WCM tip #10: Use XRANK to boost content with Managed Properties matching the search query

In search queries use the XRANK function to boost content where a particular Managed Property matches the search query.

When building public-facing websites one of the common areas is search that allows visitors to search for content on the website. One of the challenges in building great search experiences is understanding the user’s intent: what she is exactly looking for. The improvements in SharePoint 2013 Search help you provide your users with relevant results, but eventually you are the one who knows who your visitors are, what they are looking for on your website and how they are looking for it. Using this information you can optimize search results and display more relevant results first.

For example, imagine that you had a website about books. Usually your visitors would search for a book using its title or author but once in a while they would get a hold of ISBN and would use it to look for a specific book. In such cases you could put the search result for the given book on top using the following search query:

{SearchBoxQuery} XRANK(cb=5000) ISBNOWSTEXT:{SearchBoxQuery}

What this query does is it executes a simple search using the given query. Additionally, using the XRANK function it boosts those results for which the ISBN Managed Property matches the search query.