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Do I understand correctly that only search key words can be added to a topic, and there's no way to specify a key phrase, i.e. a combination of words? If a specify a phrase, such as two words with a space between them, keywords from the phrase are found separately, which does not ensure that the phrase will prioritize the topic in search results.
This is needed to ensure that for certain search phrases, a topic is shown at the top of search results. The search phrase is not necessarily mentioned in the topic body.
RH version: 2019.0.10
A quick test suggests enclosing the search in quotes works. I appreciate that is a user education thing but unless someone else knows otherwise, it's the only solution pending you creating a feature request and it being implemented.
I think it is a fairly common solution not just in RoboHelp.
As far as I'm aware there's no way to force a topic to the start of the search results. Adding the keyword will ensure the topic appears in the search results if that word doesn't appear in the topic content. It might boost the ranking if it does appear in the topic content, but I'm not sure.
The only documentation I could find about the search ranking is the following from the RH11 help:
Ranking of search results
RoboHelp ranks search results based on their relevance. For example, if a word appears in the title of a topic, its rank is higher than the word in the topic keyword list. A topic with the word appearing in heading 1 ranks higher than the word appearing in heading 2 and is displayed first in the search results.
I haven't investigated the RH2019 New search options and functionality, and the help is, um, lacking in detail shall we say, but you could try tricks like adding the keywords, adding index entries and adding hidden headings and text containing a bunch of related keywords to see if that bumps the topic up the rankings for you.
Thanks for the replies. I'm aware about search by phrase using quotes, though you cannot clearly ensure the user will use them and the user may not know the exact phrasing to search for, so I was hoping key words are meant to help boost ranking when quotes are not used.
Also, there's clearly an issue right now with search results ranking in the Frameless output, at least in a big project with merged projects, where even when a search query fully matches the topic title and h1 heading, the search result for such a topic may be buried in the search results (when there are word matches with other, less relevant topics). Note that the project should be big to be able to reproduce this, and probably use merged projects, though I'm not sure whether it is a mandatory condition. At least, in the Indigo layout, the search results ranking was much more relevant. I already created a bug regarding this – hopefully it will be addressed soon.
There are also some issues with small merges. 🙂 To be fair, so small you would be highly unlikely to create a merge to start with.
I am aware that Adobe are looking at this but I can't give you any dates. As frameless is proving popular, I am sure it has the relevant priority.