Understanding Search in Self Help
  • 3 Minutes To Read
  • Print
  • Dark

Understanding Search in Self Help

  • Print
  • Dark

When your customer searches for content in Self Help, the search term goes through a series of an algorithmic process to display the most relevant content as described below.

Step 1: Analyzing the search phrase

As soon the search term is entered, it is analyzed and stop words such as  a, at, be, but, by, for are removed. Stop words do not impact the search results.

The list of stop words ignored are a, an, and, are, as, at, be, but, by, for, if, in, into, is, it, no, not, of, on, or, such, that, the, their, then, there, these, they, this, to, was, will, with

Once the stop words are removed, the search phrase is analyzed to find the exact match of the term entered using the EXACT match process. The content found as exact matches are displayed at the top of the search result.

For example:
Searching for the word creating yields content with the exact word used in the title as listed below.

  • Creating Link
  • Creating a Flow
  • Creating a Tag

Then the search phrase is reduced to its root form using a process called Stemming. This is done to ensure the search word returns relevant matches to the content, increasing retrieval accuracy.

Stemming is a technique used to extract the base form of the words by removing affixes from them.


  • creating after stemming is creat
  • opportunities after stemming is opportunit

Even though there is no word called creat, it's that part of the word that is found in all variations of the word. Create, creating, created - all have 'creat' in it. Thus someone searching for any form of the word finds all content that uses any variation of the word.

Step 2: Organizing the results

Once the search phrase is analyzed, it is stored in 3 variations —  ShinglesRoot Word , and  Keyword . They are organized in such a way to help in displaying the most relevant results first to the user.

The term  creating leads in salesforce after stemming becomes  creat lead salesforce and is organized as,

creat lead Shingles
lead salesforce Shingles
creating Keyword
leads Keyword
salesforce Keyword
creat Root Word (after stemming)
lead Root Word (after stemming)
salesforce Root Word (after stemming)

Whenever you create content in Whatfix, it is immediately analyzed and organized in our database. This helps in reducing the processing time during the search.

Step 3: Comparing Search phrase and your content

Next, the search phrase and the Whatfix content (Flow, Smart Tip, video, Beacon) is compared and mapped.

your title goes here
  • Terms in both the title and the body of the content are considered during comparison. However, if the term is found in the title, it is given a higher weight
  • In the case of Whatfix videos, only the terms in the title of the video is considered during a comparison.
  • The word  lead is present in content1, content3, content6…
  • The word  creat is present in content2, content3, content9… so on and so forth.

To decide which content to display first, the contents are scored based on the  number of times the analyzed phrase is used in the content and  where (position) the analyzed phrase is used.

For example, if the word creat is present in the description of the flow1 and title of the flow2. Then, flow2 appears first in the search result.

This is because the title of the content (flow, smart tip, video, beacon) has higher weight compared to the step title or description.

The weightage is applied in the following hierarchy.

Name of your flow > Search Keywords > Describe your flow > Purpose of this step > Describe the step action

Also, the weight is higher for Shingles, followed by Keyword, and then Raw.

Shingles > Keyword > Raw

This process is called Boosting.

Step 4: Displaying the result

Once the search phrase is compared with the Whatfix content and scored, the highest scored content is displayed first.


Contents in Whatfix

Search Phrase entered 

in Self Help

Results displayed

(same order as listed)

  • Creating a lead
  • Deleting a lead
  • What are leads in Salesforce?
  • Editing account info
  • Changing user roles and permission in Salesforce

create lead in salesforce

  • Creating a lead
  • What are leads in Salesforce?
  • Deleting a lead
  • Changing user roles and permission in Salesforce

The example scenario used above is calculated only using the Title. The result may vary if you factor in description, step title, and step description.

Languages supported in Self Help search

The Self Help search supports all the languages that are supported by Whatfix. To know more on the list of languages, see Languages supported by Whatfix

However, stop words optimization and Stemming processes applies to only the following languages,

  • English
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese-Brazil
  • Italian
  • French
  • Norwegian
  • Dutch
Was This Article Helpful?