A powerful addition a normal site search is for registered users to be able to save their searches, share the searches with others, and create customized e-mail alerts. This adds a deeper level of interactivity with the site and encourages users to regularly return to the site.
We integrated the saved search, share, and e-mail alert features into the standard search interface.
Whenever a registered user performs a search, they have the ability to attach a name to the search and save it. That way they can run the same search again in the future, and more easily compare various search results.
Users can also share results via e-mail. The recipients receive a list of articles matching the search parameters with links back to the site.
Perhaps the most intriguing feature is the e-mail alerts feature, which is similar to Google Alerts. Users can choose to turn their saved searches into alerts, meaning that whenever new content is published that matches specific search criteria, the website will send out e-mail alerts. The technical solution involves an analyzing script that queues new content and runs all of the alert searches against that queue. This adds a high level of personalization to the user experience. It scales nicely for busy sites with frequently published articles and large user bases.
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