Hi Folks -
Does anyone know of a way to dynamically populate the search input field as the user is typing with indexed keywords or phrases?
An example would be www.wikiwax.com or http://lookahead.surfwax.com/, or Googles Suggest http://www.google.com/webhp?complete=1 ?
Last edited by firewalls; 05-23-2007 at 04:11 PM.
Autosuggest search word suggestions using AJAX
This type of dynamic prompting (also called autosuggest / autocompletion) for search terms has a number of issues.
2) You need to make multiple requests to your server. So you might increase the search load on your server 10 fold. Because after each character is typed a new request is made to the server.
3) Many of our customers are of shared hosting services. Typically these servers are already running at close to full load (as this is how the hosting companies maximise profit) and response times are *slower* than your typing speed. Meaning that you would not see any dynamic population field until you stopped typing for a few seconds. Google avoids this by installing massive amounts of hardware situated close to their users.
4) We support ASP, PHP, CGI and JS. So anything we implement needs to be implemented across all these platforms. Which means it is a fair amount of work.
5) You need a good database on phrases on the server. And this is the biggest issue in our opinion. Google builds a phrases database from millions of users searches. But for a small site it might take years to build a database in this manner. Manual editing is tedious, and automatic extraction from content would pick up a lot of garbage.
6) Related to point 5). Zoom doesn't store phrases in its index. It stores individual words. So pulling out phrases to present as suggestions isn't technically easy.
Having said that, 3rd party solutions like LookAhead should work with Zoom.
[Update: July 2009] Another 3rd party solution AutoCompleter script from Digitarald can be found here,
But it doesn't really solve any of the problems above.
[Update: Dec 2009] There is also some interesting code here for PHP users. http://www.w3schools.com/php/php_ajax_livesearch.asp ]