One of the reasons why community end-users can’t find what they are looking for is that they tend to write the first few words that come to their mind while writing the search query. Their first couple of words might not match the terminology in your website.
So, a user might be searching for “itemized documents” when she means to find invoicing solutions. She might be searching for a product which is long rebranded and is now written about using a different name. Acronym, alias, and jargon searches happen. NSW is same as New South Wales, for example.
To better facilitate users finding the content they want, the newly launched synonyms search in 19.8 (Aug 2019 release), expands what the user is searching for, and searches for all ‘synonyms’ as defined by the community managers.
We recommend creating compact synonym sets, rather than a set of all exhaustive possibilities. A lengthy complicated set takes longer to parse and is less efficient if the search query matches multiple synonyms.
If, in a search query, multiple synonym rules match, then the most specific synonym rule would come into effect.
For the synonym rules defined as:
Khoros community, Atlas
If my search query is: "Khoros", I will see search results for Khoros and lithium.
If my search query is "Khoros community", I will see results for Khoros community and Atlas.
This happens because a more specific set of synonyms exists, and hence the results for corresponding synonyms is shown.
We are all ears for feedback and want to hear how do you plan to use synonyms to empower end-users with a stronger search experience.