Federated Search | Yext Hitchhikers Platform

Why do verticals matter and how do they turn into search results? That’s where federated search comes in.

Federated search is a technology framework where the search engine queries multiple data sources and aggregates the results in one unified experience for the user. Yext Search uses a federated architecture to search across verticals within your Content, all from one search query. Whether the user search is for products, professionals, or locations, this architecture will identify the context and return results across each vertical. Search can also integrate with third-party systems (e.g., Zendesk) to return even more results to users — all in one place.

When a user runs a search on universal search, it looks like this:

Query Journey Diagram

Search routes the search query to every vertical in the experience. It simultaneously runs the search and evaluates results, determining which results to include and what order they should appear in, for each vertical. It then aggregates the relevant results across verticals, figures out what order to put the verticals in, and passes the information via the Search API to the frontend for display. Each time the search evaluates results to determine inclusion and order, it uses the Search algorithm, the logic from the Search configuration, and the data in Content to decide the results to return.

When a user runs a search on vertical search, federated search just routes it directly to that vertical to run the search on.

Federated search is important because it allows us to tailor search logic per vertical, both universally across all verticals but also individually to each vertical, via the Search configuration. It also provides a scalable, decentralized architecture to keep results quick.

Federated architecture is a common practice in search technology. If you’re interested in learning more, here’s some additional reading: