Prioritizing certain Categories for search

Hello. I’m having an issue with Algolia’s Search results and the documentation is very confusing and unclear. I’m also having trouble finding developers to deal with this extension. Many don’t wanna touch it or don’t know what it even is. As it stands, my current setup is increasing bounce-rate to the point I’m considering removing the extension and going back to Ajax Search which delivered more relevant results to our customers. The issue is the following: Let’s say a customer is searching for the “Volcano Vaporizer”, the user gets a bunch of products related to the Volcano Vaporizer such as replacement parts and accessories, but the vaporizer itself does not even show in the results. This can give the customer the impression that the item is not even in stock. I’m assuming it’s loading the parts and accessories first because they were added last. I’ve tried customizing the ranking and such but I’m not having any luck. . I want to setup algolia to rank “Vaporizers” first, then show “Parts” and “Accessories” after the vaporizer results. This ensures the customer sees the vaporizer, THEN it’s associated parts/accessories. How can I go about doing this? Many thanks for any help or consideration in this matter.

Hi there,

Do you have a website where we can see the issue live ?
That would help investigating the issue.

Hello Maxime. Thanks for the reply. Yes, the site’s URL is: www.kingofvapes.guru .
I appreciate any help. This has stumped us for weeks!!! :frowning:

Can you also send me a link to the products you would expect for the query “Volcano Vaporizer”.

https://kingofvapes.guru/volcano-digital-vaporizer

Hello @majesty1418,

when I search for “Volcano Vaporizer”, I get two products, and the one you mentioned is present there:

Did I miss something there?

As you can see here all volcano parts and accessories appear in the search. No Vaporizers in the results.

Hello, no you are not missing anything. The issue is that I have yet to see one complete search like “Volcano Vaporizer” in any of the stores. It is always searched as “Volcano”. As a matter of fact they don’t even bother to complete the entry. The hot search term is “vol”, short for volcano. No one ever uses the term “vaporizer” at the end of the search. This applies for 99% of searches at this store. All of the search terms use the “volcano” name. Right now when you start to type volcano or just type volcano you get parts and accessories, but no vaporizers. I’ve had 32 searches for “volcano” in the last two days and all have bounced. People are most likely looking for the vaporizers, not accessories or parts. This behavior is site-wide with all products, and that’s really bad as most parts and accessories for all vaporizer models were and are added AFTER the actual Vaporizers. The way it’s configured now, unless a vaporizer has no parts or accessories available, Algolia Search will only show parts and accessories due to the fact that they are the latest products added. Is it possible to have algolia search provide results for vaporizers first, then parts, then accessories, in that order? Or at the very least have it rank the vaporizer category above the others? I’m pretty sure we are overlooking something on the backend of Magento in Algolia’s configuration page. Most inferior search modules provide this functionality through a “search weight” or like in your case a “ranking” settings. So I’m sure this can be easily configured, but we are totally lost. We simply don’t have the smarts to get it working properly. :smile:

Hello @majesty1418,
now it’s more clear for us and there are several ways how to address the issue.

#1) Extra attribute for custom ranking**
In Magento, you can create a custom attribute and let’s call it “is_promoted” and let’s say the default value of the attribute is 0.
This attribute then can be assigned to products where you can change it’s default value. You’ll need to assign this attribute to your Vaporizers and set it’s value to 1.
Then, you need to navigate to Algolia configuration in Magento and select this attribute as the first attribute for custom ranking and set it as descending order. Like this:

The last thing you’ll need to do is to reindex your products data from Index Management section of your Magento administration.

The downside of this approach is that you’ll have to manually assign this extra attribute’s value to products you want to boost.

#2) Modifying search query

Disclaimer: This method is not really recommended and may affect your relevance in general.I decided to add this method here, because I took a look on your catalog and you have low amount of products and it looks like vaporizers are your main products.

This method requires you to write some custom code and modify the search query which is send to Algolia. The trick is to add word Vaporizer to every search query and at the same time add word Vaporizer as optional word.
By this trick the products which contain word Vaporizer will be ranked higher than the products without it.

This functionality you can specify in common.js file by modifying products’ datasource with custom datasource.
In the modification you need to modify query variable to add word Vaporizer and then specify optionalWords search parameter to word Vaporizer.

