Here is the skinny on getting along with the Search feature, direct from N54's #1 developer...
Search Limitations and Rules
The full text search works on words only.
Things like a space or a slash, etc., break up words. Real common words are stripped out.
Anything less than three characters is stripped. Here are some other notes:
The boolean full-text search capability supports the following operators:
A leading plus sign indicates that this word must be present in every row returned.
A leading minus sign indicates that this word must not be present in any row returned. By default (when neither plus nor minus is specified) the word is optional, but the rows that contain it will be rated higher. This mimicks the behaviour of MATCH() ... AGAINST() without the IN BOOLEAN MODE modifier.
These two operators are used to change a word's contribution to the relevance value that is assigned to a row. The < operator decreases the contribution and the > operator increases it. See the example below.
Parentheses are used to group words into subexpressions.
A leading tilde acts as a negation operator, causing the word's contribution to the row relevance to be negative. It's useful for marking noise words. A row that contains such a word will be rated lower than others, but will not be excluded altogether, as it would be with the - operator.
An asterisk is the truncation operator. Unlike the other operators, it should be appended to the word, not prepended.
The phrase, that is enclosed in double quotes ", matches only rows that contain this phrase literally, as it was typed.
And here are some examples:
... find rows that contain at least one of these words.
... both words.
... word "apple", but rank it higher if it also contain "macintosh".
... word "apple" but not "macintosh".
... "apple" and "pie", or "apple" and "strudel" (in any order), but rank "apple pie" higher than "apple strudel".
... "apple", "apples", "applesauce", and "applet".
... "some words of wisdom", but not "some noise words".
"quest, and, is"
Those are STOP-words.
They are too common and used so often that we purposely don't index it.