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I am using the solr backend for search_api on a drupal 8 site.

I have added the value of a taxonomy term reference field (field_promoted_search) to the index.

If an item of content has field_promoted_search with value matching the search term, I would like it to get a significant boost (eg ^1000), pushing it to the top of the search results.

Adding a high 'boost' value at admin/config/search/search-api/index/content/fields worked as expected when the server was using solr <6, but since moving to 6.1.0, this does not work as expected. This may be because search_api_solr/solarium is using a multiplicative boost rather than additive. This is not seem as useful to me as this multiplies the relevance achieved by other fields, rather than solely privileging field_promoted_search, though I am uncertain of this aspect.

I have tried adding a boost query for this promoted search field to the solarium query using hook_search_api_solr_query_alter. This requires me to pass each search key as a boosted query, and the effect seem to be affected by the order of the keys (and also my result does not end up top).

$keys = $query->getKeys();
unset($keys['#conjunction']);
// Boost results where search term matches promoted search field.
$boost_keys = [];
$boost_value = 1000;
foreach ($keys as $key) {
  $boost_keys[] = '"' . $key . '"^' . $boost_value;
}
$solarium_query->getEDisMax()->setBoostQuery('ss_promoted_search:' . implode(' OR ', $boost_keys));

When I attempt to use a boost function instead, I get an error from back from Solr and the query does not run (I have tried several functions).

// Format is: "funcA(arg1,arg2)^1.2 funcB(arg3,arg4)^2.2"
$solarium_query->getEDisMax()->setBoostFunctions("ord(ss_promoted_search,1)^1000");

Any advice much appreciated.


My reference for additive vs multiplicative boost methods is this very helpful article.

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  • Related: "Because of multiplying inside recursion, HTML Filter's tag boost can produce astronomical boost values, which besides being nonsensical, breaks the Solr boost_term in Search API Solr by exceeding PHP_FLOAT_MAX" drupal.org/project/search_api/issues/3209167
    – mona lisa
    Aug 12, 2022 at 12:59

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