& / = / ? in blacklist exclusions

In our search instance we have quite a few pages that contain some parameters for returning to a product page. As an example a category page might exist of /category with an identical page that contained a link for "return to {PRODUCT NAME}" that is pulled off of a URL param similar to /category?li=12345&pi=987654.

I made an exclusion for these as they provide very little value to a search user as a rule to exclude content that contains &pi=. However on recrawl it seems that the exclusion rule excluded everything containing pi and ignored the & and = in the rule which lead to a TON of unintended exclusions. Is this expected behavior? Is there a workaround for this?

Hey Seth,

Sorry for the delay. I'm going to reach out to somebody who knows how this should be working. It's possible you may need to use a match regex rule instead of the usual contain rule in order to work with special characters, but I'll confirm.


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Hi @shoveland,

I tried the replicate this with my own setup and I didn't get the same results. For me, only URLs with &pi= were excluded and other URLs containing just pi stuck around in the engine.

I would suggest writing into the Elastic Site Search/Swiftype Support team. With more information about your account, we'll be able to better dig into your specific issue.

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful!