SearchWP – Custom Results Orders
Using the Custom Results Order extension you can apply your own, hand curated influence on search results sets.
SearchWP’s algorithm does a great job returning results based on relevance, but there are times when you may want certain entries to appear at the top of search results for specific search queries. Custom Results Order can do just that!
You’re able to add a search query and engine “trigger” which will then display the results for that search. Using the available controls you can promote an entry to the top spot. With that promotion in place that result will always be the top result, regardless of calculated weight.
You can promote multiple results for each search query if you’d like, and you can also re-promote an entry if things get out of order.
There’s no limit to the number of triggers you can add when using Custom Results Order, if there are cases where you want to be sure that a certain result is the top result, this extension will get the job done!
A note about partial matches
There is support for partial matches in Custom Results Order, but it is not recommended. When partial matching is enabled, Custom Results Order will apply custom sorting if the search query trigger appears anywhere in the search query itself. This can have influence on search queries you would rather not have influenced, and there is no way for Custom Results Order to take that into consideration. Please disable exact matching with caution ?
Why is it necessary?
If SearchWP was originally built to return the most relevant results, why is this Extension necessary at all?
SearchWP does return the most relevant results it can find, but those results are directly tied to SearchWP’s algorithm used to find those results in the first place. As with all algorithms, there are edge cases that go against the norm, and finding search results is no different.
You are the most knowledgeable of your site content, and you know what your visitors are looking for. Using SearchWP’s Metrics you can gain insight not only into what your visitors are searching for, but also which results they’re clicking.
There will be times that visitors are clicking results that don’t rank highest in the results set. You could manually edit the engine configuration to compensate, or stuff some keywords in your content, or even create a ‘hidden’ Custom Field to stuff keywords to get the overall rank higher.
Those solutions can work, but Custom Results Order removes the burden of having to set up and manage some sort of undocumented system. It provides you with a single screen containing all of these customizations you have in place.
Make your search even better
I hope Custom Results Order helps you improve your on-site search to an even higher degree. It’s already in use on this site, making sure that customers can find the documentation they’re looking for!
You can take advantage of Custom Results Order on the front end of your site too by styling promoted entries!