Popular Queries | Yext Hitchhikers Platform

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New Release Feature
This unit references the new popular queries blacklist regex feature from the February ‘23 Release. This configuration property is automatically turned on in all accounts.

What You’ll Learn

In this section, you will learn:

  • How popular queries are determined
  • How to disable or blacklist popular queries

Popular query suggestions are automatically generated based on historical queries and are dynamically returned as user types. You can disable Popular Queries in the Search Configuration UI or through the JSON file if you’d like, and popular queries are only considered if they are from the PRODUCTION version of Search (not staging).

So… how does a query become “popular”? Are there any restrictions on what types of queries can be considered “popular”?

Popular Query Criteria:

  • Query string must have at least 2 or more sessions
  • Query must be 75 or less characters
  • Number of searches for that query > average number of searches for any query (for that client)
  • Will not include any blacklisted terms (vulgar words or profanity)

With an empty query state, only the prompts will show up. As a user starts typing, the prompts and the popular queries will show up alongside each other ordered by popularity. If a prompt has never been used before, it will be last in the list.

Blacklisting Search Terms and Regex

Since these terms are being suggested by the system, we want to make sure we aren’t suggesting anything….inappropriate. For this reason, we have blacklisted terms, meaning that we filter any vulgar words or profanity out of our repertoire of popular queries. Yext currently maintains a list of blacklisted terms, but you do have the ability to specify a term or regular expression to blacklist if you need to.

Configure Blacklisted Terms in the JSON Editor

Right now, you can only set this in the Search Configuration JSON editor via the “querySuggestions” object. You can use either the popularQueriesBlacklistedTerms property if you have specific terms you want to blacklist or the popularQueriesBlacklistRegex property if you want to specify regex patterns to blacklist, such as account numbers.

You’ll need to wait for the site to be re-indexed before this update will take place, but reindexing happens on a nightly basis, so you don’t have to wait long.

"querySuggestions": {
  "popularQueriesBlacklistedTerms": [
      "term": "student loanbrokerage servicespay my loan log"
  "popularQueriesBlacklistedRegex": [".*bad word.*", "^\d{3}-\d{2}-\d{4}$"],
  "universalPrompts": [],
  "verticalPrompts": []

If you are specifying regex patterns, be sure to validate and test your regex using a tool like https://regex101.com . The above shows two regex examples: a string containing “bad word” and a properly formatted social security number.

unit Quiz
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    Error Success Question 1 of 2

    What makes something a Popular Query? (select all that apply)

    Error Success Question 2 of 2

    True or False: You can disable popular queries from the backend configuration.

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