Synonyms are a list of words attached to a keyword. Keywords are words or phrases that you have identified as typical terms within your organization.
Keywords provide definitions for common terms that are used within your organization. Each keyword entry can also be associated with synonyms. If a term in a search query is defined with synonyms, the synonymous terms will be added to the query.
Synonyms are generally defined in order to accomplish a specific business purpose, such as:
Keywords can only be used within the site collection where they are defined. Keywords are used manually to improve the search result.
When users search for the keyword, results from all synonyms will also be displayed in the search result. When users search for a two-way synonym, results from the synonym will be displayed in addition to the results from the keyword and all other synonyms. When users search for a one way synonym, only results from the synonym will be displayed.
Query terms must match the keyword or its synonym exactly. Partial matches against the keyword or synonym will not yield results. Keywords can only be used within the site collection where they are defined.
There are two Keywords options under the Site Collection Administration in the Site Settings page:
To access the Site Settings page, navigate to your site, click Site Actions, and then click Site Settings.
When you add a keyword phrase, you can define one-way or two-way synonyms, and a keyword definition. Separate multiple synonyms with a semi-colon. Keyword definitions will take effect immediately.
To add a keyword:
If you try to define a phrase as a keyword when it is already a synonym for another keyword, you will see an error message. An Edit Keyword hyperlink to the related keyword definition is provided. You can click this link to jump to the related keyword definition and remove the synonym if appropriate.
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By David Codrington