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Search Concepts / Phrase matching

Phrase matching

Phrase matching is a language-dependent process which advanced search engines use to identify sets of words that should be treated as a cohesive unit when scanning across a search index for the most relevant documents. For example, an advanced search engine will read "Apple watch" as a single query and only return documents which feature that entire phrase, while a simple search engine will return all documents that feature the term "Apple" and all documents that feature the term "watch".

In Swiftype

Swiftype uses phrase matching to return more relevant results for multiple words queries. Phrase matching also plays a key role when searching over large amounts of content, or when a search engine has a built-in bias towards newer content (e.g. articles published recently). For example, on a typical media or news website, the search term “iPhone” will be biased to show results that were published recently higher in the result set. If the user instead types “iPhone 3”, Swiftype determines through phrase matching that the date bias is less important and returns older results first if they are specifically about the iPhone 3.