How to add best bets or promoted search results in SharePoint

In this post we will look at how you can add, edit or remove best bet keywords in classic SharePoint and how to do the same with promoted results in modern SharePoint.

Classic SharePoint

In classic SharePoint you are able to highlight search results you wish to make more prominent by using keywords and best bets. Best bets appear at the top of the search results page with a yellow star ⭐ next to them.

Best bets will appear at the top of the search results page in classic SharePoint.

Keywords and best bets are all managed centrally via the Search keywords under Site Collection Administration section within your top-level site.

How to add keywords in classic SharePoint

A keyword is a definition for common terms or phrases that are used within an organisation. Keywords are what search queries will match to return a keyword result. Before you get started, you must have Site Collection Administrator permissions to manage keywords.

  • Click the Site Actions menu, choose Site Settings
  • On the Site Settings page, in the Site Collection Administration section, click Search keywords
  • On the Manage Keywords page, click Add Keyword
Add Keyword from the Manage Keywords page in classic SharePoint.

Enter the following information for each keyword you create:

  • Keyword phrase: what the search queries will match to return a keyword result
  • Synonyms: additional words that users might type when searching for the keyword, separated by semicolons. Synonyms must be shorter or equal to 100 characters
  • Best bets: the recommended results for the keyword. Best bets will appear in the order listed
  • Keyword definition: optional text that will appear with the keyword (optional)
  • Contact: the person to inform when the keyword is past its review date (optional)
  • Start date: the date you want this keyword to appear in search results
  • End date: the date you want this keyword to no longer appear in search results (optional, leave blank for no expiry)
  • Review date: the date you want this keyword to be reviewed by the contact (optional)
How to add a keyword best bet in classic SharePoint.

How to edit/ delete keywords in classic SharePoint

  • Click the Site Actions menu, choose Site Settings
  • On the Site Settings page, in the Site Collection Administration section, click Search keywords
  • Click on the keyword you wish to edit and press Edit. When editing a keyword you are able to update all of the information listed above, plus:
    • Add additional best bets
    • Change the properties of a best bet
    • Change the order of best bets by updating the number of the Title next to the best bet
How to edit keywords in classic SharePoint.

How to delete keywords in classic SharePoint

  • Click the Site Actions menu, choose Site Settings
  • On the Site Settings page, in the Site Collection Administration section, click Search keywords
  • Click on the keyword you wish to delete and press Delete
How to delete keywords in classic SharePoint.

Modern SharePoint

Promoted results

Although a lot has changed with the advent of the modern search experience in SharePoint, you can still create and configure keywords and best bets – now called Promoted Results! Microsoft have published comprehensive guidance on how to manage query rules and add promoted results here, but summarise the steps myself below.

First you will need to consider whether you want your promoted results to appear across the tenant, a site collection or site within SharePoint before beginning. In this example I am creating a tenant-wide promoted result.

  • Navigate to the SharePoint admin center > More features > Search. Press Open
  • Within the search administration page, select Manage Query Rules
Open Manage Query Rules from within the SharePoint admin center.
  • On the Manage Query Rules page, select a result source for the new query rule (you can change this later)
  • Select New Query Rule. The new query rule has the following configuration options:
    • Rule name: enter the name for the new query rule
    • Context: restrict the rule to queries performed on a particular result source, from a particular category of topic page, or by a user matching a particular user segment
    • Query Conditions: define when a user’s search box query makes this rule fire. You can specify multiple conditions of different types, or remove all conditions to fire for any query text. Every query condition becomes false if the query is not a simple keyword query, such as if it has quotes, property filters, parentheses, or special operators
    • Actions: actions can add promoted results above the ranked results, add blocks of additional results promoted to always appear above ranked results or ranked so they only appear if highly relevant, or change ranked results, such as tuning their ordering
    • Publishing: make the query rule active during a particular time period
  • Add all the relevant information, then under Actions press Add Promoted Result
  • Add a Title, URL and Description for your promoted results
  • Make sure Render the URL as a banner instead of as a hyperlink is checked
  • Press Save
Create a new Query Rule and Promoted Result in modern SharePoint.

Now, when you search across Microsoft 365, you will be able to see your promoted result!

The newly created promoted result shows across Microsoft 365 search.

How to edit or delete promoted results in modern SharePoint

You can manage your query rules and promoted results through the Manage Query Rules page much like creating a new rule. To edit or delete a query rule/ promoted result:

  • Navigate to the SharePoint admin center > More features > Search. Press Open
  • Within the search administration page, select Manage Query Rules
  • Select the result source for the query rule you wish to edit
  • Click on the drop-down arrow next to the name of the query rule you want to change. From here you can:
    • View, edit, copy, delete or make the query rule inactive
  • If you are deleting a rule, once you press Delete you will be prompted with a message to confirm you want to delete the query rule. Press OK

Additional resources

Bonus! Use promoted results in PnP modern search solution

A nice little addition to this post is that if you have deployed the PnP Modern Search solution in your tenant then you can use best bets, or promoted results in the search results web part for this in the same way too!

NOTE: Best bets or promoted links are only supported in v3 of the PnP modern search solution.

Best Bets

2 thoughts on “How to add best bets or promoted search results in SharePoint

  1. Danny Herrera May 18, 2021 / 1:23 am

    I’ve been trying to figure this out with the both the OOTB search results web part and the PnP search results web part.

    If you type in a keyword that belongs to a query rule and it fires but there are no additional search results the web part will not display the promoted results.

    In order for the web part to be visible there has to be additional, regular, search results or you have to enable the “Show blank if no result” setting.

    Another weird behavior I have come across is that not all keywords trigger the query rule. Is SharePoint aware of spelling and case in this area? For example, I have two keywords in the query rule, “fear free” and “fearfree”, the former will trigger the rule but the latter will not.

    I have been looking everywhere about the quirkiness of this web part but cannot find anything.

    Have you experienced this?

    Like

    • Anthony May 18, 2021 / 4:47 am

      Hi Danny, thanks for the comment. I’ve come across the “show blank of no result” setting with the PNP search web parts, I guess it somewhat makes sense that if promoted result is the only search result it’s not needed to be shown…

      With the keywords, have you tried synonyms? That’s how I’ve got around your example in the past so I’ve had “sugarcrm” as the keyword and synonyms for “sugar crm”, “sugar” and “CRM”. I don’t believe they are case sensitive either.

      I’ll do some testing myself today to double check!

      Cheers,
      Anthony

      Like

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