Linden Lab Official:Search FAQ

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Questions about searching

How do I use the search window?

Search all.png

The Second Life search window has four top-level tabs:

  • Search - Search - This is the general inworld search. Results can be restricted by People, Places, Events, Groups, Land Sales or Wiki pages.
  • Events - Selecting this tab will display Events happening at that moment, or you have the option to filter by category or date or to search for a specific event.
  • Destination Guide - The guide lists inworld locations hand-picked by Linden Lab and sorted into a wide variety of categories. See What is the Second Life Destination Guide? for more information.
  • Classifieds - enables you to search classified ads in a number of categories. See Classifieds FAQ.

The search tab has the following sub-tabs to enable you to narrow your searches:

  • All Results
  • People
  • Places
  • Events
  • Groups
  • Land Sales
  • Wiki

Check a Maturity rating to filter results to GENERAL, MODERATE, or ADULT content.

What is the difference between the All Results tab and the other tabs?

The All Results tab combines results from multiple collections to bring you relevant results from a variety of sources. The Classifieds, Events, Groups, Land Sales, Places, and People tabs restrict your query to that single collection only. To learn how to search more efficiently, see Search Guidelines.

Is search functionality available on the web?

Search results are available to the public; anyone with a Web browser can view results at External search engines such as Yahoo, Bing, and Google may also pick up the search results, although we're not explicitly asking search engines to crawl them at this time.

It's important to remember that this information is not tied to your real life identity and is the same information that anybody could see with a free Second Life account.

Why don't I see the item I'm looking for?

Results on the All Results tab are ranked differently than on the other tabs, so the results are shown in a different order. It may be that the item you are looking for is ranked either higher or lower than on other tabs.

Why am I getting an error that some search terms have been removed from my query?

There are content restrictions that affect search results in all of Search. Certain words are not allowed in search, or are only allowed if your account has been verified as adult and you have opted in to see Adult content. For more information on content restrictions, see Content restrictions. If you are unable to select the Adult checkbox, you need to verify your account as adult. To learn how to verify your account as adult, see How to become verified as an adult.

What's included in the All tab of the Search window?

  • Places
  • People
  • Groups
  • Land Sales
KBnote.png Note: Classifieds are shown in a separate column in search results on the right.

How can I search classified ads only?

To search only classified ads, click the Classifieds tab at the very top of the search window. Search results are listed in descending order of the price the Resident paid for the ad.

How do I sort search results alphabetically?


In the People, Places, and Events tabs, click Name for Sorting to sort alphabetically by name. In the Land Sales tab, click Region Name for Sorting to sort alphabetically by region name.

It is not possible to sort results alphabetically in the All Results tab.

Can I use Boolean operators or other advanced search techniques?

Yes. You can use boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT in a search expression. Use the "-" (dash or minus sign) to omit results that contain that term.

Additionally, you can enclose multiple words in quotes to search for an exact phrase.


You're looking for cat avatars

Search: cat avatars

You're looking for live music, but not Jazz

Search: live music -jazz

You're looking for cats or dogs Search: cats OR dogs

You're looking for a particular person named "Jane Avatar" Search: "Jane Avatar"

KBtip2.png Tip: You can find more tips on how to use Boolean logic in Google's search documentation. Not all of Google's tricks work in Second Life's search; try a few combinations and find out what works best for you!

Can I filter search results by maturity rating?

To filter search results by maturity rating, check the boxes for Parcel lght G.png General, Parcel lght M.png Moderate, and Parcel lght A.png Adult in the Search window; for in-depth information on this feature, see Maturity Ratings and Inworld Search. To view Adult search results, you must first become verified as an adult.

Do searches match partial words?

No. Previously, search used to return results like "constable" if you entered "table." That no longer happens.

Are articles in the Second Life Knowledge Base returned in the results?

Search does return articles from this wiki in the wiki tab, including Knowledge Base articles; however, you can't limit searches to only Knowledge Base articles. Look for the "Knowledge Base seal of approval" that identifies KB articles.

Privacy concerns

You can specify what's included in search. For the initial population of the search, we made some assumptions for the default settings of each type of result (explained below). You can change the default after it has been set, although it may take one to two days before changes are reflected in the search results. Due to the nature of search indexing, we cannot make any guarantees about when any changes will appear.

Be aware that search results are available to the public; anyone with a web browser can view them from the proper search page. External search engines like Yahoo and Google may also pick up search results, but we are not explicitly asking search engines to crawl them at this time. It is important to remember that Linden Lab does not tie this information to your real life identity. However, if you provide real life information in any of the content types indexed by All search, it could be viewed by people via the Web as well as by anyone with a free Second Life account.

