Guides / Getting started / How Algolia works

Algolia has many built-in features that are easily configured and integrated into any search implementation. All are available out-of-the-box, and don’t require any extra development.

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

Global language support

Algolia works with all languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew and Arabic without any additional work required. 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, along with 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 easily show which section and words matched the user’s query. Highlighting will work even in cases where the user misspelled 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 queries based on location (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 allows you to easily set up various sorting strategies, to help your users select their preferred ranking. For example, you may choose to allow users to sort by recency or lowest price.

Grouping and deduplication

The distinct feature allows for either de-duplication or grouping based on a specific “key” attribute. This allows you to easily 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 allows you to “boost” results that might be subjectively more in line with a particular user’s tastes.

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