Blacklisting products globally
Sometimes, you may want to hide specific products from appearing in certain search queries. Merchandisers can create blacklist rules to exclude these products from search results for specific queries.
Blacklist rules come in two forms: a search term rule and a global rule. A search term rule affects only search results for specific queries. An alternative to a search term rule is a global rule, which affects all search results on the entire site, regardless of the search query.
Try it yourself
If you want to globally blacklist some of your site's products, here are the essential steps:
- Open the Ranking Configuration page: Configurations → Settings → Ranking Configurations
- Click Add Rule, or click on an existing Global Rule, which opens the Boost and Bury tool.
- Enter product queries in the search box.
- Select Blacklist from the ... menu in the upper right corner for each product that you want to blacklist.
- Click the Save button.
The steps for blacklisting products are very similar to those for boosting and burying products. Boost your first product is a walkthrough that includes detailed instructions. If you're having trouble blacklisting products, then take a look at that walkthrough for more information. Where the walkthrough tells you to boost or bury, select Blacklist instead.
Rahul responds to a product recall notice
Spiffy Tot is a retail site that sells clothes and toys for very young children. One of their products is called Bebop Factory, which is a toy that simulates a jazz band. The manufacturers issued a recall of the toy because of a choking hazard. Rahul is a digital merchandiser for Spiffy Tot. To respond to the recall notice, he removes the Bebop Factory toy from Spiffy Tot's product feed, which prevents the recalled toy from appearing in search results the next day when Spiffy Tot delivers its daily product feed.
In the meantime, Rahul doesn't want his site's customers to find the product in search results. To bridge the period of time between now and the next product feed delivery, he sets a global blacklist rule that prevents Bebop Factory from showing up in any search results, regardless of the query.
He starts by opening the Ranking page, then clicking the Add Rule button. From here, he can add a rule that will affect all pages, category pages only or search pages only. In this case, Rahul would choose to affect only search pages. He then, searches for Bebop Factory in the search query box. When he finds it, he blacklists it from the product's ... menu in the upper right corner. He saves his new global blacklist rule and effective immediately, none of Spiffy Tot's customers can see Bebop Factory in any search results on the site.
Why does Rahul both remove Bebop Factory from the product feed and create a global blacklist rule?
Spiffy Tot generates and delivers a daily product feed, which is a version of the company's product catalog, configured to work with Bloomreach technology. Because this feed is delivered daily, there's a gap between the time when Rahul removes the toy from Spiffy Tot's product feed and when that feed is delivered the next day. Rahul chooses to create his global blacklist rule to prevent customers from an annoying site experience. He doesn't want customers to see the product in search results, but be unable to purchase it. Furthermore, that unsellable product's presence in search results wastes valuable customer attention: instead of seeing a product that isn't for sale, customers see only products that Spiffy Tot can sell.
If there's a global blacklist rule, is it necessary to remove Bebop Factory from the product feed at all?
No, Rahul can choose to create the global blacklist rule against the recalled toy, but leave the toy in the product feed. Rahul decides to do both because he wasn't sure if Bebop Factory's manufacturer intended to redesign the product and begin distributing it again.
Rahul deletes the global rule
A few months later, Spiffy Tot receives new Bebop Factory toys that don't present a choking hazard. The site no longer needs Rahul's blacklist rule.
Rahul adds the toy back into Spiffy Tot's daily product feed and removes the global blacklist rule. Again, he starts by opening the Ranking page, then clicking the Set Global Rule button. While he can search for Bebop Factory in the search query box, Spiffy Tot has only a few global rules. He sees Bebop Factory in the Changes view. He clicks Bebop Factory's ... menu and clicks Restore to clear the blacklist.
As soon as he saves his changes, Bebop Factory is no longer blacklisted. After Spiffy Tot's next daily product feed delivery, customers can see the toy in relevant search results.
Multi-site: Blacklisting a product across a set or all versions of your site
If your site has different versions that have the same structure and similar product catalog for different regions, languages, or brands, we call this "Multi-site". For example, if you have a site that has a version for English and another version for French, then you have a multi-site.
As a merchandiser, you can manage multiple versions of your site in the Bloomreach Dashboard. You accomplish your tasks in the same way as for single-version sites, but with a few choices that single sites don't have. These choices let you propagate your merchandising changes across all site versions or a set of versions. You keep the flexibility of overwriting changes at the site-specific level.
Let's take a look at some example scenarios. You can use these scenarios to make merchandising changes that go beyond these scenarios.
Create a global blacklist rule
Molly is a merchandiser at Shoe-In, a retail site that sells shoes through many versions of the Shoe-In site. The site has different versions for languages as well as for major product lines. Molly wants to globally blacklist a shoe called Purple Spots from all search results. She wants this blacklist rule to apply to all versions of the Shoe-In site.
She starts by selecting the global Shoe-In site from the dropdown list in the upper right corner of the Bloomreach Dashboard. The global site is at the top of the list.
She opens the Ranking Configuration page.
She clicks the Add Rule button and selects Global Search Ranking Rule, then continues creating her blacklist rule the same way as for a single-version site. When she's done, her new global search blacklist rule applies to all versions of the Shoe-In site. Multi-site Management has more information about blacklisting.