How to rank high in “Free Text searches”

Guidance on PropertyGuru’s “Keyword Search” or “Free Text Search”

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In this article, we dive into explaining how “Keyword search”, also known as “Free text search” works in PropertyGuru search results website.

What is “Free text search” on PropertyGuru website?

Free text search” means doing a search using the search bar (see below) without selecting from the drop-down options.

Note: Less than 5% of property seekers use “Free text search” option. Majority of the property seekers select from the drop down list which then narrows down the search results.

To rank your listing high in “Free text search” results, you first need to understand what is the unique selling points of your property are, and decide what keywords would best describe your listing. For example: Near MRT 111 Somerset, Extended Kitchen, Fully Furnished, Near Regent Secondary School, Swimming Pool. Then, have these keywords be present in your listing details; in fields such as “headline”, “listing description”, “project name” or “address”. How does “Free text search” work on PropertyGuru?

We are using the same technology used by Netflix, Google and others. Depending on the keyword(s) used by property seekers, the search engine will calculate a score for every listings based on how much its content matches the keyword being searched for. This score is called “matching score”

The listings in search results are then sorted in descending order of the matching score.

What can influence the search ranking of “Free text search”?

There are a range of factors that affect the “Free text search” ranking. Here are some important factors:

  • Presence of keywords in different listing fields such as “headline", “listing description”, “project name” or “address”.

  • Whether the keyword appears in a short title field such as "headline", which “listing description"

NOTE: Spamming or repeating keywords too many times could get your listing suspended.

Does Repost, Spotlight influence the listing’s ranking in “Free Text Searches”?

Reposted or Spotlighted listings do not have priority in ranking over regular listings in “Free text search”.

The listings in search results are ranked in descending order of the calculated matching score based on how much of the listings’ content matches the keyword that is being searched for.

An exception would be when a group of listings share the same matching score, then Boosted listings will rank above regular Reposted listings, followed by regular listings.

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