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Understand adaptive search (TCS)

This page applies to:MindTouch TCS


MindTouch has a built in learning algorithm around search that takes into consideration multiple factors to ensure the most relevant information shows at the top of the search results.


After completing this tutorial you will understand the factors that are used to adjust search ranking through adaptive search.  

Factors taken into weighting search results

By default when MindTouch indexes content it weighs according to the default algorithm which takes into consideration the pages title, content, tags and attachments as well.  Note that attachments are indexed separately from pages as we index the contents of PDF, TXT, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files.  

Adaptive Search Factors

Once the content is indexed and exposed through search results there are a couple of factors that the built in adaptive search uses to adjust the results:

1) Page Ranking

On every page there is the ability to provide a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down" ranking of content.  When a user clicks on either of these options then the search receives this and takes it into consideration when it is weighing the search results.  The adjustment to the search results happens over time along with taking into consideration the number of rankings.  
Ex: if one user ranks up or down, it will not make an immediate change to the search results unless over time this is the only result and there is more relevant content to be surfaced.  

2) Search Results Navigation

Along with page ranking, as users navigate through the search results and select articles within the results, the Adaptive search takes this into consideration and adjusts the relevancy of the articles.  This ensures that you are actively capturing user feedback even if the users don't engage with the page ranking.

Search Recommendations

MindTouch provides an override for the search results so that if you know an article should rise to the top for a keyword or search phrase, you can do this using Search Recommendations.  This will then automatically show the specified search result at the top of the page when a user searches for a linked keyword or search phrase.  You can read the search recommendation documentation to learn more on how to add this.

Summaries in Search Results

MindTouch Topic pages contain an "Overview" section which is intended to provide a quick synopsis on the focus and main objectives of an article. If your page contains an “Overview” section, search result summaries will display the contents of that section:

If your page does not contain an Overview section, the search result summary will be generated by our algorithm which narrows in on the most relevant content within that page.


What's Next

Make sure you leverage the reporting within MindTouch to help influence your decisions around documentation relevancy and search ordering.  

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