Automattic this month released a new instant search prototype on Jetpack, available for Jetpack Professional plans. This is an experiment, and Automattic is collecting feedback before the feature is made available to everyone.
According to Automattic, instant search and filtering is available from anywhere on the site, so the page does not need to be reloaded in order to search and filter the content on the site.
The searches go directly from the end user’s browser to the WordPress.com API, and speeds to display results are 150-250ms in Denver and 450-550ms in New Zealand.
If a visitor searches for a word that is not on the site or misspells a word while searching, the system tries to correct the word so that the visitor’s query gets results.
Words that match the search terms are highlighted so that visitors can identify why a result matched.
Recent comments are searchable, and Autommatic says there is an improved search algorith, using post views (via Jetpack Stats) for ranking.
According to Autommatic, anonymized click tracking will allow an A/B test algorithm improvements over time.
The new instant search prototype integrates with a site’s existing theme, even though it bypasses search.php.