DigitalGov Search > Admin Center > YourSite > Manage Content > Best Bets: Text or Graphics

Do you want to promote a specific page or resource? Create a Text Best Bet.

Do you want to promote a set of pages or resources? We recommend you create a Graphics Best Bet if you have more than two recommendations on a given topic.

Best Bets appear at the top of the results page when a searcher's query matches the text of its title, description, or keywords.

Best Bets: Text

Text best bets have the same look as standard web results. They're listed under the heading, Recommended by YourSite.

See the sample results page below that shows a text best bet displayed on TSA.gov for a search on razors.

Text best bets for 'razors' on TSA.gov

Add an Individual Text Best Bet

URL. Add the URL of the web page that you want to promote. Make sure the URL is properly formatted, and includes the protocol (either http:// or https://).

Title and Description. Add the title and description of the web page that you want to promote. Each field can have up to 255 characters. Titles and descriptions are visible to searchers.

Status and Publish Dates. By default, newly created Best Bets are Active. If you don't want your Best Bet to display, set it to Inactive. The default start date is the day on which you create the best bet. The default end date is null, so it will stay up forever until you decide to take it down. You can opt to specify other start and end dates using the date pickers.

Match Keywords Only? You have the option of having your Best Bets display only for exact keyword matches, and not for title or discription matches. If you select this option, be sure to include all query terms you want the Best Bet to display for, including terms you have used in the title and description.

Keywords. Keywords are optional and they're not visible to searchers. Add specific words or phrases that aren't already included in the visible title or description. Common keywords include synonyms, acronyms, compound words, misspellings, slang, or other variants. Enter each keyword (word or phrase up to 255 characters) in a separate field. Use your search Analytics to inform your keyword lists. Keywords are not case sensitive, but are exact matches.

Add Multiple Best Bets via Bulk Upload

Create a comma-separated file with the following fields (in this order). Download our sample template for uploading best bets [CSV] to see the correct format.

Title, URL, Description, StartDate, EndDate, Keywords, Status, Match_Keywords_Only

  • Required fields:
    • Title
    • URL. Make sure the URL is properly formatted, and includes the protocol (either http:// or https://).
    • Description
  • Optional fields:
    • Start date
    • End date
    • Keywords
    • Status. If you leave this column blank, the Best Bet will default to Active and will display to users. Enter 0 to set the Best Bet to Inactive.
    • Match_Keywords_Only. Enter a 1 in this column if you want the Best Bet to respond only to the query terms and phrases you've specified in this column. Note that selecting this option means you need to list all terms or phrases you want the Best Bet to respond to.

Save the file with a .csv extension and upload it.

Bulk upload updates existing Best Bets (matching on the URL field) and adds new Best Bets. To turn off Best Bets, either use the Remove button in the Admin Center Best Bets list view, or set the Best Bet to Inactive in the edit view.

Best Bets: Graphics

Recommended items are displayed in two columns, and you have the option of including an image. We show the most relevant Graphics Best Bet for the query, with the heading, Recommended by YourSite.

See the sample results page below that shows a graphics best bet displayed on USGS.gov for a search on tsunamis.

Graphics best bet highlighting tsunami links on USGS.gov

See also

  • Two columns with a collection of links and an image displayed on USA.gov for a search on wildfires.
  • Two columns with a collection of links only displayed on USA.gov for a search on housing.
  • A single link to a specific web page and an image displayed on WhiteHouse.gov for a search on jobs.

Add a Graphics Best Bet

Title. Add the title (up to 255 characters) of the web page or collection of web pages that you want to promote. The title is visible to searchers.

Title URL. Add the URL of the primary web page that you want to promote. This field is optional.

Status and Publish Dates. By default, newly created Best Bets are Active. If you don't want your Best Bet to display, set it to Inactive. The default start date is the day on which you create the best bet. The default end date is null, so it will stay up forever until you decide to take it down. You can opt to specify other start and end dates using the date pickers.

Image. You can opt to add an image.

Match Keywords Only? You have the option of having your Best Bets display only for exact keyword matches, and not for title and link title matches. If you select this option, be sure to include all query terms you want the Best Bet to display for, including terms you have used in the title and description.

Keywords. Keywords are optional and they're not visible to searchers. Add specific words or phrases that aren't already included in the visible title or link titles. Common keywords include synonyms, acronyms, compound words, misspellings, slang, or other variants. Enter each keyword (word or phrase up to 255 characters) in a separate field. Use your search Analytics to inform your keyword lists. Keywords are not case sensitive, but are exact matches.

Links. Enter a title and URL for each link. There is no limit on the number of links. Use the list icons ("hamburger buttons") on the left to rearrange the display order of the links. The two columns populate by rows, so if you have three links, you would have two links in the top row, and one link in the left column of the second row. The link titles are visible to searchers.

When Searchers See Your Best Bets: Graphics

For searchers to see a best bet on your site, it must match their query and be relevant and active.

It Matches Their Query

Searchers see your best bets when their query:

  • Matches any or all words in the title, description, or link titles, or
  • Matches a keyword exactly.

Matches are made within, but not across, fields.

A sample graphics best bet entry is below.

Title: Estate Tax  
Link title 1: Transfer Property After You Pass Away  
Link title 2: Estate Tax Rights  
Link title 3: Tax Rates  
Keyword 1: death tax  
Keyword 2: inheritance tax  
Keyword 3: fair market value  
Keyword 4: market value  

This best bet would display for searches on estate tax (exact title match), estate (partial title match), tax on the estate (title match that includes stopwords), estate taxes (title match for singular/plural variant), property tax (partial link title match), propertey tax (link title match with a slight misspelling), and death tax (exact keyword match), among other queries.

It would not display for searches on death, death property, taxes after death, fair value, as keywords matches must be exact, and these queries are only partial keyword matches. It also would not display for estate property tax, as this is a partial match across multiple fields.

It Is Very Relevant

After we determine which best bets match the searcher's query, we rank their relevance and display only the most relevant. We'll display up to two text best bets, and up to one graphics best bet. Default relevance is determined first by title, then by description (text best bets) or link titles (graphics best bets), and lastly by keywords. Date is used as a tiebreaker if the entries' scores based on the above three factors are equal. We display the newer Best Bet.

If you've selected Match Keywords Only, then only keywords are used to determine relevance.

It Is Active

We use color coding to indicate each entry's status.

Color Status
Green    Active         
Yellow Inactive
   

Active best bets are shown to searchers on your site. Inactive entries aren't shown to searchers because they're inactive, expired (by the publish end date), or both.


Watch the recording of our February 2015 webinar Straight to the Top: Best Bets in DigitalGov Search (55 mins)

Did you know? Use the Search Page Alert feature to add a text message to your search results page, which will appear at all times above all search results, regardless of the query.

Did you know? Analyze the number of impressions and clicks and clickthru rate for each best bet on the Monthly Reports page. Use the data to inform your titles, descriptions, and keywords and your decision to deactivate or delete an entry.

Did you know? When you use the sitelimit parameter to scope the search to a subsection of your website, we'll apply this sitelimit to your Best Bets so searchers see recommended pages from within that folder or subdomain only.