This article provides general descriptions and instructions for how to boost and bury search results. For more detailed descriptions and explanations on the impact of boosting and burying, review Understanding Search Ranking and Relevance.
As an Administrator, you can boost or bury particular product searches, depending on various business requirements. You can adjust boosting and burying in the following areas:
- Field boosting – Include or exclude fields from the index to make them query-able on the storefront. Adjust their boost value to increase or decrease the rank of search results based on what fields the query matches.
Fields with search type of Content and Category are only used for results within autocomplete and do not influence product search results.
- Query boosting – Use different criteria to find matches in the indexed fields when users search on the storefront. Adjust the boost value to increase or decrease the rank of search results based on the type of query that found the match.
- Product boosting – Boost and bury products across all websites or categories where they appear. Products receive a positive or negative value, which is added to the organic search score and raises or lowers the product based on where the new boosted value sorts numerically in the result set.
- Category boosting – Boost all products in a specific category instead of individually. This boost value combines with other product boost values for the final result. If a category is in a multi-level hierarchy, enter the boosting value on the child category instead of the parent category. Parent categories do not boost products, as there are no products assigned to parent categories.
- Sponsored product – Designate a product as Sponsored to ensure it appears at the top of all website searches, regardless of the product's boosting value. As an administrator, you can select how many sponsored products are present with each search.
- Purchase history – Boost search results by purchase history. The system captures and indexes customer purchase history data. After you rebuild the product search index, all products included in orders for a customer bill-to within the values set on the Frequently Purchased Threshold and the Lookback Months for Purchase History Boosting settings are flagged as frequently purchased. All products included in orders for a customer bill-to at least once but less than the values set on the Frequently Purchased Threshold and Lookback Months for Purchase History Boosting settings are flagged as less frequently purchased. When customers search for products on your website, the system boosts any product flagged as frequently purchased for the current bill-to customer based on the Boost Amount for Frequently Purchased Products setting. The system also boosts (or buries) any products flagged as less frequently purchased based on the Boost Amount for Less Frequently Purchased Products setting.
How to boost and bury
Field and query boosting
- Go to Marketing > Search > Select either Field or Query Boosting.
- Select Edit for the desired field.
- Adjust the Boost Value.
The Boost Value is a multiplier applied to search scores for matches on the field or query. A number greater than 1 boosts the result, and a number less than 1 buries the result. Boost values less than 1 are red to indicate a negative impact, and any value of 1 or greater is green to show a positive impact.
You cannot add new fields to field boosting. The system is limited to the fields included in the list, as well as custom properties, which appear automatically. Select Show Non-Queryable Fields to view any field not currently indexed, including custom properties which may appear here instead of in the main list, as they are not indexed by default.
- Go to Marketing > Search > Product Boosting.
- Click Edit on the selected product.
- Select Yes or No to indicate if the product is sponsored or not.
- Enter the Search Boost value.
- Click Save.
- Go to Marketing > Search > Category Boosting.
- Click Edit on the selected category.
- Enter the Category Search Boost value and/or the Product Search Boost value.
- Click Save.
Purchase history boosting
- Go to Administration > System > Settings.
- Search for Enable Boosting by Purchase History.
- Toggle the Enable Boosting by Purchase History to Yes to boost products in search results that have been purchased within a defined lookback period.
- Set the value for Lookback Months for Purchase History Boosting to boost products based on purchase history. Increasing this value increases the time it takes to rebuild the search index. The default value is 6.
- Set the value for Frequently Purchased Threshold, the number of times a customer must have purchased a product within the defined lookback months to consider it frequently purchased. The default value is 3.
- Set the value for Boost Amount for Frequently Purchased Products, the multiplier applied to search result scoring for products that have been purchased more than the frequently purchased threshold. This value is included with the values for matches for all indexed fields and other boosting options to determine the search score and search rankings. The default value is 3.
- Set the Boost Amount for Less Frequently Purchased Products.
- Set the Allow Filtering for Previously Purchased Products toggle to YES or NO. If Yes, users can filter search results or category product lists to only see products that they have previously purchased, based on data available in the order history table.
- Click Save.