Optimize Search Results

Boost results

Boost rules allow you to increase or decrease the importance of specific content in your search results. A value between -50 and 50 can be set to boost or downweight the importance of certain records in relation to the rest of the results in the returned set.

Boosts do not set an exact ranking, but instead, increase the importance of targeted records in a result set.

  • To start, head to the ‘Rules’ section
  • Click the ‘Create Rule’ button in the top right, then choose the ‘Boost’ option.
  • Select the field for the boost rule (e.g. URL, domain, directory). The fields in the dropdown are generated based on the data-structure defined in your Schema.
  • Select an operator to define how the rule will be applied (contains, equals, does not equal, etc).
  • Define the value of the field you want to boost against. This may be a directory name, a domain, a full URL, or something else that targets the content you want to boost. See the examples below.

Example

Let’s say you run a website about pets and one of your users is searching for the query 'dog care'. There are two results that are highly relevant to the query 'dog care'

Sample result 1

Top dog care tips We all love our dogs but did you know there are many different approaches to ensuring that your dog lives a happy healthy life? Find our top 10 dog care tips here. https://www.example.com/pets/dogs/care.html

Sample result 2

Dog care FAQs Find all the frequently asked dog care questions. Get tips and advice. https://www.example.com/faq/dog-care.html

Let’s assume content in your 'pets' directory is more important than content across the rest of your site. You could set a Boost of ‘10’ where First directory equals ‘pets’. First directory refers to the first directory within the domain name. In the example above, it would match the word 'pets' in www.example.com/pets/dogs/care.html.

As another example, let’s assume that your FAQ section is a bit out of date. Hence, you would want the search results of the FAQ section to rank lower. One way to achieve this is by adding a boost of ‘- 1’ where First directory equals ‘faq’.

Screenshot showing add boost dialog box

Tip: It is often best to optimize a webpage's meta (title and description) and content rather than adding boost rules.

If you decide to use a boost rule, it is best to start with a small value and then increasing the value. For example, a boost value of '10' or '-10' and then increase it to '20' or '-20'. Adding aggressive boost rules can have a significant effect on the search ranking.