Algolia Helps You to Build Realtime Search as a Service


I’m not fussy when it comes to a good search engine, but I do expect to be able to find something exactly when I need it. My first experience with Algolia was through Hacker News, it so happens that their own search engine is run by this magnificent platform.

Algolia provides a developer-friendly SaaS API for database search. Most web services and mobile apps, such as Spotify, Salesforce or Amazon need to provide a fast and meaningful access to database objects via a simple search box. People want to find songs, invoices, products in just a few keystrokes.

I wrote a post along these lines a few months ago, it was about online web search servers that you can use to integrate within your applications, I didn’t include Algolia there – though now I feel like it deserves its very own post, for the quality has proved to be beyond anything I’ve seen before.

Algolia - The Realtime Search Platform

They’re not just changing the way we search online, they’re enabling everyone to have a great search experience, without any additional complications. I’d like to highlight some of the features of this platform, and perhaps you’ll be hooked to try it out, if not – I’ll also include some sample search engines for you to explore.

  • High-Performance by Nginx Back-end — Algolia is a realtime search engine, which means that performance is everything. Getting new data to their storage, and then quickly indexing and putting it out there can put a strain on any infrastructure. Algolia has got plenty of benchmark examples to show why they’re a great choice!
  • Dashboard — Learn about the way people are using your search engine, see what kind of queries are making it to the top, and then use that data to provide an even better user experience. The Algolia dashboard gives you a superb set of tools and features to completely change the way people search your website.
  • Database Search — A perfect solution for SQL and NoSQL databases, with a transparent ranking algorithm optimized for semi-structured data. It goes through everything, and can be ‘taught’ to search even the most complex of columns and fields within your database.
  • Mobile Optimization — Mobile is everywhere right now, and Algolia will happily help you to transform the search experience for mobiles users as well, refreshing to see that companies are adopting mobile so early of their growth period.
  • Deep Analytics — I mentioned this just above, but yes, Algolia provides you with tools to check deep analytics of things that people are searching, most clicked search categories, as well as queries that lead to results – upon which you can make the necessary changes.
  • Multi-Lingual — Forget complex linguistic settings, Algolia can search any written language. For example, searching using simplified Chinese can find matching hits in traditional Chinese. Language has always been a barrier for some webmasters and developers, not anymore.
  • World-Class Security — It wouldn’t be a search engine if there weren’t security precautions put in place. Algolia takes security seriously and provides multiple layers of protecting your search against automated attacks, or unauthorized access.

In a way, I’ve touched only the tip of the iceberg. It seems unreal to say so many good things about a product, but I strongly believe that they’ve got it nailed down as far as this niche market goes. I’m now going to wrap the post up with a couple of example search engines that you can play around with.

Vestiaire Collective

Vestiaire Collective

Here you can sample a demo of Algolia on an eCommerce website. Explore the flexibility over searching specific products, producing typing errors and more.

Best Buy Instant-Search

Best Buy Instant-Search

Great database of products that have been gathered from Best Buy, use the search engine to easily navigate categories and find the right products.

Rap Genius

Discover the Meaning of Rap Lyrics   Rap Genius

Site likes RapGenius have to deal with hundreds of thousands of search queries every day, and people not often know the exact names of songs. That is where Algolia steps in and helps to navigate database through lyric contents directly, or comments that people have left on each song.

Algolia as Realtime Search Engine

I can see a lot of potential for this company, and I hope that more of my favorite websites are going to adapt their technology, if only to make my life better once in a few times. What did you think of Algolia, and do you enjoy their search technology?


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