How to promote/feature a search result based on user query in SharePoint

If someone searches in SharePoint for “Power BI,” chances are they aren’t looking for a document from 2016 that happens to mention the phrase “Power BI.”

Using out-of-the-box search reports you can come to understand what phrases are being searched (and abandoned) on your intranet, then improve search by promoting/suggesting results you think your users are actually seeking.

I’m going to use my “Power BI” example. If a user searches Power BI on my dev environment, they get these as the top three results. The first two are SharePoint link lists (like promoted links or otherwise) and the third is just a document about embedding Power BI reports. None take you

Let’s make it easier to get directly to our portal when searched on the intranet.

  1. Go to central admin –> Manage service applications

  2. Select “Search service application”

  3. Select Query Rules from the left nav

  4. Select “Local SharePoint Results” from the first dropdown

  5. Click “New Query Rule”

  6. Name the rule and enter semi-colon separated phrases you want to trigger our promoted result

  7. Click “Add promoted result”

  8. Complete the form, keeping in mind that the “Title” and “Description” are what will appear in results when searched. Click Save.

  9. Click Save again. Changes are immediate, and your promoted result will appear FIRST in results with a checkmark icon to indicate it’s promoted/suggested

  10. Test your search

Note: If you use SharePoint Online, your navigation to the query rules is a bit different but still starts in central admin. The rest of the steps are the same.

2 Replies to “How to promote/feature a search result based on user query in SharePoint”

  1. Hi Nate,

    I came across your article and found it helpful. In my case, I want to show the promoted result even if there are no additional results available with OOTB Search web part. Is this something possible or can you suggest alternative ways ?

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