Empty Query searches causing analytics to be useless

Can you assist me in figuring out why we have such a huge number of searches? It is making the analytics dashboard useless and I am guessing it has something to do with our implementation.

At first I thought it was just people hitting our homepage but then I checked the no results queries and is also the #1 no results query so I can’t figure it out.

See this screenshot:

Our site is PowersportsAuction.com

Hi James,

as discussed privately, we had a bug preventing you to view the filters refinements for the empty search no result. We just released a fix for this so you should now be able to get useful information.
For your problem, it seems that you have some issues with types applied in your filters e.g. a boolean field used as a numerical value (isFeatured > 0).
Without code sample it’s hard to tell more; our hypothesis is that this could be an issue in queries performed from your nodejs backend as we do not expect such issues when using our react client.
Hope that helps.

Please get back to us if you still have issues!

Hi Marc, sorry for the super late reply but just now getting back to optimizing our Algolia implementation.

The isFeatured > 0 is being used to return a set of ‘featured’ vehicles so that those vehicles show up at the top of all of our search results at www.powersportsauction.com

We are also applying sort by location and are essentially rendering two sets of results, one for the Featured vehicles (we display 3 at the top of all our results if we have featured vehicles within XXX miles of the search).

Then the rest of the results are rendered and sorted by location.

Basically the Featured vehicles get rendered as a separate set of results b/c those vehicles need to override the location sort so they can appear at the top even if they aren’t as close to the user.

So with that said is there a simple way for us to exclude the featured inventory results from the analytics?

Also, can you verify something for me. We are using filtered results to render category pages like https://www.powersportsauction.com/used-motorcycles-for-sale. When a user hits that page it doesn’t mean they performed a search since we link to that page in our navigation and it’s also indexed in Google.

I’m fairly confident that page is triggering an ‘empty search’ in analytics. The same goes for hits to our homepage I presume.

What’s the correct approach here so that in analytics we only see actual searches and no empty searches?

Hi James, if you know in advance that some search queries should not be taken into account by our Analytics, you can add the parameter analytics:false at search time and they’ll be ignored.

See the analytics parameter doc.

Hitting this URL indeed triggers a couple of (empty) search queries (you can see this in the Network tab of your browser). This is likely because you rely on the empty search results to populate that page.

An option is perhaps to add analytics:false on the initial page load so that only subsequent searches are taken into account, or just adding analytics:false to all empty searches depending on your use case.

Hope that helps