How do I use the custom attribute in the default search in Magento?

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We're migrating a custom site to Magento Community, and are discovering that the default search isn't that great.

Eg searching for "shirts" will not find a product called shirt.

I'm using Like, and would prefer to keep doing so. Yes we could monitor internal searches and create synonyms for them, but we would prefer to be proactive.

The old site had a specific field for search keywords, which they would prefer to keep using.

Is there a way of either: a. including an attribute by default in all searches? we would define a new attribute for all products b. or using the existing meta keywords tag as a list of keywords we would like the internal search to use?


You can change weather or not an attribute is used for searches in the admin.

catalog -> attributes -> edit

then you can enable the attribute to be used in searches.