(In response to this post.)
Thanks, that is a good deal more specific and useful to me as critique. Checking the logs, it looks like Google is about 3,500 page views through its crawl, so it shouldn’t be too much longer before it has a good picture of the new URL structure—there isn’t a whole lot we can do about moving that along, it is inevitable whenever a site structure changes and there are no gradual ways to address that, as you suggest.
Exposing a new site to search spiders is by definition exposing it to the world, and realistically before it is ready to be accessed and used. That would be highly confusing to everyone, as you now have two completely different sites on the web. Best you can do is set up your redirects correctly and hope you have a high priority with the engines (which we should be decent on).
So you can wait that out, but for further consideration: the search feature in the new forum is quite a bit better than the old one. In the past, using a web search engine was often the only way to get good results. You mention browser integration being your main reason, but that should not be a problem.
Any decent browser will allow you to create your own integrated web searches—some will even do this automatically. For any site that I frequently search, I do just that, and it’s a whole lot easier than adding “site:forum.literatureandlatte.com” to your browser search bar first, and often results in a superior experience since the search results are integrated with the site itself, rather than being in some different site entirely. You can, in a dynamic search system like we have here, easily refine your search by values that are not possible to refine by, externally (like weeding out topics that only have 1 post, if you’re looking for answers, not questions).
The new forum supports OpenSearch technology, which is how many modern browsers detect search configuration settings and allow you to easy add that page’s search engine to your browser’s URL or search bar. For example, in Firefox, when you visit our search page, you’ll see a green “+” in the search field. Click that, and now the L&L forum is fully integrated with your browser and as easy to use as any mainstream search engine.
Optional manual setup
Some browsers give you a little more power and you can create your own searches, often as an extension of the bookmarking system, or somewhere in settings.
Run a test search using the site’s search field (I use “CONFIGURE” to make it easy to find in the subsequent URL). Optionally set any constraints in the UI (such as which categories to search for, or add your user name to create a self-post search).
Copy the URL out of the browser field, and paste it somewhere convenient to edit it. Here is a generic search request for our forum:
How to change this depends on the browser. To use my browser as an example, Vivaldi, I would modify this to the following and set it up in Search Engines section of settings:
What you type into the search field gets inserted at the “%S” position in this particular browser.
These are usually accessed via a keyword, like ‘sf’ (for Scrivener Forum). To use it, you would type ‘sf what I want to search for’ into the URL bar.