Category page results

I love that Algolia includes category pages as results in autocomplete, it’s why I’m using the plugin. However, it would be great to have a bit more flexibility in the plugin. For example, how about using the category title instead of the label in the results? And showing the photo if the category has one.

For me that takes a page like http://www.reversewinesnob.com/search/label/malbec/ and instead of just showing a autocomplete result of “Malbec” with a little tag next to it, it would say “The Best Malbec Under $20 - The Reverse Wine Snob Picks!” with the accompanying photo from the page.

In addition, while the autocomplete results show the category pages, I’m not able to get the normal search results to do the same. I haven’t spent a lot of time on this since the question above is important to get done first, so it could very well be user error on my part.

Hi @jon,

Could you tell how you currently attach a picture to your categories?

Regarding displaying the categories as part of the instantsearch results page, this is currently not an easy process given that we only display post types, not taxonomies.

If you want to achieve that you would have to do a lot of customizations. Following this guide would be a first step: https://community.algolia.com/wordpress/customize-search-page.html

I’m very interested in the use case though. Could you tell me more about why you would want to include the categories as part of the search results?

I’m not sure if this is a function of a recent wordpress update or if it comes through Yoast but I have a post editor for each category page just like any other post. The photo is put in there and then Yoast adds it to the open graph info for the page.

Unfortunately those customizations are beyond me technically.

The use case follows the idea that category pages should rank above your post pages in SEO, that carries over to on site search as well. (This gives the basics: https://yoast.com/category-seo/). For a site like mine where each post is a review of an individual wine it’s pretty easy to see how this is much more user friendly for a visitor. If they type Cabernet in the search box they’ll get 100+ results of individual wines. It’s much better to go to the category page which gives some introductory information and then they can easily browse through the results from there. Make sense?

Thanks

Just following up on this. The most urgent concern here would be the ability to show the Category Title instead of just the category label in the autocomplete results. I would think this would be welcomed by many if it was an option in the plugin. Category labels tend to be short, usually only one word. The category title is usually more descriptive which would work better in the search results. Thoughts?

Just following up to see if this is something that could be added to the plugin…

Hi @jon,

Thanks a lot for your feedback on this, valuable.
The current autocomplete dropdown feature currently falls a bit short in terms of features, and we definitely want to move forward and offer a solution that is more aligned with our users expectations.

We started auditing our users to better understand their needs regarding the autocomplete dropdown experience.

Would you mind answering a few questions:

  • What are currently the different content types you are displaying in the dropdown?
  • In terms of relevancy, for each content type, what do you want your users to be able to search on? (title, excerpt, full content, other?)
  • What are you missing in the current plugin regarding the autocomplete experience (you already gave some inputs in this thread but feel free to add more)
  • What are the plugins you feel like we should support out of the box?
  • When you installed the plugin, did you have trouble understanding how to get it setup?
  • Do you have anything else in mind that you would love to have for the autocomplete?

We will make sure that as a follow up of the feedback gathering we quickly move forward next month.

Thanks a lot for your support and patience.

What are currently the different content types you are displaying in the dropdown?
Categories, posts and pages.

In terms of relevancy, for each content type, what do you want your users to be able to search on? (title, excerpt, full content, other?)
For categories, it’s mainly title although not just the category label but the actual title. For posts and pages, title and full content.

What are you missing in the current plugin regarding the autocomplete experience (you already gave some inputs in this thread but feel free to add more)
Category title, category photo, category and post meta description.

What are the plugins you feel like we should support out of the box?
I don’t use any others with search.

When you installed the plugin, did you have trouble understanding how to get it setup?
Yes – I was never able to get the Algolia search page to work. As soon as I index searchable posts I lose all posts in the autocomplete results and would only receive categories and page results there. I gave up and only use the autocomplete portion.

Do you have anything else in mind that you would love to have for the autocomplete?
It would be nice to be able to pin certain results to the top if specific words are included in the search. For example, pin the “Merlot” category page to the top if the word “Merlot” is used in the search at all. Today it does not always return as a result depending on what other words are included.

Thanks