Site search with Algolia – improved

Here at Yoast, we’ve been using Algolia to power our site search for quite a while now. Specifically, we’re using the WP Search with Algolia plugin by WebDevStudios to index our content. And we were reasonably happy with that set up. But then we found a better way.

A few weeks ago I came up with a relatively simple improvement that actually dramatically improved the quality of our internal search results: using the number of internal links pointing to a page as a custom ranking attribute.

Algolia ranking using Yoast SEO metrics

Yoast SEO maintains a table with link metrics within your site. For every post or page, we know how many other posts or pages link to that page from within the content. On a site that has managed its internal linking well, this means that your search is very easily improved with a very reliable ranking metric. If you’ve been using our cornerstone content functionality and our internal linking suggestions, your best pages should suddenly rank easily for their important terms.

In fact: if you use our internal link metrics like this, your site search becomes a great way to see whether you’ve done your internal linking right.

The meta description & social images

On top of this new feature, we also send the meta description of the post and its social image along. While it takes a slightly more complex Algolia setup, you might be able to use this in your search result listings, as we do here on The meta description field is simply called yoast_seo_metadesc and the social image can be found in the images array, under the social key.

Get this implementation with Yoast SEO Premium 16.7

It’s so easy to improve your site search using this method that it’s almost a no-brainer. If you want to learn how to set up Algolia with our link count as a ranking factor, you’ll need a couple of things first:

Got those ready? Then you just need to follow a couple of steps to re-index and add the new custom ranking attribute we’ve made. And that’s it!

Coming up next!

4 Responses to Site search with Algolia – improved

  1. sandeep
    sandeep  • 3 years ago

    Great work, well done

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 3 years ago

      Thank you!! :)

  2. siyol1000
    siyol1000  • 3 years ago

    hello Yoast team i am facing issue on my wordpress hosted blog, i am also using yoast for last for year. my site description option not found everywhere, at the old version of toast its easily available but now how I get it, please help me or refer article or video

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 3 years ago

      Hi there! I’m not quite sure what your question is, could you elaborate on it? :)