FAQ for Search Service

FAQ for Search Service

  • Q1.
    How to get started?
    Ans

    You'll find the search box at the top of the pages on GovHK. Enter the search keyword(s) in the search box and press "Enter" or click the "Search" icon. The related information will be listed on the search result page.

    By default, all Government websites will be searched, and the search results will be shown under the tab “All Government”. You may further narrow down the search by choosing one of the following filters:

    • GovHK - confine the search to the related information from GovHK only
    • Online Services/Forms - confine the search to the related Online Services/Forms on GovHK only
    • Bureaux/Departments - confine the search to the information related to a particular Bureau/Department only
  • Q2.
    What is in the search result page?
    Ans

    After you have entered a keyword and clicked the "Search" button, a search result page will show. Apart from the search results, you will also see the following functions and supplementary information to help you get what you want.

    • Did you mean
      Keywords with similar spellings to your keyword will be suggested here. You can click on a suggested keyword to search for it. However, this only applies to English keywords.
    • Search results
      In this section, the matched keywords will be highlighted in red so that you can clearly identify the relevance of the results. The title, link and description of each result will be listed one by one so that you can search for your preferred information.
    • Cached
      It links to a cached copy of the search result. If a result links to an Adobe PDF (Portable Document Format) or a commonly used Microsoft Office file, a text version will be displayed. 
  • Q3.
    How are the results ranked and displayed?
    Ans

    Results will be ranked according to their relevance to a particular query by analysing the web page text, title and description accuracy as well as its source and other unique document characteristics based on the algorithm built in the search system. A website can be ranked differently under different search terms and at different times.

  • Q4.
    How to search smart?
    Ans
    • Narrow down your search
      More general terms will usually give a larger number of results, therefore please consider using specific words to describe exactly what you are looking for. Take a look at the following examples.

      For example:
      If you are looking for the budget speech for 2012, you should try "budget speech 2012" instead of "budget speech".
      If you are looking for how to apply for a driving licence, you should try "driving licence application" instead of "driving licence".
    • Do not search for a whole sentence
      The search engine will look for matched results based on the keyword input. The search engine will not understand what you are looking for if you input a whole sentence like "What is the formation of acid rain?". Instead, you can input "formation of acid rain" or simply "acid rain".
    • Try keywords with the same meaning
      For example, if you cannot find the information on "avian flu", you can also try to search for "H5N1" or "avian influenza".
    • Do not insert spaces when searching with Chinese keywords
      Users need not insert spaces between Chinese keywords. The search engine has a built-in tokenisation function. If you insert spaces between Chinese keywords, the tokenisation will be interrupted and the search result will be different.
    • Including specific words
      To include specific words, just type in a plus sign "+" in front of each keyword. For example, input of "+Prevention + H5N1" will come with results containing both "Prevention" and "H5N1".
    • Excluding specific words
      To exclude specific words, type in a minus sign "-" in front of them. The pages not containing those words will show up in your results. For example, if you want to see pages on "Prevention" with no mention of "H5N1", search for "+Prevention -H5N1".
    • Including any one of the search words
      If you are interested in two or more alternatives at the same time, use "OR" for the keywords. For example, search for "Prevention OR H5N1". You will able to get the results including "Prevention" or "H5N1".
    • Exact phrases
      To search for an exact phrase, just put quotation marks around two or more words. For example, input "Kowloon Park" (with quotation marks included) to search for "Kowloon Park".
Last review date:July 2015