Creating content recommendation blocks

A content recommendation block displays a small number of items that are related to the current page in a "More Like This" block. Here are a couple of examples:

"More Like This" example
"More Like This" example

The Apache Solr Search module comes with a "More Like This" block already configured, with a name of More like this. You can configure this default "More Like This" block, or create additional "More Like This" blocks, using the Pages/Blocks Admin page.

To create a new "More Like This" block, click the Add search block "More Like This" link.

Add search block "More Like This"

To configure an existing "More Like This" block, click the Configure link under Operations.

Configuring a "More Like This" block

You can configure the block's title, name (the string displayed to website visitors), and the maximum number of related items to display in the block.

Configuring "More like this" block

Finding related content

You can configure which fields are matched by the search engine in determining whether items are related. Under Fields for finding related content, you can select one or more of:

  • The full rendered content (the node body)
  • Title or label
  • Path alias
  • Extra rendered content or keywords
  • Author name

In most cases, you will get the best results by selecting Title or label and All taxonomy term names.

Tuning similarity comparisons

You may find that the items returned in a "More Like This" block are not a good match for the current item. You can experiment with the settings under Advanced Configuration (in addition to the settings under Fields for finding related content) to get better matches or better performance.

  • Minimum term frequency

    A term must appear X number of times in a document before it is considered relevant for comparison.

  • Minimum document frequency

    This performance optimization feature sets the number of documents (Drupal content in this case) that have to contain similar content before comparisons can be made. This must be a minimum of two.

  • Minimum word length

    This performance optimization feature eliminates short words (such as "the" and "it") from similarity comparisons.

  • Maximum word length

    This performance optimization feature eliminates very long words (such as "supercalifragialisticexpialidocious") from similarity comparisons.

  • Maximum number of query terms

    If a content recommendation does not return any recommendations, you can either check more settings under Fields for finding related content or increase the maximum number of query terms here. This setting can affect your website performance.

Configuring filters

You can filter a "More Like This" block by content types and by additional queries.

Filtering by content types

Under Content Types, select the content types that you want to include as related items.

Filtering by additional queries

Your "More Like This" block can use queries to further filter recommendations. In the Additional Query field, enter one or more comma-separated filter queries to apply by default. Query filters use Lucene query syntax. For information about Lucene query syntax, see Apache Lucene - Query Parser Syntax.

Configuring where to display "More Like This" blocks

Just like any other Drupal block, you can configure where and how a "More Like This" block should be displayed.

  • Use Region settings to select the page regions and themes where you want a "More Like This" block to be displayed.
  • Use Visibility settings to limit the display of a "More Like This" block by page, content type, or role, or enable users to customize in their account settings whether the "More Like This" block is displayed.

Best practices for content recommendation blocks

Note the following best practices and recommendations regarding the use of recommendation blocks on your website.

Multiple recommendation blocks slow page load times

Every content recommendation block makes its own separate search query. Having multiple recommendation blocks on a node page can result in a perceivable page loading lag-time as requests are made by each block.

Page and block caching

When you use content recommendation blocks, it is advisable to enable page and block caching on your website. To enable block caching, complete the following steps:

  1. In the admin menu, select Configuration, and then click the Performance link (http://example/#overlay=admin/config/development/performance). The Performance page opens.
  2. Under Caching, select Cache blocks, and then click Save configuration.

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