Wednesday May 06, 2020 |Notes

Search-as-a-service with Algolia

For most of history, there was a scarcity of information available to individuals. Publishing and the internet has obliterated that problem and there's now an abundance of information. It's increasingly important for organizations to sort and make information deliverable to users in a customer manner that enhances user experience. Algolia make this possible for any site or app via a search-as-a-service offering.

In their own words:

Algolia is a hosted search engine, offering full-text, numerical, and faceted search, capable of delivering real-time results from the first keystroke. Algolia’s powerful API lets you quickly and seamlessly implement search within your websites and mobile applications. Our search API powers billions of queries for thousands of companies every month, delivering relevant results in under 100ms anywhere in the world.

Over the past two decades, online search has been dominated by Google. While it is possible to create custom site search engines with Google, the results are still very much in the Google style. Algolia's service is entirely different in that it's made to fit your site in a relatively unknown manner to the end user.

We are working on a new project with an Algolia implementation and have been impressed with the results thus far. It's been straightforward to setup an account and integrate via API with the Gatsby-based site. One of the best features is that results are delivered in realtime as text in entered, and it's extremely quick to respond. Other benefits include the ability to customize what fields are available for search, custom results, and insightful backend reports.

This site doesn't currently include Algolia yet. We'll likely make the move in the future on our own site - and definitely plan to implement this on new projects.

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