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Introducing Promoted Search: Boost content in community search results

Khoros Alumni (Retired)

Community owners and managers always think of hosting the best possible content on community. The best possible content takes different forms. Sometimes it can be official company information and company news, other times it’s event information, news items, new products, reviews. Great content is unique for every brand.

From time to time, you might want specific community content to display at the top of the search results list when users search for specific keywords or phrases.

With Promoted Search in 18.12, you can now associate specific searches to specific community posts to boost specific pieces of content to the top of the search results list.

The content could be any Community content; from an Accepted Solution for a high visibility product issue to announcing a new product launch to publicizing an upcoming company conference.

Some examples of what you can accomplish with Promoted Search include:


  1. Promote company response to a product question – When your brand knows the conversation around your products, you are often in the best position to provide the best answer for a product question. Boost this content in the search results. For example, if a user searches for a particular printer issue, you might want to highlight a specific result at the top of the search results list. This will be the best resource on this specific printer query.
  2. Announce news – Announce company or product news using Promoted Search to provide more visibility. When you launch a new product variant or a new pricing, surface it to users when they search for related products. For example, if a user searches for “wireless hub”, it benefits her, as well as the brand, if she sees a company-written post on “Latest in technology - wi-fi hub A110 launched”.
  3. Surface documentation, newsletters - Usually the best time to show company-issued guides, documentation, how-to articles is when users seek help for setting up devices.
  4. Publicise events – Broaden your audience for upcoming events. Set a wide range of keywords in your Promoted Search rules so that your events, e.g. customer conferences, reach a maximum audience.

How does it work?

Promoted Search is built on the principle that the community owner knows which is the best content to boost and in context of which search terms. The set of rules that you set up to show Promoted Search results are key to that.

Extending the above example where your brand launched the cutting-edge technology wi-fi hub. A promoted search rule that you might set would be:

Screenshot - promoted search rule in admin dashboardScreenshot - promoted search rule in admin dashboard

What this translates to is:

If search query contains <keyword>, then show the <content link>

And the community end-user experience looks like this: 

Screenshot: Promoted Search Results in CommunityScreenshot: Promoted Search Results in Community


If you don’t want to include the “Recommended” label on your Promoted Search results, you can omit it. This way, your Promoted Search results will merge with the organic results and not seem different. If you want to use a different label, we provide you with a few options.

You can read more details about Promoted Search in our release notes.

We want to hear how you are using Promoted Search to create more value for your customers. Please share your ideas on how you are implementing Promoted Search in your community, and feel free to ask any questions or provide feedback below.

Tags (2)

Hello! This is a great feature, and I'm excited to start making use of it. I've been testing it on our staging site, and I have one question at the moment - is it expected that one specific search result would be both "Recommended" and normal? E.g. in the screenshot below, I've made "Building a Systems Manager Practice" a promoted search result for the keywords "systems manager". It's appearing twice - both as a "recommended" search result and as a normal one. This seems awkward.


Khoros Alumni (Retired)

Hi @CarolineS 

Thanks! Looking forward to PS results on your community.

Yes, it won't be the best experience to have the same post as "recommended", and in the organic results as well.

The recommendation is to boost content where it is not naturally occurring in the top results. 

I've got soo many use cases for this feature and very excited to start using it, I think its safe to say that this is possibly the best feature lithium have released to the community in the past 2 years. @CarolineS We built something custom/similar to this to surface some specific content for certain keywords and have the very same issue, its difficult to show promoted and hide the normal result, One of the low tech things we did was to style the promoted result a little differently (box around it) just so it stands out a little more, here is the worst example of it where there is only one result for the given keyword and it displays it twice but we've not found any negative impact on experience and when there is more results it even less of an issue, or so we've found Example of our custom promoted search widget:

@Fellsteruk - great idea to style the promoted result a little differently! Thanks! Maybe a thin border or light shading could be part of the default implementation, @ChetnaS?


Kudos @ChetnaS  and team.  Looking forward to trying the new feature and what you may be working on next for Lithium search.  🙂


With a little CSS @CarolineS  you can do anything... well almost. 


Community Managers and Moderators are looking forward to use promoted search, great feature! As we were discussing, how to use feature the most suitable way, we were wondering if there are any statistics for promoted search in place or on the roadmap, @ChetnaS.

Khoros Alumni (Retired)

In the works, @JuergenM  ! Expect them by mid-year


Is this a paid addition or does it come out of the box?

Khoros Staff

Hey @Lindsey ,

The ability for customers to effectively find information in the community is so core and essential to the success of the community that this feature is available for everyone to use without any additional cost. In fact, most of the features were working to improve in this years roadmap will be available to everyone as part of their current subscription.


Hi @ChetnaS,

We've just started using Promoted Search, and are loving it so far! Thank you! Look forward to using analytics to refine this as we go.

Couple of immediate thoughts, suggestions:

- Would love to be able to schedule some of the rules. To have a Start and End date...or just an end date.

- Also would love to be able to Hide rules. To have rules with all the keywords ready and hidden, until needed. A typical use case for us would be for outage announcements. Where, we could have all the keywords set up and hidden, until needed. And when needed, we simply add a link to the latest / most relevant outage announcement post and Unhide the rule. 

PS: Look forward to start testing and using Synonym search, when it comes our way. 



Khoros Alumni (Retired)

greta news @Suja ! Delighted to read your feedback and I am taking down notes. Keenly looking forward to your take on synonyms too.

Thank you