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Visual Best Bets in SharePoint 2010 without FAST

Using visual best bets is a very simple way to make your best bets stand out, if you don’t have Fast Server setup on your SharePoint environment this is not available out of the box. If you have FAST this is a good article on how to setup visual best bets.  For those of us without FAST here is how I did it.

To show best bests on the search results page you will either need to use a search center or create a custom search page and add the best bets web part to it. Here is what best bets look like out of the box.

SharePoint 2010 Visual Best Bets

Visual Best Bets without FAST

  1. Put the page in edit mode and then edit the best bets web part
  2. Click on the XSL Editor button
    SharePoint Edit XSl Button
  3. You can either or the little editor window or copy the code into an editor like Dreamweaver or Notepad
  4. On line 45 you will see this code
    <xsl:value-of select="Description"/>
  5. We are going to change the code to render the description field as HTML and not just plain text. Change the code on line 45 to this:
    <xsl:value-of disable-output-escaping="yes" select="Description"/>
  6. Save the changes to the web part and save the page.
  7. Now we need to setup our best bets to show images. If you dont already have best bets setup you can follow the steps outlined here
  8. Once you have a best bet setup edit it and in the description use HTML to show the image you want to display.
    <img src="URLofImage" alt="description of image"/>

    SharePoint 2010 search best bets setup

  9. Save the best bet and run a test search.

SharePoint 2010 Search best bets with images and no FAST

Visual best bets not only look better than the other results but can allow you to show more detailed information about the result without them having to click. Using this same solution you could include other HTML to show multiple image, the top pages from a site or other information useful to the person searching.

davecavins

Dave is a SharePoint developer and graphic designer based in the DC area.

3 thoughts on “Visual Best Bets in SharePoint 2010 without FAST

  1. How can you change the best bet web part xsl so that it doesn’t display the key word and the key word’s description as the first best bet result? This is useless and hogs real estate.

    1. @Mary If you edit the web part and remove this line it will remove the description
      you should see a similar line for the title as well that can be removed.

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