Introducing a new, smarter search in KnowledgeOwl
by Kate Mueller

Introducing a new, smarter search in KnowledgeOwl

Photo by Benjamin Elliott on Unsplash

We are extremely excited to release our new search, powered by Elasticsearch. Now the same search technology that powers Wikipedia, Facebook, and the BBC is built into KnowledgeOwl.

Here’s what you can expect from new search:

The sky’s the limit: View all search results

You now can view all the results that match your search. You can page through results, filter them, and change the sort order by relevance, popularity, last updated, and newest.

It’s smarter: Better relevance algorithms

The new search is a lot smarter about calculating relevancy. In our testing, it was head and shoulders better at calculating relevancy and bumping the articles we were looking for to the top of the list.

Two for the price of one: SEO

Even better, if you’re already structuring your knowledge base articles and metadata for SEO optimization, that same optimization works with KO search--you’ll get twice the search optimization for the price of one. Our search now incorporates permalinks (urls) and meta descriptions along with title, body, pdf, and search phrases. The same things you optimize for Google search will also optimize for KO search. 

Get to the correct root: Multilingual support

You can now designate a primary search language, which lets our search engine know how it should index the words in your knowledge base for faster, more accurate searching and matching. We now support over 30 primary search languages.

Context is everything: Better blurbs

The new search provides you with dynamic blurbs highlighting the top 3 mentions of your search term in the results. This is consistent with how Google and other search providers give you results, which should make it easier for all readers to find what they want faster.

A rose by any other name: Multi-word synonyms

Synonyms now support multi-word phrases. Tell us that two words or phrases have the same meaning, and we’ll index both versions for search. What’s more, synonyms will now be highlighted in your article blurbs. Learn how to configure synonyms for your knowledge base.

Antici...pation: Better autosuggest search

Autosuggest search has also gotten a few improvements. Suggestions are now based not only on article titles but also search phrases, meta descriptions, and permalinks. It’s now typo tolerant and no longer needs to be an exact match.

You have the power: Make it yours

You now have visibility into how the relevancy algorithms calculate scores and the ability to boost scores by customizing article weights. If you want search phrases or titles to boost relevance scores, you can quickly toggle these weights higher and test a search to see if it gives you more of the results you want. Once you save that changed relevancy calculation, it instantly applies to all searches on your knowledge base.

New search should help unlock even more of your knowledge base to your readers while giving you ever more control over how search works. We’re excited to have you put it to the test and let us know what you think!

Ready to take new search for a spin? Head to our knowledge base and try a search for "owl." Then head over to our new search documentation to explore it further!

And hey, if you wanted to let us know what you think of new search, we'd be excited about that, too :)

Kate Mueller

Kate is our Chief Product Owl and Resident Cheesemonger. She has led a checkered past, including teaching college-level English and being the head of product for another small software company. She eats cheese. And in 2018 she hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, (which inspired her to eat more cheese). She scopes features, tests releases, writes our release notes and documentation, advises on writing and documentation architecture best practices, and tries to think of creative ways to solve customer problems. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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