At present magento’s default search functionality is pretty good and it gives good search results. But we can improve magento search results with some tricks.
The first point is that magento has three search types.
1) Like, 2) Fulltext and 3) Combine (Like and Fulltext)
By default, magento uses the “Like” search type. But we have to do a few experiments with all three search types and see which one produces the best results for our store. And according to that we have to set search type for our store. We can set search type from Admin -> System -> Configuration -> Catalog -> Catalog -> Catalog Search -> Search Type.
Second point is that by default, magento gives search results in ascending order. And search results are returned by relevance. It means magento displays least relevant products first and most relevant products at the last. So to display the best search results on the top we have to change the order of search results to descending. We can specify the descending sort order in /app/design/frontend/[Package_name]/[Theme_name]/template/catalogsearch/form.mini.phtml file. Within the
<form id="search_mini_form" ... >
tag, add the following.
<input type="hidden" name="order" value="relevance"> <input type="hidden" name="dir" value="desc">
We can also set descending sort order for search results in /app/design/frontend/[Package_name]/[Theme_name]/layout/catalogsearch.xml. Where we have to add the following code
<reference name="search_result_list"> <action method="setDefaultDirection"><string>asc</string></action> <action method="setDefaultOrder"><string>relevance</string></action> </reference>
between the <catalogsearch_result_index> tags
<catalogsearch_result_index translate="label"> ... </catalogsearch_result_index>
And the third point is to disable quick search in Description and Short Description. By doing this we can reduce the unnecessary search results, and can get qualitative and specific search results. To disable the quick search from description and short description we have to go to Admin -> Catalog -> Attributes -> Manage Attributes. Where open the page to edit the description and short description attributes respectively. Then look through various option items and one of them will be a “Use in Quick Search”. Change it to “No” and re-index the magento indexes. Now you have successfully removed description and short description attributes from being used in quick search.
By performing above steps you can improve the search results of your store and day by day it will improve the visitor’s experience for your store. And normally those small changes can convert into more sales.
Hope this will help you.