Understanding CloudSearch

An overview of the basic principles of the add-on functioning.

Olga Tereshina avatar
Written by Olga Tereshina
Updated over a week ago

For each store connected to the CloudSearch service, we maintain an index of searchable data. First, the data is pulled from the store using the CloudSearch add-on API installed in the store. Then, on our servers, the information is indexed (specially prepared for more efficient storage and searching), after which it can be yielded as search results in response to requests coming from the search widget. That is to say, CloudSearch can find an indexed piece of data only. Using the API mentioned above, CloudSearch pulls products, pages, categories, and manufacturers (collectively referred to as "items") from your online store three times a day (every eight hours). That accounts for the 8 hours delay between the time you update information on your site and the moment this information becomes searchable via CloudSearch.

When a visitor of your store types texts in the search field, the CloudSearch widget almost instantly displays a search results list below the search field. It includes a list of suggestions (popular search queries beginning with the characters the user has typed) as well as products, categories, manufacturers, and static pages matching the search query.

The search results are sorted by relevance, with the most relevant results appearing at the top of the list.

By hovering the mouse over any item in the search results list, a user can obtain more information about the article: a fly-out panel displays a thumbnail image and a text excerpt containing the search hits. For example, you will see the product's thumbnail image, name, price, and a portion of the product description for a product.

The thumbnail images used for static pages are generated from the page screenshots:

Search hits are highlighted so the user can quickly see all occurrences of the string they have typed.

The number of suggestions and search results displayed to the customer may vary. You can define it in the widget settings. If the search returns more results than the widget can show, the link "See more results for "[search_request]" is provided at the widget's bottom. This link can access the page with all search results for the search query.

CloudSearch offers great search accuracy and flexibility: it can find words and word parts, word forms, upper or lowercase, etc. In addition, if a user makes a spelling mistake while typing a search query, CloudSearch will try to offer corrections so the user can still find what they are looking for.

The add-on provides a dashboard where the store administrator can view the store's account information for the CloudSearch service:

  • The page's central area provides CloudSearch statistics for the store, including the most popular searches that returned search results and those that produced nothing. Statistical data is available for three periods: 24 hours, 7 days, and 30 days. In addition, you can export search results to CSV.

  • The "Account Info" panel shows the CloudSearch subscription plan info.

  • The "Store catalog" panel shows the current number of items (products, categories, manufacturers, and pages).

  • The panel Search Index shows the number of currently contained items in the CloudSearch index for your store on our servers.

To open the dashboard, proceed to the "CloudSearch & CloudFilters" add-on settings page of your store Admin area (Catalog -> CloudSearch & CloudFilters).

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