Algolia search widget in fontawesome

Developer Markepear testimonials

Classic widget PLG loop.

Algolia really crashed it with these. Here is how they made it so successful.

Some time ago I did some research on Algolia marketing looking for gems. Found quite a few as they are truly amazing at this.

One angle that is bringing a lot of traffic to their site is that classic PLG widget.

So what they did is:

  • They gave away their search box for free (under conditions)
  • They made sure that folks who do get it for free have some (ideally a lot of) overlap with their target audience.
  • People who added that search box got the branded "Powered by Algolia" version of it
  • Some devs who used the sites with the Algolia search box liked the search and went to their site
  • Some of them started using it and spreading the word further

And the sites that brought the most traffic were:

  • Hacker News search (that is not exactly the widget but a standalone site)
  • Fontawesome (site with fonts for devs)
  • Open-source documentation sites (they give away free docsearch to OS projects)
  • SteamDB (gaming site)

I love this tactic as it aligns:

  • the value their product provides
  • the value that site users get
  • the value that the company gets from developers finding out about it

Win Win Win

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