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The documentation describes SmartTarget search with the following.

Search functionality allows you to display targeted content based on what (a search term or terms) the user is searching for. When a Fredhopper search query is executed, Fredhopper returns Promotions and content items that match the query. Promotions determine what content is displayed in a Page Region and content items are items related to the search query. Search functionality is based on live attributes.

In a Page Template we add a SmartTarget region and can then configure whether to use:

  • parameter (URL Query string)
  • referrer (search engine such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, Altavista, or more in smarttarget.referrers.xml)
  • keyword (search terms specified in the Web page)

As my team looks into search, could I get help confirming some questions?

  1. Is ST search meant to compliment a website's existing search features? I think the docs suggest we would keep a website's regular search and just promote certain related items.

  2. Do we pick only one SearchType? Is it possible to promote on both parameters and search results?

  3. Will the ST query return all matching ST promotions along with FH results, assuming they fit under the maximum?

Finally, any recommendations on how to setup and/or test the referrer option (e.g. confirm how the page responds to a search from Google with a given search term)?

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There's a lot of information to cover. They might have been better as separate questions, but I'll try to answer them all as concisely as possible:

  1. It depends a bit on the kind of website you run. If you have a "product catalog" kind of site, you can certainly use the Fredhopper search engine exclusively. That does require that you put your entire website into Fredhopper, though. Most companies using Tridion tend to be heavier on the content side, though, and a search engine that is focused on handling textual content is a superior choice in that case. For those sites, I would use "search Promotions" to compliment the search functionality (i.e. showing Promotions that related to the search performed, while the search results are returned by a dedicated search engine).
  2. You can only pick one. If your logic is more complicated than the available options, pick "keyword" and work out the search term yourself. Then pass the search term to the control at run-time.
  3. They are handled exactly like any other Promotion. So yes, all of them are returned. I'm not sure why you would suspect otherwise, so perhaps I did not understand your question correctly?
  4. You can test your regular expressions separately (to ensure they work on a sample URL) and then test them in SmartTarget by using the correct header (i.e. using Fiddler or a similar tool). There isn't an easy way to test whether you've got the right format that a search engine uses, though, unless your site is actually live and available through the search engine in question.
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  • Thanks, Peter. Separate questions makes sense; I felt these all fell under a general question of: "I read the docs and am not sure on how this works." I wanted to confirm #3 because I think several of us look at search as something different, something for "phase 2." It's just promoted content, so there's no reason to avoid ST search. :-) – Alvin Reyes Jul 2 '15 at 9:21

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