corrupt about our particular Magento installation, and if so, what might it be? What would cause this? Maybe we have some old extension hidden somewhere, screwing things up, or maybe our database is corrupted. What do you think?
I'm don't want to believe that this is just how Magento is, even though I've seen plenty of posts on the Magento forums that complain of this same issue. I know there are several old bugs that keep not getting fixed in Magento CE, but surely the developers of Magento would fix search if it was broken, since it's arguably the most important feature of an e-commerce site.
So what's the deal? Please help. Thanks.