Spring '22 Release is Now Live!

Nick Oropall, Senior Manager of Platform Product Marketing
Jessie Smith, Associate Platform Product Marketing Manager
Curtis Maher, Associate Platform Product Marketing Manager

Blog Date: April 2022

Spring '22 Release is Now Live!

For those of you who are new to Hitchhikers — Welcome to Yext's training platform & community! Hitchhikers is the home for all of Yext's product and release updates so we encourage you to create a free user and check out the platform.

Yext's seasonal releases are always packed with new features and functionality to keep Hitchhikers on the cutting edge of search, and the Spring '22 Release is no different. Across the product suite we have added new features that will help you to drive value and improve your user experience.

Here are just a few of the powerful new features in the Spring '22 Release:

Platform UX Redesign

In the Spring '22 release, we're excited to introduce the new look and feel of the Yext platform! Featuring a modernized navigation and tons of added functionality, the platform redesign optimizes our users' experience working in Yext. Now it's easier than ever to navigate between features, find what you need, and monitor your Yext experiences all from one central hub. We can't wait for you all to see what's new, what's improved, and how you can customize your experience working in Yext!

New Navigation

This release brings a major upgrade to our platform navigation. Now users can access whatever they need from a new left navigation. This design is grounded in user flexibility — the navigation itself can be collapsed/expanded for added visibility on screen, as can each feature group inside the navigation. Together, this makes it easier for users to optimize their display and switch between different tasks in Yext!

The left navigation also includes two updated productivity features placed prominently at the top — Favorites and Quick Find — that help users find what they need to carry out their day-to-day actions in Yext.

Using Favorites, users can pin their most visited pages available in the navigation by simply clicking the star icon at the right of the page name. By grouping their most visited pages for easy access, users can now stay organized and work more efficiently on the Yext platform!

The same is true with our improvements to the Quick Find search tool! Located at the top of the new navigation and with added shortcut functionality, it's now easier than ever to find what you need quickly and build with Yext.

Open/close Quick Find: Command/Ctrl + K
Open Quick Find results in a new tab: Command + Click/Enter or Ctrl + Enter

Built-In Home Screen

A key focus of our platform's redesign was to improve each and every user's experience when working in Yext. That's why we're also introducing a new and improved Built-In Home Screen, designed to meet the day-to-day needs of the Yext community. In addition to sleek design enhancements, the new Home Screen offers users quick access to account metrics, suggested actions, Hitchhiker's content, and more!

While the default, Built-In Home Screen was built to be digestible regardless of the product combination on the account, users also still have the option to configure their own Home Screen customized to their specific needs and preferences. Altogether, these enhancements make it easier than ever for users to find what they are looking for and build powerful experiences on the Yext platform with as few clicks as possible!

Additional Google Sync Settings & New Filter Settings

In the Winter '21 Release, we introduced configuration tabs within select Publisher Detail pages that allow users to enable or disable the sync of certain fields and change the default Knowledge Graph field mapped for certain publisher fields.

With the Spring '22 Release, we're adding some functionality to Google's sync settings to offer you greater visibility and control over the exact data you send to Google. The Google Publisher configuration settings tab has been updated to include:

  1. Three additional fields that can have sync settings modified: category, address, and website. Note: Categories and addresses cannot be remapped to custom fields, but the sync of these fields to Google can be enabled/disabled.
  2. Warnings in instances where changing a core field may void the verification status of a Listing.
  3. A slightly different order of sync settings to make it easier for users to navigate.

Additionally, we're offering Additional Filtering Options on the "All Listings" page to make it easier to view the exact set of Listings that you want to action.

These new options include:

  • Filtering on additional built-in fields — Like Name, Address, Categories, Last Updated, and more
  • Filtering using 'negative' statements — Statements like "is not" or "does not include any of" before entering the field value
  • Filters using custom fields — Filters using the Custom Field values in your account

We drew some inspiration from the filtering options that have been popular in Knowledge Graph because we want to ensure that accomplishing tasks across our platform can be as easy and as consistent as possible!

Check out our Platform site to learn more about our Listings features or the Hitchhikers Listings Track to learn how to manage your listings.

Posting Modernization

One of the most important ways you can impact a customer experience is to actually engage with those customers. Yext has been helping organizations post at scale for a number of years, but with the Spring '22 release we have modernized the UI and expanded the Posting functionality, to make it easier than ever to reach your customers and prospects.

Modernized Posting UI

The UI updates to the Posting tab in the Spring '22 Release center around making it even easier for you and your team to promote a limited time offer, announce a new product or service, or provide location updates, and more.

In addition to a new, modernized UI, we have also added new features and functionality such as:

  • Embedded field support on 3rd party posts - It is easier than ever to create unique posts at scale because Yext can now support embedded fields from Knowledge Graph in 3rd party posts. (Previously, we could only support them in 1st party posts). Now you can share hundreds of posts to Google or Facebook with dynamic values for addresses, phone numbers, and other fields. This means you can post the same message to several of your locations and trust that the location-specific fields will be accurate for that location's social page, thanks to embedded fields!
  • Advanced Post filtering capabilities - Yext not only helps you create posts, but also helps you monitor and manage posts around the web. We introduced advanced filters so that you can quickly find the exact post you had in mind. Most notably, we created the option to filter by posts made by you in Yext, posts made by you on the publisher, and posts made by others on the publisher.
  • Creation of individual post objects for each publisher - You can't optimize what you can't measure. By breaking out individual post objects for each publisher, Yext can provide a separate and in-depth overview of all comments and engagement metrics for each location's post.

Check out our Posting unit on Hitchhikers or the Posting feature page on Yext.com to learn more.

