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Stemming: A basic necessity for any search engine

10 August 2021

Today, I’d like to take a look at a fundamental search functionality: stemming.

What is stemming and why is it so important?

In almost all languages, words have different variations due to tense, case, plurals etc. Take, for example, the word “scanner”. You have “scanners”, “scans” or “scanned” images, the verb “to scan” and lots more. What all these words have in common is their stem, “scan”. This stem can be accompanied by either a pre- or suffix. 

Stemming removes any pre- or suffixes and reduces the word to its root, the stem, so that words with the same stem match each other. 

The use of stemming within your onsite search engine is fundamental. Imagine you run an online fashion store, and your customer finds zero results based on a search for “handbags”, because all your products only have “handbag” in the name or product description. This would create a terrible customer experience and hurt your conversion rate. Stemming solves this problem for you. 

And the best part: stemming doesn’t require any time investment on your end. It is an integral part of the sophisticated algorithm behind the Sooqr search technology. You can just sit back and relax, while the search engine does the work for you to create a great customer experience.

Do you have questions about stemming? Or any other Sooqr features and functionalities? We love to hear from you. If you’d like help optimizing your Sooqr, you can schedule a free optimization session with our Customer Success team here.

Thanks for reading!

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