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How Does Search on Viewport Sites Work? 

Scroll Viewport builds on Elasticsearch, a full-text search engine, to provide a functional, help-center optimized search experience. It indexes and shows search results from all pages that are part of your Viewport site.

As part of the help center theme, all Scroll Viewport sites feature prominent search components throughout the site, allowing your site visitors to search for help no matter where they navigate in the site.

The search experience in the help center theme

Search Index

Scroll Viewport indexes all pages that are part of your Viewport site. That means only the content of the spaces and Scroll Documents that you have added as a content source to your site are displayed in the search results.

The only exceptions are:

These pages will not show up in your search results. Also note that the restricted pages are not part of your site.

Search Ranking

Highest weight on exact search matches - especially in title

Pages with the exact search term in the title are ranked highest in the search results page. They come before pages that contain the exact search term only in the article body. A hit in the title is weighted three times more relevant than a hit in the body.

If you want a specific page of your help center to appear on the top of the search results page, we recommend you include its key words in the title.

Fuzzy search

Scroll Viewport search uses a fuzzy search feature to display pages that contain words that are similar to the entered search term. These fuzzy results appear in the search results only after exact matches.

We use the so-called Levenshtein distance to display terms that would only require only a few character edits to turn into your entered search term (Example: Turning ‘test’ into ‘text’ only requires changing the ‘s’ to 'x').

OR search

If you enter more than one search term, Viewport will return all pages that contain any of the entered search terms. That means the search results will also include pages that contain only one of the entered search terms.

Curent limitations

The following features are currently not supported by Viewport search:

  • Quoted search. Viewport search ignores any quotes (““) and treats the quoted phrase as separate words. Multi-word queries are generally not supported.

  • Partial search. When typing in a term into search, pages that contain that term as a substring do not show up - only exact matches. Example: a page with term “rescheduled” doesn’t up when searching for “schedule”)

Difference to Confluence Search

To generate and publish your site, Scroll Viewport pulls content from Confluence pages and stores the content in a separately hosted location. Once the site is first generated, your content is completely separated from your Confluence instance and all its infrastructure, including the Confluence search.

To build a search for your site, Scroll Viewport uses Elasticsearch and only ever indexes the pages that it pulls from Confluence (i.e. only the pages that are part of the content sources you have added to your site and where the page label scroll-help-center-exclude-page is not applied).

Therefore, the search on your Viewport site will normally include less content than the search in your Confluence instance and display and rank results differently (see The Search Experience In the Help Center Theme).

The Search Experience In the Help Center Theme

All page templates of the help center theme contain a search bar, allowing your site visitors to search for content no matter where they are in the site.

In the help center theme, search results are displayed via a quick search option and on a dedicated search results page.

Search bars

Search bars are sized differently and come with a quick search functionality.

Page template

Look and Feel

Portal Page

Search bar on the portal page (Help Center Theme)

Content Source Page - Hero Layout

Search bar on the content source page with the hero layout (Help Center Theme)

Content Source Page - Detail Layout

Search bar on the content source page with the detail layout (Help Center Theme)

Article Page

Comes with two template options:

Search bar on the article page (Help Center Theme)

Quick search

As the name says, quick search allows for a quick search experience.

Your site visitors will see the most relevant search results appear as they type into the search bar. They can click to directly open one of the listed page without having to navigate to a dedicated search results page first.

Quick search results in the portal page

Search results page

Typing a search term and clicking enter or the magnifying glass icon will direct your site visitors to a full screen search results page.

New search page - with filters open

Below a search bar, the page lists all relevant pages that match the entered term (see Search Ranking).

The results page also include a page count, search filters and a page summary.

The page summary includes additional information about the individual page to help contextualize it:

  • the content source it is part of

  • the page title

  • the content snippet in the page that includes the search term(s) (in bold)

  • the version (only if the page is part of a Scroll Document)

If performing a quick search with more than seven search results to display, your site visitors can click a more link at the bottom of the quick search list. This will allow them to access the full screen search results page with all search results that were found.

There will be a maximum of ten search results shown per page. Remaining results are shown on following pages.

Learn how to further Customize the Search Results Page .

Search filters

On the search results page

The search results page includes a filter bar that allows your site visitors to specify the scope of their search.

New search page - with filters open and highlighted

Currently, it’s possible to filter by:

  • Content source

  • Version (only if a Scroll Document content source)

On the content source page

By default, the search on the content source page is location aware. The filters are always set to match the current content source from where the search is started from.

Example: If you search from an article that is part of the content source CleverApp, you search will automatically be scoped to that content source and exclude matching results that are part of another content source, e.g SmartApp.

The scope can be expanded again to include all content sources and all versions using the filters on the search results page.

On the portal page

By default, the search on the portal page will search all content sources. If your content sources included Scroll Documents with multiple versions, then the quick search will surface results from the latest version only.

Optionally, you can add a “Content source filter” to your portal page search (Edit theme → Templates → Portal). The filter will allow users to set the scope of their search right from the help center’s landing page.

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