Social Posting in Knowledge API v2

In addition to the amazing in-platform enhancements to Posting, we are also adding Social Posting API functionality to our Knowledge API v2. With seven new endpoints dedicated to posting, users can create and update dynamic social campaigns across multiple entities at once, and monitor how their customers engage with the content through comments, click, and impression metrics. To learn more details about the new functionality introduced by the Social Posting API, check out our Release notes.

To learn more about the new Yext Posting features join our upcoming webinar with the Product team: How to Reach Your Customers With Posting.

Connectors - Support for OAuth & PDF Crawler

With the Spring '22 Release, we're growing our Connectors capabilities to incorporate more ways to bring data into your Knowledge Graph than ever before. It's now even easier to build a Knowledge Graph that can serve as your brand's primary source of truth for brand data. Thanks to optimizations like Support for OAuth and Crawler PDF Support, users are empowered to access more data sources and build a more comprehensive database for their brand.

Support for OAuth

We've updated our Connectors framework to support access to APIs that require OAuth 2.0 authentication. This means that the Knowledge Graph will be able to integrate with new, popular platforms that use OAuth credentials — like Google Drive and Salesforce. Now, key brand information, previously gated by a login, can be ingested to the Knowledge Graph through a simple, no-code interface. Check out our Connectors page to see some of the exciting new additions!

Crawler PDF Support

The Crawler has also grown more capable with added support for PDF files stored on users' websites. Instead of ignoring these files when conducting a crawl, the Crawler is now able to scrape and store data from PDF files that live on your site. This enables users to rely on the Knowledge Graph as an even more comprehensive home for their brand data. With PDFs available as searchable content in the Knowledge Graph, users can accomplish more with Yext algorithms and feel confident using the Knowledge Graph to power their site search.

Search Merchandiser

Every once in a while, we all need to make quick edits to the results of our search experience. Have you ever wished you could just click and drag an entity to the top of your results, without even writing a Query Rule? Well, now you can with the Yext Search Merchandiser!

The Search Merchandiser offers a way to modify search results with an intuitive drag-and-drop, point-and-click interface. As of the Spring '22 Release, this tool allows you to: reorder entities, reorder verticals, and change featured snippets directly within the search results. The best part is that you can do all of this without needing to manually create Query Rules or launch Experience Training!

For example, maybe a restaurant wants to showcase its new menu items over the classic items at the top of the results for the query, "menu." Using the Search Merchandiser, they could easily boost these new menu item entities to the top with a simple drag-and-drop. Or maybe a retailer notices that for the query, "jeans," the 'FAQs' vertical is appearing above the 'Products' vertical. The Search Merchandiser allows this retailer to drag the entire 'Products' vertical to the top of the results on this query. And lastly, if the wrong snippet was highlighted for the query, "how do I reset my router?" an administrator could modify this directly with the Search Merchandiser.

We expect this tool will be particularly popular with both Administrators who are not familiar with Query Rules and Experience Training, or Administrators who simply prefer to use a quick visual tool to assess the impact of any modifications they plan to make.

Nebula Algorithm Update

Introducing the latest updates to our powerful and ever-changing algorithms — Nebula. This Spring '22 Release brings an upgraded Vertical Ranking Model, Functions in Query Rules, additional support for multi-language experiences, and many other machine-learning improvements to optimize performance in search.

Our upgraded Vertical Ranking Model utilizes embedding technology to understand the relevance between a user's query and the verticals in the search experience so that it can display and rank verticals accordingly. This updated method means that Answers will show verticals in an even more logical order than before for each search. Plus, Administrators can influence the model for their specific experience using Thresholds & Biases. What are those, exactly?

When a user enters a query, the Vertical Ranking Model assigns each vertical a "Semantic Vertical Score" from 0 to 1 based on how relevant that vertical is to the query. Thresholds are the minimum "Semantic Vertical Score" that a vertical must meet in order to be returned at all in the search results. Biases are adjustments you can make to the final score of each vertical, which determine the rank in which they appear.

For example, a company may want to set a high threshold for the 'Jobs' vertical if they only had one job posting at the moment because they don't want this vertical to show up unless the user entered a query that is very semantically similar to that job posting.

Or, a help site may assign a +0.3 bias to 'Help Articles,' if the 'Events' vertical is frequently appearing above the 'Help Articles,' because users are primarily coming to this site looking for quick answers.

Additionally, Functions in Query Rules enables developers to build brand new use cases for Answers that incorporate real time data from external sources. This is accomplished by leveraging Yext Functions.

Yext Functions allow developers to write custom TypeScript functions that can be used to respond to all kinds of events in the Yext Platform, like when a Data Connector runs, or when an entity is updated. Now, we can use this game-changing system in Answers as well.

Developers can use functions as "actions'' in Query Rules, so that this custom code can run when certain search criteria are met. Then, developers can design custom frontend cards to display the data that gets fetched from external sources as direct answers. This opens up possibilities like surfacing user account data, tracking packages, fetching stock prices, and more.

Plus, we're always trying to expand our algorithms' features to support additional languages so that people all around the globe can take advantage of Yext Answers. Our newest language updates include:

That's not all! To learn more about the Spring '21 Release including demos, deep dives, new publishers and more, check out the Hitchhikers exclusive Sneak Peek: Spring '22 Release webinar recording with the Yext Product team.

If you have any questions or feedback related to the release, please stop by the Hitchhikers Community. We have specific topics for each release item and will have the experts standing by, ready to answer any questions you have.

We know many of the Hitchhikers will want to check out everything in the Spring '22 release. For the full list of features head to the Spring '22 Release Notes.

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