The default Magento Search Engine returns search results that do not match the products the store owner expects to see as the #1 result, above the top fold or at least on the first page of search results.
It makes sense that if your keyword is in the product title this is a more relevant result than a product that has the keyword in the description field.
Search Plus improves the default magento search by allowing you to configure what “keyword weight” each attribute of a product should have which will then return more relevant results.
But, obviously, don’t just take our word for it, listen to what a recent Search Plus user had to say
“Search Plus has solved this problem entirely. After an easy configuration, the search results were instantly relevant.”
“The results from the default Magento search engine were not relevant enough for our website.
This was our main disappointment with the new Magento site that we had launched in January 2011 and that was otherwise great.
The main problem is that Magento treats the whole product page as a single entity. All the keyword hits are equal; it does not matter if the keyword is found in the title or in an obscure product attribute…
The consequence was that some of our key products kept appearing at the end of the search list despite all our efforts to ‘tweak’ the default search engine options.
Search Plus has solved this problem entirely. After an easy configuration, the search results were instantly relevant. There is also an option allowing pushing a product at the top of the search results for some keywords. This is very handy for a new product or if a marketing campaign targets this product specifically.
In conclusion, this could be the best $299 that you will ever spend on your website…”
Johan Machtelinckx Technical Director WitherbyPublishing Group Ltd
Unzip/tar the package and upload the contents of the app folder to the app folder on your server.
Note: it is always a good idea to install on a test environment first.
How it works?
Search Plus adds a new menu item: Catalog -> Search Plus -> Attributes Weight
Attribute Code: The name magento uses internally
Attribute Label: The name you will see in the “Product Information” Tab when editing a product
Searchable: Is the text in this attribute to be searched
Weight: Enter a value 1 – 99 to add weight to your most important product attributes.
When you enter a search, magento looks for the number of times that keyword/phrase appears in the product attributes that have searchable set to yes. No distinction or priority is given to which attribute the keyword is found in and search results are ordered by the total number of matched words in the searchable text.
By changing the value of Weight to be 1-99 you can configure some attributes to be more important than others.
Changing the Weight of the Title of the product to be 15 for example will mean that every product with a keyword in the title will have a score of 15 instead of a default search score of 1, if the keyword appeared 3 times in the title the product would have a score of 45 instead of a default search score of 3.
You can go on to refine the importance of all your attributes by adding the appropriate weight to each searchable attribute.
Under Product Information you will find a new tab called Search Plus which adds 2 new attributes.
If you want a product to rank higher for all searches that it has a hit for, increase “Search Weight” from 1 – 99.
If you set a product to have a “Search Weight” of 20, 20 would be added to its overall search score.
You can also set a negative product weight to decrease a search score which could be useful if you have different formats of products, rank the physical copy before the downloadable version for example.
You will always have certain products that you want to be found first for particular searches. If you put that keyword/phrase in “Keywords”, then in Catalog -> Search Plus -> Attributes Weight, give the “Keywords” a weight of 99, the search score will have a boost of 99 or whatever you set.
System -> Configuration -> Healthy Websites -> Search Plus
License Key: Enter your license key here. If a valid key is not present, a message will be shown on the front end search results page and on admin for 7 days before the plugin deactivates.
Setting Enabled to “no” will remove this message if there is not a valid license key.
Enabled: turns on/off Search Plus
Show Broaden Search Results Message: In the case were not many search results were found, this option displays a hyperlink to repeat the search using keyword1 OR keyword2 instead of keyword1 AND keyword2 which is the default magento search.
Same search after clicking the hyperlink is shown below