Overview of Verticals | Yext Hitchhikers Platform
What You’ll Learn
By the end of this unit, you will be able to:
- Define vertical, universal search, and vertical search
- Give examples of verticals and how to define them based on intent
- Add a new vertical
- List settings that can be configured in the Additional Vertical Settings section
Now that you’ve created your Search config, started editing it, and can run test searches to test it out, let’s get into all the different features you can configure. Throughout the next two modules, we will walk through:
- Verticals: Searchable Fields, Facets and Filtering, Sorting, Direct Answers, Vertical Ranking
- Search-Level Configurations: Synonyms, Query Rules, Query Suggestions, Additional Settings
Since we’re focusing on verticals in this module, we’ll stick to the Verticals screen of the Search configuration.
Universal vs. Vertical Search
Before we go any further, it’s important to define universal search and vertical search. You’ll see this concept in both the backend and frontend. In short, universal search searches across multiple verticals, while vertical search searches across a single vertical.
When we refer to a vertical, we’re talking about a class of results that is searched in its own way. When users run a vertical search, they are only running a search on that one vertical. You will often times want the entity types in your Content to be represented as separate verticals, because different types of content need to be searched in different ways. However, there is nothing keeping you from combining multiple entity types into one vertical. For example, you could combine Branch and ATM entity types into a Locations vertical.
Universal search (the “All” tab), on the other hand, shows results across all verticals. Universal search runs simultaneous searches in each vertical, applying the algorithms configured for each of those verticals, and then aggregates all the different vertical searches in order of relevance in one screen to give users a preview of each vertical. Each vertical is still independent. Read more about how this works in the reference doc.
From universal search, users can click into any vertical to get more detailed search results, using either the “View All” button at the bottom of each vertical section or the tabs right below the search bar. Once on the vertical search, you have the ability to further refine results through facets, sorting, or other vertical customizations. Check out the reference doc for a comparison of features supported in each.
Add a New Vertical
In the last module, you created a Search configuration (see the help article). The verticals you selected when you added the Search config will have some searchable fields filled in by default. Otherwise, you have a blank setup.
Edit via the Platform UI
To add a new vertical via the UI, click the verticals dropdown and select + Add Vertical. You will be presented with the entity type options that are enabled in your account. If you’re not seeing an entity type that you would like to add to your Search experience, follow the steps in the help article to enable more entity types. Select the entity type you want to add and click Add Vertical.
Edit via the JSON Editor
All vertical-level configurations are specified within the top-level
verticals object. Within this, each vertical has its own object using the vertical key as the object key. This is where all the settings for a particular vertical live. Check out the
reference doc for the full list of properties available in the
To add a new vertical via the JSON editor, it is easiest to copy another vertical, paste, and then make any changes. At the very least you’ll want to change the additional vertical settings described below.
Verticals - Additional Vertical Settings
The Additional Vertical Settings are the key settings that define each vertical. Each vertical will have its own respective settings. The following settings are currently available for each vertical via the UI and JSON editor. Let’s break down each one (check out the reference doc for the property schema):
- Name: This is a display, pretty-printed name for the vertical (e.g. “Offices”).
- Entity Types: Supported entity types within a given vertical.
- Saved Filters: This value references a which will specify the entities that are allowed to be returned in a given vertical. Each vertical may only have one saved filter. You’ll want to include this if you need to limit the entities returned for a vertical in some way, for example only those locations that are open, FAQs that have the Answer field filled out, or events that are in the future. To obtain the ID for a saved filter, follow the help article.
- Vertical Key: This is an internal name for the vertical and will be used to uniquely identify the vertical. You will also use this value to reference the vertical in the frontend. We recommend using something customer-friendly, plural, and lowercase (e.g. “offices”).
Edit Additional Vertical Settings
Edit via the Platform UI
To configure additional vertical settings in the UI, navigate to the Verticals screen. Use the Settings for: dropdown to select the vertical you want to view or edit. Find the Additional Vertical Settings section at the bottom of the vertical.
To make changes to these properties, edit the relevant text box or click the relevant dropdown and make the desired changes.
Edit via the JSON Editor
In the JSON instance of the Search configuration, the configuration above would look like the following (be sure to use the API name of each entity type):