Search engines often bring visitors to our web site ... usually to a relevant page for them, but sometimes to the wrong
page on the right
site. Here's an edited copy of an answer I've just sent to one such arrival, who was so upset at getting the wrong page that he wrote to me twice - two different emails - within a few minutes. I
1. Explain the problem with search engines and
2. Give a pointer to the answer that "George" - not his real name - was asking.
Why did you land where you did?
George, following up further I've had a look at our log files and I think you probably searched for
is there a lookup function in php
on Google, which brought you to the page that you emailed me about as the 6th site it suggests for this term.
Search engines have improved hugely over the years, and the proportion of rogue pages offered has dropped - but it's still a serious issue. The fact that you went down as far as the sixth page being offered rather shows how this is a very general problem and not specific to our site.
We do try to assist visitors to our site who arrive via any of the search engines at pages which aren't quite what they're looking for - there's plenty of navigation links on our pages (which I notice that you did use) and indeed we analyse the search term used by all Google arrivals and provide a series of extra links under our "data mine" section on the landing page that was presented to you.
Can I ask you to get back with me further with your suggestions as to how we can help people land more accurately on our web site and / or to then navigate to the material they need. It's in everyone's interest to have these things tailored as best as possible.
What is the answer to the question asked?
If you haven't solved your question yet, please let me know a little more about what your wanting to "look up" in PHP, and I'll drop you a full answer. As it is, you MIGHT be looking for the in_array
function if your're looking up in an array, for an SQL query if it's in a database, or something like a preg_grep
with an embedded file
if you're wanting to search as file. As the page you landed on says, "There's a function to do that" .... the problem is identifying which one! (written 2007-07-15, updated 2007-07-16)
Associated topics are indexed under
H105 - PHP - Functions 
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Code and code maintainance efficiency - (2005-06-08) 
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There is a function in PHP to do that - (2005-02-21) 
Variable Scope - (2004-10-22)
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