What are Query Suggestions? | Yext Hitchhikers Platform

What You’ll Learn

In this section, you will learn:

  • What are Query Suggestions
  • Universal and Vertical Prompts
  • Popular Queries

What are Query Suggestions

A common feature within search experiences is to use “Query Suggestions”. This feature helps users by suggesting queries they can select from to “autocomplete” their search. Search leverages three different types of Query Suggestions: universal prompts, vertical prompts, and popular queries.

The difference between the three is relatively straightforward! Prompts are set in the Search configuration. Universal prompts allow you to configure suggested prompts at the universal page level, and vertical prompts allow you to configure suggested prompts at the vertical page level. Finally, popular queries are automatically generated based on historical queries.

To account for typos, Yext’s Query Suggestions engine includes a typo tolerance so the search bar can surface suggestions that do not exactly match but are close to what the user is typing (this is only applicable for English Search experiences). However, if an exact match exists, then it will surface ahead of any other suggestions. The use case for this exact match prioritization might be for a product search, where a searcher typing “iPhone 11” would expect to see the suggestion “iPhone 11” at the top of the list, not “iPhone 12”, even though the terms are similar.

Universal and Vertical Prompts

Universal prompts and vertical prompts are chosen by the business and are specified in the Search configuration. Universal prompts appear as a drop-down list as soon as the user inputs their cursor into the search bar into universal search and helps guide them to utilize the search capacity more fully. Vertical prompts will be triggered when a user starts typing in the vertical page search bar, with an option to turn on prompts as soon as the user clicks into the search bar just as with universal prompts. We’ll learn more about how to set these in the next unit.

Search hardcoded prompts

Popular Queries

Popular queries are automatically generated based on historical queries and are returned dynamically as a user types. Popular queries will be turned on by default in your Search experience and will complement the business-defined universal and vertical prompts.

You have likely seen the concept of popular queries in action every time you’ve completed a Google search. As you start typing in the search bar, Google tries to guess what you are looking for based on popular searches that match that same string of text. That autocompleted text will appear bolded. For example, if I start typing “how to cook a” in the Google search bar, Google presents me with the following options as it tries to guess what I am searching for:

Google's popular queries

Well the same thing happens in Search! For example:

Search's popular queries

We’ll learn more about popular queries in the following units.

unit Quiz
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    Error Success Question 1 of 4

    Which query suggestions are explicitly set by the business?

    Error Success Question 2 of 4

    At what point in the search journey is a user prompted with universal prompt suggestions?

    Error Success Question 3 of 4

    Select the statement below that is TRUE.

    Error Success Question 4 of 4

    If a user types a query with a typo, then similar suggestions will surface.

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