#3) Wait for the new “boost” feature in the extension
We plan to introduce a new feature to the extension with which you’d be able to specify categories which you want to boost or setback.
But currently there is still a lot of development and thinking to cover all possible use-cases. So as of today I cannot promise you any ETA.

Let me know how you decided to proceed.

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Hello jan.peter,
Thanks for the reply and the recommendations, but these solutions are only band-aids for a massive .40 calibre bullet wound. This is REALLY REALLY bad news. :frowning: We invested tons of time and money on customization and just getting this extension to behave with the others in our store and we removed our Sphinx Search Extension and replaced with Algolia. Adding custom attributes to hundreds of products is simply not practical. This site is LIVE and as of right now Algolia Search is not providing good search results to our customers. This is a really really bad. This extension requires developer skills just to configure basic functionality. For instance, the Sphinx Search Module By Mirasvit has the option to add search weight to products or categories. This is present in most search extensions we have encountered. Both search extensions we have had also automatically picked up and show our blog posts in search results with no configuration. To get Algolia to show Blog Posts hosted on the very same site you have to have a degree in computer science or spend hundreds on development costs. It’s a lengthy and complicated process that is not for the faint of heart. This isn’t cool at all if you expect customers to pay a premium as a monthly subscription to use this extension. Your fees are totally outrageous now that we consider what this extension can or can’t do. Paying hundreds of dollars a month for instant results is simply not worth it. You have extensions out there that perform almost as good as this, with more functionality, and they go for maybe $199. And that is a one time payment which includes free lifetime support and updates. As it stands, about 90% of our main products (vaporizers) won’t even show in Algolia due to the fact it favors the newly added products. From the looks of it, this extension is still in Beta? I find it hard to believe that Algolia does not have this functionality by default. Even the cheapest of cheap and low quality Magento Search Modules have this feature. We invested WEEKS into this extension only to find out it lacks basic functionality like this. We have a 4 year old Ajax search extension, our very first at this store, that has this functionality by default. And it is a $49 extension. Algolia will cost you this and MORE for one month of usage and does not have this functionality? Ok, I must admit that the Instant results are cool and all, but the way this extension is configured, it actually hurts e-commerce stores. This won’t be a big deal for a blog site or any information site, but the lack of this functionality makes this extension something NOT to have installed on a e-commerce site with different kinds of products. The whole “Ranking” settings on the backend are deceiving. We thought we could adjust these settings as we have with our previous extensions like this. We would have NEVER invested the time and money into this extension if we knew this beforehand. Now we have to get a couple of developers to undo all the changes they made for the conflicts, remove any customization, and re-install the Sphinx Search extension. That is a shame. Honestly, if you want customers with e-commerce sites to embrace this extension, this is a feature you should look into implementing right away. What’s the point in having blazing fast and instant search results if they aren’t GOOD or RELEVANT search results? Not being able to adjust the search weight or priority of categories or products makes this extension pretty much useless to e-commerce sites. Replacement Parts and especially accessories aren’t readily available usually for weeks after a product release. This applies to most products, not just vaporizers. So this extension will constantly show accessories or parts for the search term but not the main product itself? This must be inconveniencing many many people that have this extension installed in a e-commerce store. Major oversight by Algolia. Not only did we just spend loads of money on this, but we just wasted weeks of resources and time on this extension only to have to revert all the changes. At a premium cost to us. :confused:

@majesty1418 We can understand your frustrations and we’re definitely taking these into account for making the plugin work better for you and all Magento users.

I would hate for your work with Algolia to be wasted. Do you think you could try option 1 or 2 from the above recommendations?

For option 1, I found a way to bulk update attributes of projects on another forum: Fastest way to update an attribute in all products. Is that something you could try? Then you would not have to do manual updates.

We don’t want the work to go to waste either. Instead of reverting all the work, or manually editing hundreds of products, we decided to follow jan.peter’s and your suggestion on adding attributes to vaporizers, but only for the products that have many parts or accessories. This avoided mass editing or manually editing each and every vaporizer. So far we’ve done about the Top 5 Search Terms and they’re all showing Vaporizers first. Thanks @jan.petr and @dzello . Hopefully this will be implemented on a update sooner than later. :slight_smile:

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“boost” feature in the extension - Is this available now?