This is specific to clients using SOLR search, not the standard Drupal search feature. Note that this applies to on-site search, although some of the later tips are also relevant for boosting Google search results.

SOLR offers the following:

  1. Indexing of the content within file attachments, including PDF, Word and Excel documents.
  2. Advanced keyword spell check and “Did you mean _____?” suggesting similar keywords and spellings.
  3. A consistent search speed for a snappy response time; instead of complex queries in MySQL/relational database, uses Lucene specifically designed for full text search.
  4. Advanced relevancy sorting. This feature allows us to take into account content age, archival status, body text inside links, body text inside heading tags, path alias, and other factors in sorting search results. 
  5. The ability to boost content in search results at post type level, allowing content deemed by the client to be important to be promoted. 
  6. Offers additional sorting options, allowing the sorting of results by date when looking for news.
  7. An optional “More like this” block on posts that can be enabled where it is deemed useful or appropriate. The system will pull content from the website and show other pages with similar content to the page being viewed.
  8. Keyword stemming including plurals, inflections, etc. This capability will essentially expand the search term to include results containing stems of the original search term, in addition to the search term itself. An example would be president, presidents, presidency, etc.
  9. DD search will fit in our custom highly available hosting infrastructure, such that if one server goes down, the other takes over.

Field biases and keyword tips

While SOLR offers the ability to "boost" certain post types for higher search ranking on the site, the best way to boost your content for relevant search results is to craft the content according to best practices. In doing so, it's important to know what rates as more relevant when it comes to including keywords in heading tags, body text, etc. 

These settings come directly from SOLR, but are good things to keep in mind for standard Google ranking as well. Note that greater numeric values make a keyword in that field more important. 

  • Title or label: 5.0
  • Body text inside H2 or H3 tags: 3.0
  • Body text inside H4, H5, or H6 tags: 2.0
  • All taxonomy term names (the words in the URL from the navigation term or post type): 2.0
  • Body text in inline tags like EM or STRONG (bold text): 1.0
  • The full, rendered body text area: 1.0

Keywords placed in the title field carry 5x the weight, or importance, of keywords placed within the body. Some simple tips to increase the "findability" of your content include making sure the search terms are included in the heading, and in the body text in a natural way - don't resort to what they call "keyword stuffing," where your content doesn't flow naturally, but make sure the words people might search for when hoping to find that page are included in a way that makes sense. The use of H tags within the body text for items of importance can help, too.

How to change SOLR rankings and weights

The above weights are consistent with standard Google ranking, so we don't recommend changing them unless there is a very specific goal in mind. Because all weights are relative to one another, changing one may have adverse effects on your site search when using other keywords. If you would like to discuss changing SOLR settings, submit a support ticket with a detailed description of your goal, or examples of how the current set up isn't working for your audience. We will first help you evaluate whether the goal can be reached, or the problem can be solved, by changing how content is added to a post. If the best solution is to change SOLR settings, we'll implement the change(s) and encourage you to keep track of how searches perform on your site.