The synonyms mechanism allows you to specify that certain queries should include additional query terms automatically. This feature can also be used more generally to expand queries into a different form.
Note that Funnelback's Synonyms feature was previously known as query expansion.
Uses for Synonyms
Some possible uses for Funnelback's synonyms feature:
- Correcting misspellings without requiring the user to make another click. e.g. One may wish that entering the search term 'imigration' may instead perform a search on the term 'immigration'. (Or more likely, both versions of the word)
- Expanding acronyms or abbreviations. It may be useful to perform a search on the full name or word rather than just a shortened form entered into a search form as a query.
- Thesaurus use. If a word appearing in a query has some very similar words in the collection being searched, it may be useful to direct the user to documents containing those words as well.
Caution: Use with care. This mechanism is silent, the user may receive little or no notification that their query has been modified, which could be very confusing if used inappropriately.
Note: The use of synonyms can be switched off by using the thesaurus=off CGI parameter when making a request to search.html.
Warning: The content of the synonyms.cfg file must be in UTF-8. Use of accented letters, Greek, Cyrillic, Chinese etc in other character sets will either cause missed matches or garbled queries.
Synonyms can be edited within the Marketing Dashboard. Documentation is available inline by clicking the help icon () on the marketing dashboard synonyms panel.