Introduced in Feature Pack 2

Search term association handling

Search term associations are used to suggest more, different, or replacement products in search results. Search term associations can also link search terms to a selected landing page in the store. Business users create and manage search term associations in the Management Center by using the Catalogs tool.
There are three types of search term associations: synonym, replacement, or landing page.
Synonyms increase the scope of search results by adding additional search terms to search submissions. The search results include the submitted search term, plus the search results for the additional defined synonyms. One or more synonyms can be defined for a search term.
Synonyms are bidirectional: searching for any of the search terms expands to also search for the other synonym search terms.
Replacement Terms
Replacement terms modify potential search results by changing search terms from search submissions. The search submission can include the defined changed search terms, while optionally discarding the submitted search term. The search results include only the search results for the replacement terms, helping target certain product types over others.
Replacement terms are unidirectional: the rule applies only when searching for the search term, but not when searching for any of the replacement terms.
Landing Page
Landing pages promote certain products or activities in the store by directing shoppers to specific store pages based on search submissions. The landing page can promote certain products, brands, or store pages, depending on the nature of the search submission. If a shopper searches for a keyword, you can define the resulting landing page as a page of your choice, such as the related category in the store, as opposed to the search term's search results page.


The following scenarios are supported by default for phrases as search terms:
  • Feature Pack 3Feature Pack 2Feature Pack 4Synonyms and replacement terms are not supported.

    To enable phrase support for synonyms and replacement terms, you must customize WebSphere Commerce search to meet your business requirements. For more information, see Using the GetSearchTermAssociation service to bypass Solr synonym expansion in WebSphere Commerce search .

  • Feature Pack 5 or laterSynonyms and replacement terms are supported, with the following default behavior:
    Entered keyword: a
    Entered keyword: a (Synonym)
    Synonym ANY ALL Exact
    a, c a or c a or c "a" or "c"
    e, f a a "a"
    Entered keyword: a (Replacement term)
    Replacement term ANY ALL Exact
    a > c c c c
    d > b a a a
    Entered keyword: a b
    Entered keyword: a b (Synonym)
    Synonym ANY ALL Exact
    a, c a or b or c (a and b) or (c and b) "a b" or "c b"
    d, b a or b or d (a and b) or (a and d) "a b" or "a d"
    e, f a or b (a and b) "a b"
    Entered keyword: a b (Replacement term)
    Replacement term ANY ALL Exact
    a -> c c or b (c and b) "c b"
    d -> b a or b (a and b) "a b"
    Entered keyword: "a b"
    Entered keyword: "a b" (Synonym)
    Synonym ANY ALL Exact
    a, c "a b" or "c b" "a b" or "c b" "a b" or "c b"
    d, b "a b" or "a d" "a b" or "a d" "a b" or "a d"
    Entered keyword: "a b" (Replacement term)
    Replacement term ANY ALL Exact
    a -> c "c b" "c b" "c b"
    d -> b "a b" "a b" "a b"
    Entered keyword: x a b
    Entered keyword: x a b (Replacement term)
    Replacement term ANY ALL Exact
    a -> c d (x or "c d" or b) (x and "c d" and b) "x c d b"
  • Landing pages are supported by default for phrases as search terms.

Behavior of multiple search terms in search term associations

When you create search term associations, the English comma (,) is used by default to separate terms in all languages. In addition, when inputting search terms for certain languages, an extra comma character can be used:
  • Simplified Chinese: Simplified Chinese comma
  • Korean: Korean comma
  • Japanese: Japanese comma
  • Arabic: Arabic comma
These default settings are specified by the SearchTermAssociationDelimiterForGUI extended configuration that is defined in the search component's wc-component.xml. This configuration can be customized by defining a comma by language or locale in wc-component.xml in the directory. If a comma is defined for a locale, it takes precedence over a configuration at the language level.

When you are using the ALL or EXACT search types and submitting multiple search terms that are associated with synonyms, all search terms must appear in the product to be shown in search results. That is, the search is performed against all the words in the query, in addition to the synonyms. For more information about problems getting products returned, see Search relevancy and merchandising.

When you work with search term associations, they can be handled in the following ways:
  • Using the synonyms.txt file.
  • Using WebSphere Commerce services.