Many MetaLocator users often want to feature certain locations in the search results based on their status. They may be a "Gold" level dealer or a "Featured" location and should be displayed at the top of the list of search results, possibly using different colors or styles. They may also be a location with the greatest sales figures. As such, there are two ways to handle prioritization. First, you can prioritize results at the category level (E.g. "Gold" dealers" or you can prioritize based on a custom field value. This second option is useful when ordering by a specific value on a per-location basis, such as annual sales.
Priority based on Category
First create a Category that will be used to classify certain locations as "Featured". We'll create a category of the same name, by clicking Categories, then New.
Provide a Name for the Category, then set "Prioritize in Search Results" to Yes as shown here:
If more than one category is set to "prioritize in search results", the system will use the Category ordering column to discern the proper ordering. This allows for multiple levels of prioritization.
Now your interface should show prioritized locations higher in the results list, as in the below example. We have set Retailers as a prioritized category. Notice Sample Location 5 appears above Sample Location 3, which is closer to the user's search, but not in the prioritized category.
Randomizing within Prioritized Categories
If a prioritized category contains multiple results, sometimes it is desirable to randomize the ordering of those prioritized results in order to equitably distribute exposure. For example, if there is a Prioritized Category called "Gold", in which top performing dealers are displayed, randomization can be introduced to avoid constantly promoting a single dealer due to other sorting.
There are two settings related to this behavior:
Randomize Prioritized Results - Select the categories which should trigger randomization of the results in those categories.
Randomize within Category Ordering - This option, when enabled, keeps results in common categories together, preserving the category ordering while still randomizing within that category.
Priority based on Custom Value
First, create a field that will contain your custom ordering value. Under fields, click New, and enter values such as those shown here:
Import your data in the usual way, including a numeric value for the Annual Sales column. Our data looks like this:
Once we have imported the data, in our Interface, we will designate the Annual Sales column as our Priority Column as found under Filter & Sort Settings.
Note that the field is entered in according to it's "safe" name, which can be found here on the bottom of the Details tab of the Annual Sales field:
See this note if using Prioritization in combination with the "Nearest" Radius.