Search rules

You can create search rules to influence the ordering and contents of search results on your site. Search rules are typically used to promote specific catalog entries by displaying them on the first page of the search results, or to order catalog entries according to a specific attribute, such as price.

Here are some examples of search rules you can create using the Search Rule Builder:
  • When a customer searches the store, change the relative order of the search result by favoring catalog entries that belong to a specific brand or category, or sort catalog entries by price.
  • When a customer searches the store, promote specific catalog entries to the top of the search results.
  • When a customer searches the store, sort catalog entries by their manufacturer name.
You create search rules in a graphical editor called the Search Rule Builder. All search rules are triggered by a customer submitting a search, and therefore start with the Customer Submits Search trigger.
Note: Search terms are case-insensitive. For example, the term Coffee Makeris the same as coffee maker.
Search rules must contain an action, which modifies the shopper's original search request to influence the order or content of the search result. Optionally, the rule can contain a target, placed to the left of an action. The target defines which customers experience the action. For example:
  • When a customer searches the store for coffee maker and narrows the search results down by the Sharpson brand, promote the Sharpson 12 cup programmable coffee maker.
The search rule looks like this:

Search rule example
  • The search rule is triggered by the coffee maker search phrase.
  • The action is to bring a specific catalog entry to the top of the search result provided the shopper selected the Sharpson value of the brand facet in the storefront.
  • The brand selection is evaluated by the Search Criteria and Results target.

What search rules can display

Search rules can modify search results and how they are displayed in the storefront. Your options include:

Change Search Result Order
Changes the position of certain results within the search results list. Catalog entries that meet certain criteria can be ranked higher or lower to promote specific catalog entries over others for a specific customer search.
Specify Top Search Results
Elevates specific catalog entries to the top of the search results list.
Add or Replace Search Criteria
Replaces search keywords submitted by the customer with alternative search keywords, or uses additional search criteria to narrow down search result.
Search Criteria and Result
Targets customers who have selected specific search filters, or whose search results include specific catalog entries.

Similar to Web and Dialog activities, the option you choose in the Search Rule Builder is represented as an icon, known as an action, in the search rule flow. In the above example of a search rule, Specify Top Search Results is an action element.

Search rules list

The search rules list displays all search rules created in the Marketing tool using the Search Rule Builder. You can search for search rules targeting specific keywords to narrow down the scope of the list. You can display the search rules that apply to a specific keyword by entering that keyword in the search field.

Limitations for multi-language sites

If your site uses multiple languages, there are limitations when using language-specific filters or ranking criteria, such as name or short description, in your search rules or web activities. The filters and ranking criteria apply only to a single language. For example, you might decide to elevate specific television sets by assigning a higher boost factor to televisions with a specific phrase in their description (such as plasma TV), If so, the boost factor applies only to search results for an English language site. This is due to it being unlikely that the phrase plasma TV will match on sites that use other languages.