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I work with a CMS solution for news sites and one of my customers is asking for a modification on the way search results for linking content is done. As the CMS I use is Open Source, I need to give good arguments on why changing the defaults makes sense.

I suspect content editors make searches different than anonymous users, but I can't prove it.

I think anonymous users most of the time are fine with searching on full text and results coming sorted by relevance. On the other side, I think for content editors searching by title and returning results sorted by creation date in reverse order (with more recent items first) makes more sense.

Is there any scientific study or empirical evidence that shows anonymous users search different than content editors?

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Well, no. But if you can identify a user as an editor at runtime, you could customize the results for them, leaving the default intact for everybody else. If you can't identify them, provide a way to perform an "advanced search," with the option to make their sorting selections the default for future searches. Save it to local storage if they're not authenticated and, if they are, to a preferences table in your database.

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