How to implement spellchecking in a search engine
Why should you think about implementing spellchecking in your search engine?
By providing a spellchecker, search engines can increase the chances of users finding the information they seek, making the search process more efficient and effective.
What is spellchecking?
The spellchecker capability is an advanced feature of search engines that allows returning of correct suggestions even if queries are misspelt.
Today most web users are familiar with the “Did you mean… ?” feature that suggests search terms for queries with spelling errors.
This feature is particularly useful for queries with 0 results and those with few results; in fact, using terms from your index or an external dictionary to make suggestions and always return relevant results can have a major impact on meeting user needs and sales (in the case of e-commerce).
4 ways of implement spellchecking in a search engine
USING A SPELLCHECKING LIBRARY
Many programming languages have libraries (such as PySpellChecker and Lucene) that can be used to implement spellchecking in a search engine. These libraries often have built-in dictionaries and algorithms able to identify and correct spelling errors in user queries.
Using a third-party spellchecking service
There are a number of online services accessible via API that make it easy to incorporate spellchecking into the search engine.
Implementing your own spellchecking algorithm
You can decide to implement your own spellchecking algorithm, build a dictionary of correctly spelt words and use algorithms to fix possible typos that users may make; this will allow you to customize and have more control over the process.
Using a combination of the above approaches
You can implement spellchecking in your search engine using a combination of some (or even all of them) of the approaches mentioned above.
Guide on how to Implement
a spellchecker in a search engine
1. CONFIGURE THE SPELLCHECKER
The first thing to do is to configure the Spellchecker, defining how terms are stored and found in a dictionary. The dictionary of correctly spelt words can be built by manually curating a list of words or by using a pre-existing dictionary.
2. SPECIFY AN ALGORITHM
To compare the user's query to the words in the dictionary, specify an algorithm to use (such as the Levenshtein distance algorithm or Hamming distance) able to identify and suggest corrections for typos or missing letters. It should generate a list of suggestions for the user, ranked based on their similarity to the original query.
3. INTEGRATE IT INTO THE UI
The spellchecking functionality should be integrated into the search engine's user interface (to the search query), so that it will be executed when a query is made and users can easily choose the suggested corrections.
4. TEST THE SPELLCHECKING
Once the spellchecking is implemented, it should be tested to ensure its accuracy and effectiveness.
5. KEEP THE DICTIONARY UPDATED
It's important to keep the dictionary updated regularly to ensure the accuracy of the spellchecker, and to rebuild the spellchecker after making any changes to the configuration.
We can help you
in your search engine
There is ample evidence of increased user satisfaction due to improved search system usability and increased conversion rate in e-commerce sales that have implemented a spellchecker in the site’s internal search engines.
Whether you have an internal team that needs guidance on how to implement it, or you are looking for a company to implement spellchecking in your systems, Sease can find a solution to your need.
Spellchecking solutions can be highly customized and Sease’s help can ensure proper and effective implementation.
Having developed several solutions for different companies, Sease can help to integrate the new feature into your current system, avoiding the errors or problems that can occur during the implementation process, speeding up the process and reducing the overall time and cost involved.
Sease offers a mini-training course to learn more about spellcheck and find out how to implement it in Solr and Elasticsearch.
The Sease team has a great deal of experience and expertise as they have worked extensively in spellchecking services (particularly using Solr and Elasticsearch technologies), so they have the right skills to analyze whether your current configuration has been implemented correctly, find the root cause of a particular problem, or improve the performance of your spellchecker.
*The call will be a brief introduction of your issue and our services, followed by a quotation.