Algolia improves site search functionality with Search.io acquisition

by | Sep 9, 2022 | Technology

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AI-powered search API platform provider Algolia is acquiring privately held vector-search vendor Search.io in a deal being formally announced today. Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed.

Algolia has developed its own proprietary technology that enables organizations to search internal resources and websites. To date, Algolia’s technology has used a keyword-based approach for search, which benefits from artificial intelligence (AI) to help improve relevance. Search.io has developed its own system as well, though unlike Algolia’s core system, it doesn’t rely on keyword relevancy. Rather what Search.io has built is a vector database–based engine that uses AI to convert content into numerical values, where relevancy can be determined based on proximity to the next nearest number.

With its acquisition of Search.io, the goal for Algolia is to enable an even more accurate approach to site search, using the power of AI. For example, instead of just a basic search using one or two keywords like “women’s clothes,” Bernadette Nixon, CEO of Algolia, told VentureBeat that a more natural way to search would be to specify what the user wants. So she said that if her sister’s son is getting married, she would want to use a search query like “killer outfit for the mother of the bride.”

“Consumers question whether keywords are the most effective way for them to search when they’re shopping,” Nixon said. “What people want is to be able to search as they think.”

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