Updates to search ordering

Hey everyone! I’ve redone the ordering on the search page. The aim is to make host finding easier by highlighting active hosts with full profiles who reply within a couple of days.

Your order in the list depends on a number of different factors and I’ll be tweaking this as we go. The main categories that are currently used for the order are: profile completeness, activeness, response rate, and references.

If you’d like to get more requests, please make sure you:

  • Have a fully filled out profile, including filling in the open ended text fields, uploading a photo, filling in the “Home” section of your page, as well as obviously setting yourself to “can host” status
  • Try to respond to all requests within a couple of days: you don’t need to confirm them but at least acknowledge them with a message
  • Check back on the site every now and then so we know you’re still active (we’ll work out something better for this soon)
  • And obviously, when you do host or surf, remember to always leave a reference and ask your host/surfer to also do so!

We also include an element of randomness, so you’ll move up and down in the ordering over time, giving different people a chance to show up at the top!


searching my city (Reykjavik, Iceland), it seems a bit unfair (although short results), there is a person 8/9th who has “maybe host / open to meet”, and a filled out profile, he is below 3 people who have their status set to “can’t host” those 3 also don’t have filled profiles, why is he ordered below them? also in same result (searching for the Location Reykjavik) i get a person who’s location is “San Francisco California”

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We’re still working on the ordering, so the weights aren’t perfect.

However, in this case there are two reasons why that person with a filled in profile appears below empty profiles: part of it is that the ordering is slightly randomized regularly to give different users a chance; the second is that that particular user has an extremely low response rate to requests! That will cause us to order them lower since it’s not a good experience for someone looking for a host.

Two other things I want to mention: firstly, some of this will be alleviated when we start hiding inactive profiles (separately to ordering them lower in the results). Secondly, this issue will also be alleviated when we have different orderings depending on purpose: e.g. someone looking for a host wants high response rate people at the top, but someone looking to meet up or organize events does not care about hosting facts like that.