Plan keywords, synonyms, and Best Bets (SharePoint Server 2010)


Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010

Summary: Learn how to plan keywords, synonyms, and Best Bets so users get the most relevant search results for popular queries.

This article describes how to help users obtain more relevant search results by planning for keywords, synonyms, and Best Bets in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.

Keywords are search terms that users type into a search box when constructing a query. Users can use them in queries that they submit in the search box on a site, on the Search Center, or in an Advanced Search. When a user query includes a keyword that you have configured, the search results can provide a definition for the term together with links to recommended locations or documents at the top of the search results page.

You can define keywords, provide synonyms (words that closely relate to the keyword), and create Best Bets (links to featured documents or locations for the specified keyword), to provide a relevant set of search results for popular search terms. Synonyms are useful when several search terms are used for the same concept and content so that search results are merged and not scattered across several search terms. When you create a keyword, you can also provide a definition of the keyword that appears in search results. By defining terms that are often used in searches as keywords, a site collection administrator can provide a standard glossary of names, processes, and concepts that are part of the common knowledge shared by members of an organization. When keywords have synonyms and associated Best Bet links, they help guide users to recommended resources. The list that is updated when a site collection administrator creates keywords and adds synonyms is called a thesaurus. The thesaurus for SharePoint Server 2010 is compatible with the thesaurus for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

Site collection administrators typically create keywords at the site collection level. However, you might want to coordinate keyword planning over multiple site collections to make planning and implementation consistent throughout the organization.

If you already have search set up in your production or test environment, you can use Site Collection Web Analytics Reports to help you plan keywords, synonyms, and Best Bets. The reports that are most useful for this effort include the following:

  • Top Queries, to view the most common search terms.

  • No Results Queries, to view the most common search terms that yielded no search results.

  • Best Bet Usage, to view the most frequently-used Best Bets.

  • Best Bet Suggestions, to view the suggestions for new Best Bets that the search system provides.