About Help Center end-user search

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  • Deepa Daniels

    Do you want to help us improve Help Center search relevance? Please take a few minutes to to share specific examples of search results that didn't meet your expectations. http://goo.gl/forms/WbEKVWQnvE

  • Forrest Smith

    Any way to make comments included in search results? Or is there a reason this is not implemented?

  • Serge Payette


    You can search on ticket comments as an End-user by entering keywords in "My Activities" / "Search Request" field.

    For Agents, the same is achieved by typing-in keywords in "search Zendesk" field which is the magnifier icon in the top right corner.



  • Forrest Smith

    @Serge - I think you misunderstand - I want users and myself to be able to search comments on the help center topics and questions, not Zendesk tickets.

  • Serge Payette


    Sorry about that, indeed I got that wrong. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that this is done on purpose in order to keep control on the quality of the info. If ever you feel that this option should be available, I would then recommend that you submit your idea to the Product Feedback forum: https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/topics/200132066-Product-feedback



  • Forrest Smith

    Thanks @Serge!

  • Deepa Daniels

    Hi Everybody,

    Good news!  

    Knowledge base and Community Comments are now indexed. Incase you didn't see this announcement. You also have snippets and keyword highlights in the Search results page. 

  • Jacob Mattison

    In the old web portal, if you were in a particular forum and ran a search, it would search just within that particular forum. If you wanted to search across all forums, you would do that from the forum home page. Since we moved to Help Center, it appears that it always searches across all topics, no matter where you initiate the search from. Is there a way to restrict a search to the current topic?

  • Rebecca


    It is possible to embed a search box into any page in Help Center using a curly bar helper: 


    When added and customized to a category and topic pages to include the attribute, scoped=true, it will return results from the current category or topic. 

    Here's are our resources on this: https://developer.zendesk.com/apps/docs/help-center-templates/helpers#search-helper

  • Stan Kutzko

    Is there a way to provide users the ability to change the sort order?  If not I would suggest that users be able to change the sort by date, relevance score, votes or number of comments

  • Jeff Ma

    This has got to be a setting or something in Help Center. So what is happening is that when our users search for an article, unless they know the title of the article, it doesn't show any results (or the wrong ones). For example, let's say the Article is title "Purchasing and Payment" and within it has several mentions of the word 'Reconciliation". Well a user who is looking for help with reconciliation will yield NO RESULTS unless they search "Purchasing" or "Payment" because 'Reconciliation" wasn't in the title. Is tags the only way to do this or can we actually have the search function look at the words nested in the article?



  • Terry


    Help Center search results are based on relevance scores and are displayed to the user in descending order of their scores.

    At this time there is no manual sorting options in the results. You can read more about optimizing your help center content here.

    Looks like there is already a product feedback thread about this feature request, I would post there to see if our product team has made any progress on this request.

  • Dave Voll

    I'm curious if there is a way to customize the page for when there is no search results? This way we could put a custom message for the situation. Thanks!

  • Jessie Schutz

    Hey Dave!

    It should be possible! Provided you're on the Team plan or above, you have access to the HTML, CSS, JS code for your Help Center, including the search results page. You can use our Help Center templating language and CSS Cookbook to get started!

    Let us know if you get stuck! Here in Support we're not able to assist with this kind of customization, but we have several folks here in the Community who are great with this kind of thing. :)

  • Jacob Mattison

    Dave: if you have access to the templates for your Help Center (Customize Design -> Edit Theme) you can customize the Search Results page. The template code includes this:

    {{#if article_results}}
    <ul class="search-results-list">
    {{#each article_results}}
    <li class="search-result">
    <a href="{{url}}" class="search-result-link">{{title}}</a>
    {{#if vote_sum}}
    <span class="search-result-votes">{{vote_sum}}</span>
    <div class="search-result-meta">{{meta}}</div>
    <div class="search-result-description">{{text}}</div>
    {{t 'no_results' query=query}}
    {{#link 'help_center'}}
    {{t 'browse_knowledge_base'}}

    The part between "{{else}}" and "{{/if}}" is the part that determines what shows if there are no results.

    It looks like there's a helper that creates the "no results for 'search text'" text, but you could either replace that or add your own text after it.

  • Jessie Schutz

    Thanks, Jacob!

  • Pedro Rodrigues

    I'm using "The Humble Squid" theme and I want to activate automatic suggestion when users type in the search box

    Is there an easy way to do this?

    Also, feat. suggestion: an easy "template builder" (drag and drop sections). E.g. being able to have a "Swiftest Elk" search/hero-unit but a "Humble Squid" main KB content section.

  • Jessie Schutz

    Hey Pedro! Sorry for the late response.

    You can find the info you're looking for here: Help Center Instant Search Is Available for All Customers.

  • Pedro Rodrigues


    No problem at all. Thank you!

  • Edouard Madeuf


    I've started to organise my Guide per family of product as categories, and then by product as sections.

