SharePoint 2013 and the New Visual Best Bets

Last week, I had an opportunity to dive into SharePoint 2013 and the Search Query Rules for a presentation I did at TechFuse. Part of that presentation was talking about Search Query Rules. This feature in SharePoint 2013 replaces Keywords and Best Bets found in 2007 and 2010. This feature allows for organizations to target specific content based on the keywords and synonyms that are search on. This can be used for a variety of different scenarios including (for the intranet) targeted company information such as benefits enrollment. One of the best features is the ability to set a review and publishing start and end dates.

Most of the features are the same as in previous versions of SharePoint with exception to the visual best bet. In SharePoint 2010 if you had FAST installed there is a feature called visual best bet which allows you to point to an image or page stored within SharePoint. This was pretty straight forward. In SharePoint 2013 they now have a checkbox where you check to “Render the URL as a banner instead of as a hyperlink”. This replaces the Visual Best Bet.


By checking that box if your page is a web page you will receive the following associated to your best bet.


Upon looking at the item SharePoint is embedding the promoted item banner as an iFrame in the search results with a fixed width of 500 pixels x 150 pixels. That does not render well and is a problem in my opinion. Based on this information if you were to use an image and create a secondary promoted item you would have to crop that image and get it to be just right.

Another innovation within SharePoint 2013 is something called Image Renditions. SharePoint allows any image that is added into the environment and has a content type of an image the ability to render different versions. For example:


Out of the box options for Image Renditions include:

  • Display Template Pictures 3 Lines: 100 x 100 pixels
  • Display Template Video: 120 x 60 pixels
  • Display Template Picture on Top: 304 x 100 pixels
  • Display Template Large Picture: 468 x 220 pixels

Also, when you are in Image Renditions for a specific image you have the capability of adjusting the picture to focus on a specific part of the image.

Based on this new feature we can have some fun with Promoted Items and Image Renditions.

    1. Create a new Image Rendition by going to Settings > Site Settings > Look and Feel section > Image Renditions
    2. Click on Add new item just above the existing Image Renditions
    3. Give a name such as “Promoted Result” and give a Width of 500 and Height of 150 and Save


  • Navigate to a Media Library within the site collection and add an image
  • After upload hover over the image and click on the More ellipses (. . . ) to access the image menu
  • Choose Edit Renditions
  • Adjust the focus of the image by finding the new Promoted Result image rendition and click on “Click to change”
  • Once completed then copy the URL, which now includes RenditionID syntax “http://~CorporateHero.jpg?RenditionID=5”
  • Go into Search Query Result found in Site Settings > Site Collection Administration > Search Query Rules and use the copied URL

Once completed you should see the results immediately when searching.


Personally I love the Image Renditions feature and plan on using it for other day to day activities within SharePoint 2013. Enjoy!

<Update June 4, 2013>

Keep in mind when working with SharePoint there seems to always be a catch. The catch here is that publishing features need to be enabled for image renditions to work. You will also need to enable Blob Caching in order for the feature to be available. Here is a post by Tony Phillips that describes that process:




2 thoughts on “SharePoint 2013 and the New Visual Best Bets

  1. Derek Campanile says:

    would have saved me an extra 30 minutes of research if it was mentioned in this article that Server Publishing Infrastructure needs to be activated in order for this feature to be available

    • talesfromitside says:

      My apologies. Typically with most of the SharePoint features there usually is some catch. In almost all scenarios we utilize publishing features turned on because of this fact. Thanks for the catch and I will make mention of that in the blog post.

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