Products :: Search AutoComplete
- Compatibility: Solr 1.3.*, 1.4.*, 3.*, 4.0
- Version: 1.2.0
"We'd developed our own SOLR AutoComplete but it wasn't good
enough for what we really wanted. We found Sematext and after
discussing the features, bought their AutoComplete/Search
product. It took very little time to integrate, even on SOLR
4.0, and with their excellent support, we soon had an
AutoComplete system second to none and our client is
delighted. They really are a great team and we have no
hesitation in recommending them and their solutions!"
-- David Quarterman, Director, Jaybase
The Search Auto-Complete module enhances the search experience
through suggest as you type
functionality built into the search form. As one starts to enter
search terms, the module detects a pause in typing and offers a
list of suggested searches. One can then easily pick one of the
suggestions or continue refining the suggestions by typing in more
of the query. In effect, Sematext
AutoComplete guides the user to the final query, making it easier
and faster for people to get to the results while minimizing the
chance or query entry errors, such as misspellings or queries that
return no results. This significantly boosts users' search
efficiency and can result in significant increases in conversions
For example, if you type "bass"
offer suggestions that include "bass fishing"
or "bass guitar"
, and even "sea bass"
is not necessarily the first word).
Similarly, if you type in only part of a word,
, Auto-Complete might
. You can choose one of the suggestions
by scrolling up or down the list with the arrow keys or mouse.
In this screenshot, taken from our search-lucene.com
can see several features of Sematext AutoComplete:
- Highlighting of the matching part of the partially entered query
- Ability to add images along with suggestions (think: product thumbnails, book/CD/DVD covers, etc.)
- Ability to group suggestions in multiple segments (e.g. suggestions book titles vs. video titles vs. author names in separate groups)
- Ability to display contextually relevant message(s) or advertisement(s) that match user input right in the AutoComplete widget
- Ability to customize the look and feel of the UI elements
You can read more over on AutoComplete with Suggestion Groups
Business Value / Benefits
- Reduces the chance of misspelled queries by guiding searchers to desired queries and reducing typing
- Improves the quality and precision of queries through guidance
- Reduces query noise by offering query selection instead of typing
- Speeds up the search-experience by reducing the need to type long queries
- Lets the business influence search choices instead of being passive observer
The module consists of the back-end and the UI components. The
back-end component runs in any servlet container (Tomcat, Jetty,
and asks the back-end for suggestions, which it then offers in the
UI. The back-end can be fed with suggestion entries from a
database, from an existing Lucene or Solr index, from a simple
text file, or anything that can print suggestion text to standard
How do you determine if Auto-Complete is a success for you? The following are some of the things to watch:
- fewer query misspellings
- fewer did you mean (DYM) requests and lower usage of DYM suggestions
- fewer zero hits searches
- lower number of searches/session metric
- lower "time on site" metric - people find what they are after faster
- happier users
- happier business department
If you do not have the means to measure search engagement and the
above search metrics, please see our Search Analytics
Q: What/who determines the suggestions?
A: You do. Suggestions in the form of phrases representing
queries to suggest are loaded in the back-end server component
and can be changed at run-time.
Q: Can this work with any kind of search solution?
A: Yes, this module is search provider agnostic. It can
be used along search powered by FAST ESP, or Endeca, or Vivisimo,
or Solr, or ...
Q: What can be customized?
A: The UI look and feel can be completely customized
(e.g. font type and color, background color), as can the typing
delay, the number of characters required before any suggestions
are offered, the number of offered suggestions, and the search
Q: How can I feed the Auto-Complete back-end?
A: The back-end service can be fed with suggestion entries
from a database, from an existing Lucene or Solr index, from a simple text file,
or anything that can print data to standard output.
Q: Is Auto-Complete language-dependent?
A: No, Auto-Complete works with suggestions in any language. It can return suggestions in Chinese, English, Spanish, Arabic, or any other language.