From KickApps Documentation
The KIT Cloud Social Search application enables your site visitors to find all of the members and content in your site.
As members join your site and contribute content in the form of profile information, photos, blog posts, message board replies, media comments, etc., the text and other meta data associated with the members and their media contributions is automatically indexed by the Search application, so that it can be easily retrieved with keywords and other filtering and sorting parameters.
Enabling and Disabling the Search Application
The KIT Cloud Social Search application can be enabled or disabled in Affiliate Center on the Configure > Settings > Add/Remove Apps page. (You can get to the Affiliate Center by clicking the “manage your site” link near the top of all your site’s pages.) When you enable this application, a search input field with an “advanced search” link will appear in the same location (below, and to the right of the global navigation area) on all of your site’s pages. (Note: disabling the Search application does not prevent your site’s content from being searched; it simply hides the search input box and the advanced search link on all of your site’s pages).
Configuring the Search Application
The Search application has a few default text strings that you can modify in the Affiliate Center in the Configure > Language section. The “Language Editor” allows you to localize the Search application to another language (Italian, French, Spanish, etc.), or just change a couple of labels to better match your site’s tone.
How Keyword Search Works
The KIT Cloud Social Search application is powered by Sphinx, the open-source SQL full-text search engine. (http://www.sphinxsearch.com/). In order to respond to full-text search queries fast, Sphinx needs to build a special data structure optimized for such queries from your site’s data. This structure is called an “index;” and the process of building an index from text is called “indexing.” The indexing process could take a couple of minutes before newly added content is findable by your site’s search engine. We have configured our version of Sphinx to index the text contained in certain fields of our database, including member names, responses to the “about me” section of the member profile questionnaire, group names and descriptions, media titles and descriptions, message board questions and replies, tags and categories, etc. (a full list of indexed fields appears at the bottom of this document).
When you submit a keyword or keywords via the search input box in your site, the Search application looks for these keywords in your site’s index and responds with all of the documents that contain the keyword(s). The ordering of the documents is determined by the default keyword relevance algorithm, and in the case of advanced searches, any additional sorting and filtering criteria that were submitted with the query (more on that, below).
The default keyword relevance algorithm will give a higher ranking to documents that contain the keyword(s) in the title, followed by matches in the description. It will also give a higher ranking to documents that contain multiple instances of the keyword(s), and documents where the keyword appears nearer to the beginning of the field (ie, a search for the keyword “love” will rank a document titled “Love Stinks” ahead of document called “Big Love” if all other aspects of the documents are equal).
In cases where there is a tie (ie, a search for the keyword “mike” produces two photos titled, “Mike Goes to Work” and “Mike Goes to School”), the secondary sorting criteria is "first in." This means that the photo which was added to the site more recently will rank below the one that was added first.
In cases where multiple keywords are submitted, the default keyword relevance algorithm will respond with all of the documents that contain ANY of the keywords. So if you search for “mike love” (without the quotes) the system will respond with documents titled “Mike is great” and “Love is great.”
Additional Sorting Options
By default, search results are ordered based on the default keyword relevance algorithm, as described above. The top of the search results page also contains a row of links where the user can re-order the items in the results by “most recent,” “highest rated,” “most viewed,” “top favorites” and “most comments.” Clicking any of those options will refresh the page with the newly sorted results.
Filtering Results With Advanced Search
By default, your site’s search input box will search your site’s entire index and will return all items containing the keyword(s) that were submitted. You can limit the scope of the results to only include specific types of content by clicking the “Advanced” link next the submit button near the search input field. Clicking that link will reveal a series of checkboxes that correspond to whichever apps you have enabled for your site. Checking boxes next to the labels will limit the scope of the search to only include those types of assets.
The RSS Feed (Search) API
In addition to searching for your site’s members and content via the search input form on your hosted pages, you can also search for members and content via the KIT Cloud Social RSS Feed (Search API). The RSS Feed API allows you to search all of your community's data (members, media, message board posts, groups, etc.), and sort and filter the results using a variety of parameters. For example you could create a list of the 50 most popular videos that have been uploaded to your community and tagged with "nature", or the 10 female community members with the most comments on their profile. Click here for more information on the KIT Cloud Social RSS Feed API
API Support for the Search Application (For Developers)
This document is intended to provide an in-depth look at the Search application on the KIT Cloud Social hosted platform, to help you understand how the application can be enabled, configured and used on a day-to-day basis.
If you prefer to host all of the search results pages on your own web servers, or if you’d just like to extract bits and pieces of data from your site, we offer a complete set of REST API calls which allow you to construct whatever kind of user interface you can dream up. Click here for more information on the KIT Cloud Social REST API
Advertising on Search
The search results page, also known as the “list page” in the KIT Cloud Social platform, has “ad slots” in it that you can populate with whichever content you want. You can configure these ad slots in the Affiliate Center on the Configure > Advertising page. Click here to learn more about configuring the ad slots on your site.
Related Tutorials and How-to Articles
Searchable Database Fields
Below is a list of indexed database fields, and the corresponding applications that you may have enabled for your site.