    After that I standardised the articles for each product like below as an example:

    Product family A (Category)

    Product 1: (Section)

    - Get started (article)

    - Specifications (article)

    - Compatibility (article)

    - Etc..

    Product 2: (Section)

    - Get started (article)

    - Specifications (article)

    - Compatibility (article)


    However, when searching using the search bar, the suggestions display:

    Article / Category

    Article / Category

    So there is no way to dissociate the article suggested for products in the same product family.

    Is there a way to display the article / section / category in the search suggestion ? If not, is there a workaround ?

    Or I am forced to:

    - Repeat the name of the product in each article (I would prefer to avoid this)

    - Set products as categories, which is not what I want at all, and not what I've initially planned. 

    Thanks in advance for your help.


  • Erika Warren

    @jeff did anyone ever answer your question?

    I'm having a similar problem.  If the word is not in the title, label, or tag the article does not show up.  

    We have many searches where the user types a sentence rather than a word or phrase, and they all yield no results, even though many of the individual words or phrases should return something.

    What am I doing wrong?



  • Jessie Schutz

    Hi Erika!

    One of our Product Managers created a ticket for Jeff but the problem seemed to resolve itself for him, so I'm afraid that won't be any help to you.

    Would you be able to give more specific details about the content of these search terms/phrases? Do they tend to contain the same keywords? Do they have anything else in common?

    As long as the search phrase includes relevant keywords, and those keywords are somewhere in the articles that should be coming back, it shouldn't matter whether the user is typing in an entire sentence or not. So more details will hopefully help us figure out what's going on.


  • Rob Latino

    Is there any way to elevate specific articles through a feature similar to what is commonly known as "best bets"? Our knowledge base library is so extensive that some articles get buried on page 2 or 3 of the search results, and we want to increase their visibility through a "highlighted results" panel of some sort. Thanks!

  • Angela Frey

    This section of this article was a complete let-down:

    To make end-users more successful searching in Help Center

    • Advise end-users that they can search for an exact phrase in Help Center by using quotes. For example, “find this for me.”


    I am reading this article because the number one complaint from my users is that they can't find anything in our ZenDesk-hosted KB. I am not going to suggest using quotes on exact phrases, because that assumes that users know what they are looking for. To improve searchability, you need to meet the user where they are and with what they know.

    From digging around this article, the comments, and my experience, I decided to seed examples of different ways customers describe the feature throughout the body of the article, and added labels that capture the internal verbiage (what our Dev team calls the feature and our Customer Success team might search for is different from what the customer calls the specific feature). The label seemed to have a delay with becoming indexed, which you might call out if you highlight labels as an option for improving searchability (my tendency is to save changes and try searching for the article again, and I was disappointed when the label seemed to have no immediate effect). Also, it sounds like if I'm willing to change the title, that it would add the greatest weight to the search result.

    If there's any other ZenDesk-specific tricks that can improve searchability, please let me know.

  • Jennifer Rowe

    Hi Angela,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Yes, the title has the most weight, so putting your keywords in the title is the most effective way to make it come up in search. As for labels, there's only about a 30 second delay after you add them, before they are available. So you should see fairly immediate results after you update an article with labels.

    Hope that helps!

  • Karsten M. Jensen

    Very good article! Thanks :)


    I'm interested in the same knowledge, but for the Web Widget search. I have heard that those two searches score results differently.

    Please enlighten me :)

  • Robert Li

    Since most people do not vote on articles (any tips to improve that?) Is there a way for Zendesk to dynamically sort search results based on clicks and time spent on doc? So if I search for a word and get 50 results. The page that people click on the most or spend the most time reading would slowly move up in ranking in the search results. This way we can more intelligently rank the articles based on their relevance. 

  • Paul Clark

    The weighting of keywords in article titles feels rather literal.  For example, my impression is the following search string:

    "Why can't my customers find good search results?"

    is more likely to match this article:

    "Why customers can't find good ice-cream"

    than this one:

    "Show better search results"

    Have the ZD team experimented with algorithms that eliminate 'connective' words and phrases and use AI / NLP to identify the core concept / intent of a phrase - i.e. search results; not ice-cream?

  • Holly Beaty

    Is it on your horizon to improve search?

    I really appreciate the link provided to send feedback (http://goo.gl/forms/WbEKVWQnvE) but I am hoping that the plan is to increase search usability within the Help Center. I think this impacts my Help Center more heavily than your other customers because my users don't have Google to search our Help Center externally (because we require a login).

    Baby step search functionality improvements I hope for in the meantime are:
    phrase search without quotes (which sounds similar to what Paul Clark is asking for above)
    a label max higher than 10 (with functionality).

    Thank you for your consideration!

  • Francois Spinnael

    Can the search been activated for the "community" part ? 

    We want to create an internal knowledge base on behalf of the "community", When we do a search, it only searchs in the help center & not in the community.



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