ShopSite Tip – Why Does/Doesn’t a Product Show in ShopSite’s Search?

The ShopSite search system usually shows all your products automatically, but once in a while you may find a time where it’s displaying products you don’t want to have appear, or products you are trying to have display are not showing up.  In this article we’ll cover the most common causes for both situations.

Products Are Missing!

Index for search during update
Check to make sure the “Index for search during update” option on the Utilities > Publish screen is enabled.  If this is turned off ShopSite will not update the search database and you could be searching old data.

Publish Your Site
The search database is only updated during a publish, so click the Regenerate button on the bottom of the Utilities > Publish screen to rebuild the database.

Look for the “No store page has a search field” error
Did you just run the regenerate mentioned above?  Scroll to the bottom of the results and see if the search database was updated.  You may see “Index All” followed by details about indexing products and pages, which shows the database was updated.  Or you may see a message of “No store page has a search field; indexing not performed”.

If that error appears, then the search database was not updated.  Your developer most likely hard-coded a search form on your pages which is why the Search Field is turned off.  You can get around this by adding a new page (call it “Search Field Enabled” so you know what it’s for) and turn on the “Product Search Field” setting which is on the Edit Page Content screen.  Save your new page and publish your site.  The page will not show to your users since you didn’t link to it anywhere, but now the search database will update on a publish.  This will allow your search results to stay updated.

Page, Product & Search Settings
The tips above control the update of the search database, but products could also be missing due to a setting specific to a product, the page not being indexed, or settings in the Search system itself.  Instead of detailing those settings here, let’s jump over to another article we have called Setting Up ShopSite Search Correctly.

In that article please see the sections titled “The basics of ShopSite’s search” and “Search Configuration Settings”.  Those will explain multiple settings which will control if products appear in search results.

Extra Tips:
- Products must be assigned to a page in order to appear in search results
- Make sure the word you’re searching for is not in the “Stop List” on the Preferences > Search Settings > Search Indexing screen.

Products Are Showing Up When They Shouldn’t!

The Search Destination Field
If a product should never show up in search results, on its Edit Product Info screen set the Search Destination field to “None”.   Save that change then publish, and the product will no longer appear in search results.

You want it to show up when people search for it, but it’s showing up other times too? Please see these next tips:

Indexing Configuration
The “Indexing Configuration” section of the Preferences > Search Settings > Search Indexing screen controls which fields are indexed for search.  Fields such as the Product Name, SKU, Search Keywords (Pro only), and Description are the most common to have enabled, but you can enable other fields here as well and the text in those fields will be indexed.

If you had a product appear in the search results when you searched for something else, compare the fields enabled here to the content of those fields for the product.  For example, if you searched for “Blue” but the product “Red Wagon” appeared in the search results, see if “Blue” is one of the words in the product description field, or any of the other fields enabled for indexing.  The “Red Wagon” product probably has “Blue” in one of its fields.

Search Terms Are  Stems
On the Preferences > Search Settings > Search Page Layout screen is a “Search Terms Are” section. This controls whether the search term entered is treated as a whole word or if it’s a stem.  If it’s set to Whole Words and you search for “Car” it will match only on “Car” in the indexed fields.

If Stems are used, words like Careful or Racecar can trigger results for “Car” depending on whether you enable the wildcard at the end of the stem, the beginning, or both.

Here is an excerpt from our Setting Up ShopSite Search Correctly article showing how we recommend configuring it:

Getting this setting right is important. I would recommend the settings above for these reasons:
- You want whole word searches as this will return the most relevant results. It gives the user products with the exact keywords they typed.
- You want the “auto new search with stems if nothing found” so the system will try to check for plurals, past tense, additional letters at the end if nothing is found.
- You only want the stems on the end of the word. i.e. A search for “book” would also return results for “books, bookend, bookish” if the main keyword was not found.

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As you can see, there are many ways to control search results, which causes ShopSite’s search system to be very powerful, but it can also be frustrating if the search results are not working the way you expect.

If you’re a LexiConn customer and you don’t find a cause for a search issue feel free to email us the details and we’ll track it down for you.

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