I'm trying to do a full text search across two columns of two separate tables in PostgreSQL 9.4.2. The tables and columns are:

  • article.article_title
  • keyword.keyword

Where there is a many-to-many relationship between the two. I think I've got most of the way following this blog post. However, I am struggling to formulate the query across the two columns. This query is returning results:

SELECT distinct title, pub_date, web_id, city_points, city_name FROM (
  SELECT article.article_title as title,
  article.pub_date as pub_date,
  article.web_id as web_id,
  string_agg(st_asText(city.geom), ', ') as city_points,
  string_agg(city.city, ', ') as city_name,
  article.title_tsv ||
  as document 
  from article, article_keywords, keyword, article_cities, city
  where article.id = article_keywords.article_id
  and keyword.id = article_keywords.keyword_id
  and article.id = article_cities.article_id
  and city.id = article_cities.city_id
  GROUP BY article.id, keyword.id) p_search
WHERE p_search.document @@ to_tsquery('putin');

But I think the query suffers many of the same deficiencies from a previous question I asked here.

I am also trying to return the following columns in the query:

  • article.pub_date
  • article.web_id
  • city.city_points
  • city.city_name

I am pretty new to full text search - and SQL in general.
Let me know if you need any more information.

  • I would seem that many of the same problems are in your new post. Have another look at my previous answer, I added more explanation about aggregating and LEFT JOIN. Also, you introduced title_tsv and keyword_tsv without explanation. Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 15:03

1 Answer 1


In parts similar to my last answer:

SELECT a.id, a.article_title AS title, a.pub_date, a.web_id
       c.city_points, c.city_names
FROM   article a
   SELECT ac.article_id AS id
        , string_agg(st_asText(c.geom), ', ') AS city_points
        , string_agg(c.city, ', ') AS city_names
   FROM   article_cities ac
   JOIN   city           c ON c.id = ac.city_id
   GROUP  BY 1
   ) c USING (id)
WHERE a.title_tsv @@ to_tsquery('putin')
   FROM   article_keywords ak
   JOIN   keyword          k ON k.id = ak.keyword_id
   WHERE  ak.article_id = a.id
   AND    k.keyword_tsv @@ to_tsquery('putin')

What's new here: we are only interested in the existence of a matching keyword, we are not even displaying them. (You may want to rethink that: shouldn't it become obvious from the result why the row was found?)

So I am using an EXISTS semi-join as alternative WHERE clause. Related:

Once again we aggregate cities per article_id before joining to article, so we need no aggregate or DISTINCT in the outer SELECT since we do not multiply rows in the join.

And once again use LEFT [OUTER] JOIN to include articles that are not linked to any cities at all.

Be aware that a list of comma-separated tables combined with WHERE conditions to join them is effectively the same as [INNER] JOIN on a join condition. Basic in the manual here.

  • That's great thank you! I was just in the process of adapting you previous answer when this popped up! Cheers! Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 15:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.