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Our internal wiki has gathered a lot of dross over it's time. There is a lot of stuff that needs reviewing and updating/deleting which makes us hesitant pointing new starters at it lest they go down a rabbit hole following old instructions. One thought it to start a new wiki and copy/paste known good articles across. However I'm wondering if it's possible just to sink results in certain categories lower down the search ranking? We already have a {{Cleanup}} template which has been applied to some of the more out-of-date pages.

We are using SphinxSearch to index and search the wiki.

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You should probably use the new CirrusSearch extension instead. It has such a feature to (un)boost search results based on the templates they contain: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Search/CirrusSearchFeatures#boost-templates: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:CirrusSearch I know it's not what you asked but it's most likely your best option.

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