What happens when Bloomreach Dashboard users configure conflicting rules? Search quality tools are richly complex, allowing you fine control over search results. It's possible for one or more users to make broad changes that apply to multiple pages, causing conflicts. Let's review the kinds of conflicts that can develop and how these conflicts are resolved.
You can configure conflicting rules
Bloomreach tools don't generally block you from making changes that might conflict. Instead, Bloomreach follows a set logic to determine which rule to give precedence to in the case of a clear conflict. You can preview your changes to see what the final page will look like before you save those changes. This preview can show you whether your change has the effect you intend. If the preview shows you unexpected results, then your change might be in conflict with a rule that already exists.
What happens when there's a conflict?
The general guiding principle is that whenever possible, all rules are applied and respected. For example, if you have multiple boost rules, all the products matched by the rules are boosted. A product that matches multiple boosts gets a stronger boost than one that only matches one boost. Similarly, if there are multiple synonyms that can be applied to a term, all of the valid synonyms are applied.
However, there are times in which real conflicts occur. In such cases, Bloomreach resolves the conflicts through its own logic.
Product grid merchandising
Bloomreach first examines product grid merchandising rules when considering prioritization to resolve conflicts. Broadly speaking, we have two types of rules: recall and ranking.
Recall rules control what can be returned as part of the result sets. Include only and Exclude rules fall under this bucket. In addition, any Blacklisting falls under this bucket. Recall rules are always respected. That is, any product that is filtered out by any of the set Include only, Exclude or Blacklist rules are not shown in the result set.
Ranking rules are also always respected, but there is a precedence used when a product is simultaneously boosted and buried. The precedence is as follows:
- Any locking rule (e.g., Boost & Lock or Bury & Lock by PID) is respected whenever the product is present in the recall set. Examples of locking rules:
- Boost and lock
- Bury and lock by product ID
- Bury by attribute rules take the next priority.
- Boost by attribute rules take the last priority.
As such, if a product is both boosted and buried by attribute, it appears among buried products at the end of the result set. However, it's boosted among those buried products. That is, it shows up near the top of other buried products, which were not both boosted and buried.
For example, imagine that a merchandiser sets all of these rules:
- Boost and lock by product ID
- Bury for all products on sale
- Boost for all products that are new arrivals
The result follows this resolution:
- First, the boost and lock product by product ID rule.
- Then all the new arrival that are not on sale. These products are boosted and there's no bury for them.
- Then any product that is not a new arrival nor on sale.
- Then new arrivals that are also on sale.
- Finally, sale products that are not New Arrivals.
Banners and redirects
In the case of banners and redirects, when only one can be picked, Bloomreach follows a process of specificity and recency.
First, we give preference to the most specific rule. Then we give next priority to the most recent rule.
For example, let's say that Lydia has a rule that shows a particular banner on her entire site. She also has a rule that shows a different banner on her site's Shoes category page. We give precedence to her specific Shoes banner on the Shoes category page, effectively overriding the broader banner rule only for that specific page.
A few weeks later, Jake creates a new Shoes banner rule for the Shoes category page. Now there are two banners configured at the same level of specificity for the same page. Jake's rule gets precedence over Lydia's previous rule because his rule is more recent than her rule. Jake's banner is displayed on their Shoes category page.
Bloomreach applies targeting rules in the order of creation or modification. First priority goes to the most recently created or modified rule, then to the next most recently created or modified rule, and so on.
For example, let's say that Lydia creates a targeted banner rule for site visitors using a mobile device. Later, Jake creates a targeted banner rule for site visitors from Alabama. These rules each show a different banner.
Tanya is a site visitor from Alabama. She uses a mobile device. Both Lydia and Jake's targeted banner rules apply to Tanya, but Jake's rule is more recent than Lydia's rule. Bloomreach shows Tanya Jake's banner.
Now let's say that Lydia updates her targeted banner rule. Jake leaves his rule alone. When Tanya visits the site again, Bloomreach shows her Lydia's banner.
What happens if two or more people edit the same rule simultaneously?
It's possible for multiple people to edit the same rule at the same time. When that happens, the last saved changes go into effect.
For example, Nate and Lucy begin editing the same ranking rule at the same time. Nate gives a hard boost to red dresses and saves the rule. Lucy gives a soft boost to red dresses and saves the rule after Nate. Lucy's soft boost trumps Nate's hard boost.