Best bets

A best bet is used to feature items from outside the set of search results.

Best bets are completely independent of the search index and can link to items that are not part of the websites that make up the search. They can also be used for promotional purposes to promote a certain page or document based upon a user’s query.


The style and appearance of the best bets in the search results is governed by the stylesheets that are applied to the search results template, and the position can be controlled by a search administrator with the ability to edit the templates.

Managing best bets

Best bets are managed from the best bets section of the marketing dashboard. The manager provides tools for creation, editing, cloning and deletion of best bets, and also the ability to publish and un-publish.

If the results page does not have any best bets defined the following screen is displayed when accessing the best bets section:


If there are best bets defined a table listing the configured best bets is displayed. Clicking on a best bet opens the best bet inside the editor. Administrators also have the ability to publish, un-publish, clone and delete a best bet


Cloning an item makes a copy of an existing best bet that can then be edited.

Best bets are not available in the live search until they are published. This allows a best bet to be created and tested before release, or staged for later use.

Clicking the add new button opens the best bet editor.

To remove a best bet it must first be set to an unpublished status by clicking the unpublish button. Once unpublished the best bet can be deleted by clicking on the delete icon.

All best bets can be removed by selecting clear all from the tools menu.

Creating and editing best bets

Best bets are configured using a simple form.

The example below shows the configuration for the best bet that is shown above.


Each best bet requires the following:

  • Title: used for the hyperlinked text for the best bet result

  • Description: used for the summary text presented below the title. This can include HTML formatting.

  • URL: this is the URL to link to when the best bet is clicked on. The URL can be any URL and does not need to be part of the search. There is an option that allows the URL to be removed from the set of search results if it matches the URL for the best bet.

  • Trigger: these are the search terms that will cause the best bet to be displayed.

  • Trigger type: this controls how Funnelback compares the user’s query to the best bet trigger. There are four types of triggers:

    • The search keyword(s) exactly matches: This will only trigger if the user’s keyword is identical to the trigger.

    • All words must be present in the search keyword(s), in any order: This is the most commonly used trigger and matches when all the trigger terms appear within the user’s query. E.g. a best bet using a trigger of red wine will appear as long as the words red and wine both appear somewhere in the user’s query.

    • Substring match: The best bet is returned if the trigger is a substring of the user’s query. E.g. a best bet with a trigger of red will be returned for the following queries: red wine, reduction, blackened redfish.

    • Regular expression match: The best bet is returned if the trigger regular expression matches the user’s query. This is an advanced match type for power users allowing advanced matching such as wildcards. If you are unfamiliar with regular expressions then don’t use this trigger type.

Previewing and publishing

Funnelback provides the ability to preview changes made to best bets and other configuration allowing changes to be made and viewed without the live search being affected.

The changes are then published to make them visible on the live search.

Best bets once live can also be unpublished — this removes them from the live search and allows them to be previewed and edited for future use.

When an item is saved but marked as unpublished it can be viewed by using the search box located at the top of the marketing dashboard and ensuring the preview option is chosen from the drop down.


This will run a search using the live index, but apply anything that is marked as unpublished. This allows a best bet to be created and tested before it is released.

Selecting live from the search box will run the search against the live index applying only configuration that has been published and is equivalent to what public users of the search will see.

Importing and exporting best bets

Best bets can be imported in bulk from a CSV file. The CSV file needs to be provided in a specific format in order to be imported correctly. The first row should be a header row containing the following field names while subsequent rows should contain the data to be imported.

Best bets are exported by selecting export from the tools menu presented on the best bets listing screen.

Best bets are imported by clicking on the import button displayed on the empty best bets listing screen, or by selecting import from the tools menu presented on the best bets listing screen. Importing best bets will overwrite all existing best bets.


  • triggerQuery: Trigger keywords

  • triggerType: When the best bet should be shown; Available values are:

    • ExactQuery - trigger keyword(s) exactly match query

    • AllQueryWords - all trigger keyword(s) appear in the query

    • QuerySubstring - the trigger keyword appears as a substring of the query

    • QueryRegularExpression - the trigger keyword is a regular expression

  • title: The title of the best bet to be displayed (HTML is permitted)

  • displayUrl: URL to display

  • linkUrl: URL to link to

  • removeCollectionUrl: If a search result has the same URL as this best bet, only display the best bet. Available values are: true, false

  • description: The summary description to be displayed (HTML is permitted)

  • status: Indicates if the best bet is/should be published. Available values are: PUBLISHED, NOT_PUBLISHED. If this column is omitted then imported best bets will automatically be set as PUBLISHED.


example,ExactQuery,<h1>Title 1</h1>,,,false,
example,QuerySubstring,Title 2,,,true,My description