Need help establishing a new tagging system

I have nearly 10,000 articles that have historically been searched by users with simple keywords. I’m overhauling the site to make it easier to use and to prevent mis-spelled searches from going into the saved searches table of the database.

One problem I keep running into are words that are opposites. Like fungal and anti-fungal. Or histamine and anti-histamine. When setting up the thousands of tags that will be available for users to search on, I’ve been leaning towards just going with the root version of the word, but I’m doubting myself now if this is the right decision.

Forcing users to use tags when searching will be good in many ways, but it could be a problem forcing them to use the opposite word of what they originally wanted to search on. So if they can’t find articles that are tagged with anti-fungal, they have to be smart enough to try searching on fungal instead.

The root version of the word may be best in most cases, but then there are words like coagulant and anti-coagulant. In theory, people could really be searching for one or the opposite. Those who want to know which essential oils coagulate the blood and other people who want to know which oils prevent blood from clotting.

I need help deciding from the following two options:

  1. Only use the root word as the tag: microbial
  2. Add tags for both versions of the word: microbial & anti-microbial

It’s no small task having an employee review nearly 10,000 articles and reassess the various assigned tags, so I need to do it right the first time.

I will appreciate any and all comments.


What is the platform?

How would you add tags to the existing 10,000 posts?

I had a similar experience with finding a suitable search routine, using a PHP FrameWork. I considered adding single and multiple tags also the spelling problems. The number of tags could soon get out of hand and also some posts would just not fit into any tag.

After considerable thought I decided to have about five main headings and to allow users to search. Initial attempt was klunky, same as the free Google Search both of which required a couple of clicks.

Next stage was trying Ajax and I was impressed with the results. The dynamic search requires adding three files:

  1. Html snippet post input which calls Ajax after each keyboard click and displays live results in a DIV
  2. Ajax file which accepts and sends keyboard clicks to a PHP database file
  3. PHP MySql query that:
    a. interrogates the database title and post columns, etc using LIKE %keyboard input%
    b. formats the search results
    c. sends results back to the HTML snippet

Live Demo

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