How is the 'Related Articles' list populated?

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35 Comments

  • Andrea Saez
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    Hi James,

    There's a special formula for that. It's a mix of recently visited articles, popular articles, and popular searches related to that topic. 

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  • John Singleton
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    Hi Andrea,

    I would love to be able to tweak or at least influence what actually appears in the related articles. Can you provide any tips on the best way to influence what will appear in the related articles, because, like James who posted the original question, what we are getting are definitely not related.

    Thanks

    John

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  • Andrea Saez
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    Hi John,

    There is a formula that's designed for that - so there is no actual way of going in and tweaking it at this point. Great feature request, though! I'm sure the team will take it into account.

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  • Todd Myers
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    John,

    I'm with you, I'd love to be able to tweak Related Articles and even assign what show up here.  The "formula" that's being used now seems to provide only to provide mediocre results.

     

    Enjoy,

    Todd

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  • Laura D.
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    Hi everyone, 

    Andrea is right, there is no way to customize the "Related articles" list in Help Center. That said I can give you a bit more information about how it works (this is from our Development team and may be a little different than some of the related article features that exist in the older Web Portal):

    • For each user we keep a list of their recently viewed articles, this is the "Recently viewed articles" list that usually shows up on the right side of an article in the Knowledge Base.
    • When as user visits an article we record the most recently viewed article as being related to the currently viewed article.

    Over time each article will be "related" to a number of other articles. The more times an article has been marked as "related" to another article the higher the "related" score will be. This means that the score (and therefore the results) will get better over time. 

    If you'd like to be able to control how this works I suggest posting in our Product Feedback forum - that'll help our Product team gauge interest and perhaps look at including an option in the future. 

     

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  • Jo Ogden
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    Hi Laura, I'm reading this a few months after your post but thanks for your detailed answer,  It was exactly what I was looking for.

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  • Laura D.
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    Glad it helped :)

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  • Tony Roma
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    There is a serious flaw in the logic for the Related Articles: By placing an article in the related section without contextual evidence to place it there, a feedback loop is created. Customers are more likely to click the related article links hoping to find an answer that they don't find on the current page, further increasing the "related article" score for articles that do not actually help them.

    We have articles appearing in the "related" section that are not even remotely related to the current content, and actual related articles are nowhere to be found.

    This is like sites that generate a "most popular content" list. By placing fewer articles up-front, you actually increase traffic to those articles, placing them higher on the list, which increases the traffic to those articles, which places them higher on the list, and so on, and so on, and so on.

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  • Mark Slade
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    I would like to add my name to the concern that Tony. If the related articles is controlled by a formula, then i'd like to at least be able to disable the feature and have a manual Related Articles widget that i could manage myself.

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  • Ivan Lovrić
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    Is there a way to get related articles via an API? Can't find it anywhere, only the component.

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  • Jessie Schutz
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    Hi Ivan!

    You can find documentation on our Help Center API here: https://developer.zendesk.com/rest_api/docs/help_center/introduction

    I don't see any endpoints there pertaining to related articles, but it should be a jumping off point.

    You might also consider hopping over to our API Forums to see if anyone over there has any input!

    Please let me know if you have any other questions!

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  • Ivan Lovrić
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    I already did search those places, no luck. It seems it's not possible to get related articles with an API, only the component {{related_articles}}. :-/

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  • Scott Quick
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    There is no relationship (other than serendipity) between previously browsed articles (aka the "related articles" list) and the current article being read by the user.  As it stands now, this feature -- which explicitly creates a false comparison -- is not only useless, it is misleading and potentially damaging to the HC.

    Leveraging tags would be a more sensible approach to generating a "Related Articles" list... and It would a simple way to empower HC admins to present more valuable, more relevant content.

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  • Jessie Schutz
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    Hey Scott!

    Thanks for the feedback on this! I've passed your remarks on to our Help Center Product Manager, and I'll be sure to post again if there's any information available to share with you guys. :)

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  • Julius Hernandez
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    Hi Jessie!

    May I know if you have any updates on this?

    Thanks, and looking forward to your reply.

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  • ChrisSchroeder
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    Is there any update here? We just converted over to Help Center from Web Portal and I'm seeing the same thing other folks are talking about. Without a way to control or influence related articles, the resultant list ends up very arbitrary and in some cases, just wrong.

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  • Mark Slade
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    The lack of response from Zendesk on this issue is frustrating. To have a "related articles" feature that doesn't actually have anything to do with related articles, as one would expect, is poor design. I'd rather see this feature removed entirely than to have it displayed showing inaccurate information. Please respond to the this thread with an update.

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  • Jessie Schutz
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    Hey guys!

    You're definitely not the only users who've given us this type of feedback, and I apologize that we haven't had any updates to share with you. I've reached out to our Product team to see if there's anything new to report.

    In the meantime, if you haven't already done so, I'd encourage you to add your vote and use case to the thread about this in our Product Feedback forum. Our Product team sees all those posts and comments (even when they're not able to respond), so it's the best way to make sure they see your feedback.

    Here's the thread, if you'd like to post: 

     

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  • Christian Colding
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    Hi all,

    Unfortunately I don't have any news on this. I can definitely see that the algorithm doesn't work in all cases and we would love to improve that. Unfortunately we simply don't have the time right now due to other priorities.

    If the related articles is not working I would recommend not using it. You can remove the related articles from your template under General > Customize design > Edit theme > Article page.

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  • Jo Ogden
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    Thanks Christian.  With all the debate about why the related articles section doesn't work properly it was fantastic to finally see an option to remove it!  For me it doesn't add any value, indeed causes confusion for clients, so I've now removed this from all my Zendesk accounts.

    Thanks for your simple suggestion :)

    Jo

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  • Vladan Jovic
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    I have multi-lang KB, and at the moment when I am on eg german version, I see related articles from en-us lang version. How we can avoid this?

    Thanks!

     

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  • Rebecca
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    Hi Vladan!

    What you're seeing does not sounds like expected behavior and I have not been able to replicate articles from other locales returning in the related articles section in my test enviroment. I'd give clearing your browser's cache and cookies a try and if this doesn't resolve the issue, submit a request with the affected help center informaton to support@zendesk.com. :) 

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  • Vladan Jovic
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    Sorry Rebecca, my bad. That was Recent articles. 

    Thank you!

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  • Rebecca
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    Hi Vladan! I did some testing of this in my test account and in Support.Zendesk.com and from I gather this is expected behavior. The default recent articles helper will show the recent articles a user has visited for all locales: 

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  • Vladan Jovic
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    yes, it is clear now. Thank you!

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  • Yeny Rubiano
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    Hello, any way to reduce the number of Related Articles that get displayed?
    Right now my page is showing 5, I will like to keep it down to 3.

    (I am using {{related_articles}} )

    Thanks!

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  • Vladan Jovic
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    Hi Yeny, yes, you can do that pretty easy. Just put this code into your CSS file:

    section.related-articles ul li:nth-child(n+4) {
    display: none;
    }
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  • Yeny Rubiano
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    Thank you very much Vladan Jovic. The CSS code worked for me.

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  • Justin Conway
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    is there any plans to create a way to loop through the Recent and related articles? Something like:

     

    {{#each related_articles}}

      ... explicit markup

    {{/each}}

     

    That way we wouldn't necessarily have to adhere to the generated markup? We're noticing we have to override a lot of styles of our patterns to fit with the dynamically generated markup from the help center, but would love to be able to provide our own markup.

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  • Jessie Schutz
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    Hey Justin!

    I'm not sure I 100% understand what you're asking here. Could you go into more detail about your use case and what you want to do with your Help Center? That'll help me find an answer for you.

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