Land parcels

KBwarning.png Warning: There is a L$30 per week fee to show your parcel in search. Parcels must be at least 128 square meters in order to appear in the All Results or Places search. Do not spend L$30 to list parcels smaller than 128 square meters since they won't be listed!
Show in Search.png

By default, land parcels do not appear in search results. To make a parcel appear in search results:

  1. Right click on the parcel and select About Land or choose World > Place Profile > About Land.
  2. Select the Options tab.
  3. Check Show Place in Search.
  4. Select a Category from the drop-down list.


Group show in search.png

If you are an officer or owner of a group, you can make a group visible in search results. Under My Groups / General, select the Show in search check box.


Profile search.png

All Resident profiles are included in search by default. You can limit the amount of information others can search in your profile by unchecking the Show me in Search results check box. When you do this, search results will show only:

  • Your avatar's name
  • Born date
  • Account type


The Show in Search option for an object is unchecked by default. To make an object visible in search:

  1. Right click on the object and select Edit.
  2. Click the General tab.
  3. Check Show in Search.

What happens when I transfer an object set to show in search?

Objects for sale and set to show in search default back to the Show in search option unchecked for the purchaser of the object.

Objects set to show in search that are transferred to another Resident will keep the Show in search option checked. The new object owner can uncheck this option.

KBnote.png Note: For an object to be visible in Search, it must be on a parcel of land that has Show in Search checked.


All events are automatically included in search in the Events tab. You can also search on any information within the event details. For more information, see Events.

Questions about creating search listings

What changed recently in the search system?

Search is changing all the time. For the latest happenings in Search, please see the Technology section of the blog, located here.

What is a GSA?

Linden currently uses the Google Search Appliance (GSA) technology to deliver faster, more relevant results. For more information on the GSA technology, see Google Search Appliance.

Why are search results so different with Viewer 2?

Search in Second Life has two main systems: the GSA index and the database. In Viewer 2, all initial queries go through the GSA, and searchers can select a subcategory afterward. In Viewer 1, it's possible to choose a subcategory first (though it's blank) and then search.

Subcategories are where you see the biggest difference: In Viewer 1, almost all the subcategories are database searches, but in Viewer 2, they are GSA indexed. We are moving to the GSA indexes because it is a scalable, long term solution with more flexibility.

Is search broken in Viewer 2?

No. The new GSA 6 machines are returning great dynamic results which will get better and better as we use them.

What do I do if I can’t find my parcel or region when I search for it?

Please be aware that if you've created a new parcel or recently purchased one, it can take 2 days for it to appear in Search. Also, if you have split your parcel and it is less than 128 m2, it will not show in results.

If you've changed the title or description of your parcel, you may need to wait up to two days for the change to be reflected in search rankings.

Why can’t I find my store when I search for it with my favorite keyword?

Search uses the latest Google Search Appliance (GSA) technology to deliver its search results. This technology uses a version of the latest Google PageRank algorithm to determine relevance and deliver results. In addition, results are filtered by maturity level. Linden Lab does not artificially decrease specific listings in search.

Just like Google, a maximum of 1000 matches are returned when you search, if you do not see what you're looking for, try a more specific query to narrow your matches.

Why can’t I find Events in "All Results"?

In the past, we have had event spam flood search results with bad data. We decided to completely remove events from All search until there were good mechanisms in place to stop that kind of thing from happening. Your event can still be found in the Events tabs. The events team is hard at work on mechanisms to prevent this type of issue on the future, so that we can reintegrate Events into All search.

Why do you hate me, my store, my parcel, my friend?

We are not, in any way, punishing individual stores, listings, or residents in Search and we have no plans to do so.

The search system treats classes of content in the same way. For example, the maturity ratings system flags some content, but it flags all listings using the same criteria.

Are objects on "private land" that are set for sale included in search?

If your parcel is set not to show in Search, your objects will not be listed, even if they are set to show in Search.

If your parcel is set to show in Search, your for-sale objects are listed on your parcel page and do affect your search ranking.

Do objects with the default name "Object" affect results?

The search system ignores all objects with the default name of "Object."

What about things inside a vendor?

Vendor kiosks must be explicitly set to Show in Search, the same as any other object to be included in search. From the server's perspective, a vendor is just a scripted object -- it doesn't really know that the object is selling something. Likewise, it is not possible to search inside the vendor, although you could use the name and/or description of the vendor object to list keywords describing what's inside it.

Are people able to use a search result teleport link to access a private parcel?

Only if the private parcel owner has given them access. If the owner has enabled Show place in Search, the parcel search results page shows links to the parcel and to the objects on the parcel. The object links allow people to find things easier on any parcel, but they will not circumvent privacy settings.

When are search results updated?

The pages on update within 2 hours of changes. Results shown in the Viewer update in less than 8 hours.