Boostings

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What are Boostings?

Despite built-in intelligence in Cludo’s algorithm, you may have a need to prioritize certain areas of your site based on various parameters. Boosting gives you control over exactly that. Boostings allow certain results to be ranked higher or lower when they match certain criteria based on static rules or the search term.

Boostings do not replace the existing logic of the search engine, but add to it, meaning that other factors, such as the presence and concentration of the search term on a given page, still play a role.

Boosting values

  • Below 100: A value below 100% will decrease the ranking of the result
  • 100: A boosting value of 100% is neutral and equal to no change in the ranking
  • 101-1000: A boosting value of >100% and up to 1000% will increase the ranking of the result

The lower or higher the boosting value, the more you will affect the underlying algorithm. For example, if something is boosted by 800%, this is very likely to set aside most other logic in the search. This could be risky and damage relevance, which is why we at Cludo recommend working with softer values.

What can be boosted?

URL values

Results that match a specified URL pattern will get boosted.

Example

Boosting /schools/ by 150% would generally prioritize pages that match this pattern, increasing the ranking of those results whenever they appear in the search.

Field value

Results where a field matches a certain value will get boosted. Because it requires a fixed value in the field, this type is most useful when the field represents a list of predefined values like Category, Brand, Author, etc.

Remember that the field value boosting is case-sensitive, meaning that the value you enter must reflect exactly what has been indexed, uppercase/lowercase letters included.

Example

A boosting of 125% for the field Category containing “News” will increase the ranking of results that belong to the category “News”.

Results where a specific field matches the search term will get boosted. This is useful for defining certain fields which are more or less important to match the visitors’ search, such as meta description, meta keywords, etc.

Example

A boosting of 180% for the field Keywords will increase the ranking of results where the search term matches the keywords on the page.

Dynamic

With dynamic boosting, you can control boosting on a page-level. To use dynamic boosting, you will want to have a field in the crawler that pulls a number value on the page. In most cases, one would have a meta tag reserved for this where the author can enter the desired boosting value. The crawler will then pull this number on the page, which can then be used for dynamic boosting.

Date Freshness

When the crawler is configured to pull a date from the pages, such as the publish date or last updated date, this field can be used to enable Date Freshness boosting. With this type of boosting, you can select an interval in which the result should rank higher. At the end of that time period, the page’s relevance will be gradually reduced to its previous level.

Example

Setting the “release_date” date field of a product to “within 1 month” will boost pages with a more recent release date, and cause pages with an old release date to appear lower in ranking.

Files

This option allows you to add a boosting that will affect all file results. By default, the engine is set with a 30% boosting of files, assuming that files are generally less important to the visitors than web pages.

How to set up Boostings

Boosting allows for custom boosting of results that match a certain logic.

  • In the navigation, select Tools › Boostings.
  • Ensure the correct engine is selected from the drop-down at the top right of the screen.
  • Click the New button at the top of the table.
  • Select the type of boosting on the left side.
  • Fill out the field, value, and boosting value (0-1000), depending on the selected boosting type.
  • Click “Add”.

Best practices for Boostings

Boosting allows for a more custom configuration of how the Cludo search engine ranks the results in a search. Before setting up boostings. it is important to understand the impact of the feature as well as the visitors’ needs when interacting with your search.

Example

It may seem like a good idea to boost all news articles to promote updates and commercial content – but it can cause frustration for a visitor who is looking for documentation, which is now being buried among lower-ranking results.

The need for de- or increasing the ranking of certain results is typically unique for each website. As different types of boostings can be done on either fixed parameters or based on the search term, it is important to look at the specific user needs as well what fields are being crawled and how they can be utilized.

Boosting values range from 0% to 1000%, where anything below 100% will decrease ranking, while a boosting value above 100% will increase the ranking of the affected results. It is always recommended to work with “softer” values to begin with. A boosting of e.g. 800% will heavily impact the underlying algorithm of the search engine and could do more damage than good.

By default a search engine will have a few boostings added, which can be modified if needed:

  • Title is boosted by 150%
  • Metadescription is boosted by 110%
  • Files are boosted by 30%

Boostings are engine-specific. This means that it’s possible to have two engines with the same results showing in different orders due to their boostings.

Examples of boostings for different industries

Education: Increase the boosting for admissions, and decrease the boosting for old newsletters

Financial: Increase the boosting of loan rates pages or informative pages

Government: Increase the boosting of residents and decrease the boosting of documents

Healthcare: Increase the boosting of services and bill payment pages

Legal: Increase boosting for your partners and attorneys, and decrease boosting for press releases

Non-profit: Increase the boosting for donations and memberships pages

Sales/Consulting: Increase the boosting of your products, services, or contact pages

Technology: Increase the boosting of support and sales pages

Ecommerce: Increase the boosting of product pages

It is recommended to test the engine before and after adding boostings to verify the expected behavior in the ranking of the results.

If you need advice on how to adjust your boostings, feel free to reach out to support.

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