Sisense community is a great place to find valuable product information and chances are, you’ve used the search bar to look for it. Have you ever wondered how exactly the search results in the community work? In this post, we’ll try to shed some light on the search algorithms on our platform to make it easier for you to look for and find the most relevant information.
As you might already know, in October 2016, we’ve upgraded the platform and introduced a new search feature, which enables you to search for information in both the Knowledge Base (KB) and the Forums at the same time. The search results are displayed in two columns, with one column listing the knowledge base and the other listing the forums results. However, what brings some of the results to the top of the list, while other stay at the bottom and never get noticed?
In the community, we use a simple full-text search, that indexes both KB articles and forum posts. When you enter a search query, the search algorithms get to work, looking for indicators of the most relevant results and ranking them. The search results are then displayed to you with a snippet and keyword highlighting.
The ranked search results are based on relevance scores, and are displayed to you in descending order of their scores. There are multiple factors that impact the relevance score and here are some of them:
- Exact match - Results that exactly match a word in the search string.
- Query length - For one and two word queries, the algorithm returns only documents that match all the search words, but for longer queries a percentage of the search words can be missing.
- Votes - Articles marked as “helpful” or “unhelpful” or posts that receive votes, over time are being analyzed for their quality. Articles and posts with a higher percentage of positive votes get a boost so that they show up higher in results than they otherwise would.
Why Your Feedback is Important
By voting on the content, you have an actual impact on present and future content quality in the community. When you provide feedback (either negative or positive) and contribute to the relevance scores, you let other members know which content can be helpful and worth their time. You also let us, the community team, know what we should create more of and which content should be improved.
To start voting on articles, scroll to the bottom of the article and find:
To start voting on forum posts, look for:
Leave your mark and shape the future of our community!
Feel free to vote on this post (up?)! :)
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