Guides / Getting started / How Algolia works

Algolia has many built-in features that you can configure and integrate into your search implementation. All are available out-of-the-box and don’t require any additional development.

Here’s a quick review of features that are particularly helpful for getting started with building search.

Global language support

Algolia works with many languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew, and Arabic, without any additional work. This means that both left-to-right (LTR) and right-to-left (RTL) scripts are supported.


Users misspell words, especially those using mobile devices. To prevent letting these common mistakes ruin your user’s search experience, Algolia provides robust typo-tolerance and easy ways to customize just how tolerant a search experience should be.

Highlighting and snippeting

Each search response contains one or more highlighted results, so you can show which section and words matched user queries. Highlighting will work even if users misspell a query. Similarly, it’s possible to include snippets of response information in the case of lengthier pieces of content.


The Algolia response contains matching facets based on the query and any previously selected facets. With this information, you can build an intuitive, faceted experience that allows users to understand the available refinements and helps avoid “no results” screens.


Synonyms tell the engine about sets of words and expressions that should be considered equal—for example, jacket ⇔ parka or mad ⇔ angry. You can specify various types of synonyms based on the needs of your data.

Advanced language processing

Algolia provides many language-based options for tweaking the configuration of plurals handling, stop words, optional words, prefixing behavior, and more.


Search results from location-based queries (geo-search) can contain distance information. This enables you to display nearby search results sorted by distance or constrain your search to a particular region or radius.

Multiple sorting strategies

Algolia lets you set up various sorting strategies to help your users select their preferred ranking. For example, you may allow users to sort by the most recent results or lowest price.

Grouping and deduplication

The distinct feature allows for either deduplication or grouping based on a specific “key” attribute. This lets you remove duplicate records or group sets of records (which is particularly useful for handling parent-child relationships).


Algolia’s Personalization feature creates relevance tuned specifically for each user. For example, teenagers searching for “Grand Theft Auto” might be looking for game strategies: mothers searching the same want to know if the game is appropriate for their kids. Personalization lets you “boost” results that might be subjectively more in line with a particular user’s tastes.

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