The List Tuning is the second tab in the Contextual Related Posts settings screen and provides you options that allow you to fine-tune the items in the related posts list.

Contextual Related Posts – List tuning settings

Number of posts to display

Maximum number of posts that will be displayed in the list. This option is used if you do not specify the number of posts in the widget or shortcodes.

Related posts should be newer than

This sets the cut-off period for which published posts will be displayed. e.g. setting it to 365 will show related posts that were published in the the last year. Set to 0 to disable limiting posts by date.

Order posts

Choose between sorting posts by Relevance (default option), randomly or by date (newest first).

Randomize posts

This shuffles the selected related posts. If you select to order by date in the previous option, then the related posts will first be sorted by date and the selected ones are shuffled. Does not work if Cache HTML output is enabled.

Related posts based on title and content

If unchecked, only posts titles are used. Each site is different, so toggle this option to see which setting gives you better quality related posts. Sometimes, lesser words will give more relevant results.

Limit content to be compared

This sets the maximum words of the content that will be matched. Set to 0 for no limit. Max value: 100. Only applies if you activate the above option.

Post types to include

At least one option should be selected. Select which post types you want to include in the list of posts. This field can be overridden using a comma separated list of post types when using the manual display or the shortcode.

Limit to same post type

If checked, the related posts will only be selected from the same post type of the current post.

Limit to same author

If checked, the related posts will only be selected from the same author of the current post.

Limit to same primary term

If enabled, it will only select posts from the same primary category/term. This is usually set using your SEO plugin and will default to the first category/term returned by WordPress. The plugin supports Yoast, Rank Math SEO, The SEO Framework and SEOExpress plugins that allow you to set a primary category.

Only from same

Limit the related posts to same set of category, tags and/or custom taxonomies of the current post.

Match all taxonomies

If enabled, only posts that match all the selected taxonomies will be displayed. Note that this can be highly restrictive and might even result in no posts being displayed.

Number of common terms

Enter the minimum number of common terms that have to matched before a post is considered related. Note that this can be highly restrictive and might even result in no posts being displayed.

Related Meta Keys

Enter a comma-separated list of meta keys. Posts that match the same value of the meta key are displayed before the other related posts.

Post/page IDs to exclude

Comma-separated list of IDs to exclude from the list. e.g. 188,320,500. This applies to posts, pages or any other custom post types.

Exclude Terms

The field above has an autocomplete so simply start typing in the starting letters and it will prompt you with options. This field requires a specific format as displayed by the autocomplete.

Exclude category IDs

This is a readonly field that is automatically populated based on the above input when the settings are saved. These might differ from the IDs visible in the Categories page which use the term_id. Contextual Related Posts uses the term_taxonomy_id which is unique to this taxonomy.

Disable contextual matching

Selecting this option will turn off contextual matching. This is only useful if you activate the option: “Only from same” above. Otherwise, you will end up with the same set of related posts across your site with no relevance.

Disable contextual matching ONLY on attachments and custom post types

Applies only if the previous option is checked. Selecting this option will retain contextual matching for posts and pages but disable this on any custom post types.