What are Meta Filters?

What are Meta Filters?

A meta filter is a rule you create for your content to make sure you’re sharing it with the right people. With meta filters, you can ensure that certain pieces of content are presented to a only specific segments of your audience.

For example, if you want to show only new content to a new customer; you’ll simply add a meta filter to block out content more than one week old. Another example: For users reading articles from the “travel” category, you can use a meta filter to recommend content only from the “travel” category. These can be configured at query time and therefore can be changed.

Meta filters often use characteristics such as the following:

  • Creation date
  • Geographical region
  • Gender
  • Specific keywords

Smart tagging and business rules are key components of effective meta filtering. Here are some additional tips to follow:

  1. Make sure you have enough content to back up the segmentation. If you’re a sports site that caters to Utah sports fans, you probably wouldn’t want to create a filter and section specifically for Utah Jazz. There won’t be enough content in the off-season, and you’ll end up with unrelated articles for your users. A healthy amount is at least 200 unique pieces of content per filter. When you can’t reach that number consistently, you’re better off making the filter slightly more general.
  2. Set expiration dates for content. There’s a fine line between having enough fresh content and having enough content at all, but you almost always want to show users the newest stuff you have.
  3. Know your audience. (For example, it’s probably not a good idea to send an article to a user about how her rival baseball team just won a game.) Beyond simply knowing your users’ interests, it’s important that you understand their habits. Do they like to read their emails at night or in the morning? Are they likely to share your content? Will they appreciate multiple shorter emails, or one large email? Keep track of their behavior.
  4. If there’s not enough content in your filters to meet our quality standards, we’ll revert to recommending your most widely popular pieces of content. This way, your users will always have quality content to read, even if the exclusion filters you’ve set turn out to be too restrictive.
  5. If one of your filters isn’t producing the results you expected, definitely feel free to get in touch with your ZetaHub Customer Success Manager—he or she will help you get to the bottom of the issue.
Why don’t we use Global Filters instead of Meta Filters?
Global filters are more effective in keeping unnecessary content out of your mix. For example if we know that you’ll never want to recommend blacklisted content, then we should simply exclude it. You lose flexibility, but gain efficiency.
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