Search Engine Options

Customize search engine options according to your preferences

There are many options that allow you to change the search engine behavior and search results look.

Front-end search settings for the knowledge base

One of the main options here is the search type selection. It is hard to say which search method is better: Natural Language search or Boolean search. Each method has its own advantages. Natural Language search is preferable if users are going to use search phrases like "Which U.S. state has the highest income tax?". It is more convenient for untrained users that do not use Boolean search operators; usually this is true for casual visitors of your knowledgebase. Boolean search is preferable if users are familiar with search operators and use them in their search phrases. You decide which search method is better for you.

Search methods can be set separately for the front-end and for the back-end of the knowledge base. Due to this feature you can, for example, set Boolean search for your staff team, who are aware of the Boolean operators and Natural Language Search at the front-end for the end-users who won’t spend 5 minutes to learn about Boolean operators, but still want to get relevant search results.

Back-end search settings for the knowledge base

You will see the links to Boolean operators reference if Boolean search method is set.

Boolean operators reference

By clicking on any of that links you’ll see the description of supported Boolean operators and usage examples. It takes just several minutes to learn how to write good Boolean search queries.

Both search methods return relevant and precise search results. Decision between these methods is just a matter of convenience and your knowledge base will be well-searchable in any case.

Optional query expansion for one word search

Natural Language search also supports query expansion. This is generally useful when a search phrase is too short, which often means that the user is relying on implied knowledge that the full-text search engine lacks. For example, a user searching for "database" may really mean that "MySQL", "Oracle", "DB2", and "RDBMS" all are phrases that should match "databases" and should be returned, too. This is implied knowledge.

It works by performing the search twice (it is done on the background and is not visible to user), where the search phrase for the second search is the original search phrase concatenated with the few most highly relevant documents from the first search. Thus, if one of these documents contains the word "databases" and the word "MySQL", the second search finds the documents that contain the word "MySQL" even if they do not contain the word "database".

Query expansion option

This option greatly improves relevance of search results for single-word searches.

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