Order within search results

A post that gained a response two days ago was found on page 8 of search results, presumably because the post began in 2016.

Is there no way to get results sorted by date of update?
Did the search hit occur at a posted message in that thread from (long) ago or at the posted message from two days ago?

If you're willing to share that search (and its intended target) that might help.
<https://forums.freebsd.org/search/220667/?q=keyboard&c[title_only]=1&o=date> ⏩ (page 8) <https://forums.freebsd.org/search/220667/?page=8&q=keyboard&c[title_only]=1&o=date>


As background: I recently saw (but did not read) a keyboard-related post, wanted to find the post – to read it – but couldn't remember its sub-forum.
I guess, the answer is yes, if XenForo associates the title solely with the opening post :-/

Yes, I think that association might be a problem.

Assuming your question/query thoughts went along the lines of:
I've read something interesting in a thread, I know it was fairly recent and it had "keyboard" in the title.

I've been searching around and couldn't find a solution on the search forms either.

It is like the display of the listing from New posts an then filtered by your title search argument. As I see it: when specifying a title search argument (Search titles only checked) XenForo always takes the OP message,* as you indicated. Searching for the same "keyboard" but then, for instance, with author aragats (author of the message in the thread from Wednesday August 25 at 6:34 PM) specified, results in no hits.

I cannot see an easy way to indicate what you desire (as a new option) in a clear way in the HTML search forms to the user, because your intended output can only be used when when no other search parameters are specified that might select (the body of) a message specifically: such as the date or author of the message.

If you follow this—kludge like—solution you'll get at the intended thread in reverse date order sorted by date of the last message of each thread:
Click on New posts**
  1. Search (i.e. with your browser search on a displayed webpage) within the shown webpage for keyboard
  2. If not found then proceed to the next page and repeat

As I'm writing this, you'll find the intended target thread on page # 3 in the display listings of New posts.

I tried another forum based on phpBB3 which also has a display option of new messages like New posts. There, I also couldn't find a search option in the search form that mimics searching or displaying search results like you suggest, though clearly an underlying SQL query is being used for the display such as New posts.

* N.B. when using Search titles only checked, the displayed results still highlight "keyboard" in the (preview) of the displayed body of the text message, although the checkmark suggests otherwise.

** this may be affected by the individually used filter settings of New posts: I have all options unchecked.