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DocSearch configurations

This is the repository hosting the public DocSearch configurations.

DocSearch is composed of 3 different projects:

If you want to run your own DocSearch instance on those configuration files, please get familiar with the scraper setup guidelines.


The DocSearch scraper will use a configuration file specifying:

  • the Algolia index name that will store the records resulting from the crawling
  • the URLs it needs to crawl
  • the URLs it shoudn't crawl
  • the (hierarchical) CSS selectors to use to extract the relevant content from your webpages
  • the CSS selectors to skip
  • additional options you might provide to fine-tune the scraping

How it works

Once you run the DocSearch scraper on a specific configuration, it will:

  • crawl all the URLs you specified
  • follow all the links mentioned in the page, and continue the crawling there
  • stop the crawl as soon as you've reached a URL that is not specified in your configuration
  • extract the content of every single crawled page following the logic you defined using the CSS selectors
  • push the resulting records to the Algolia index you configured

Configuration format

A configuration file looks like:

    "index_name": "stripe",
    "start_urls": [
    "stop_urls": [
    "selectors": {
      "lvl0": "#content header h1",
      "lvl1": "#content article h1",
      "lvl2": "#content section h3",
      "lvl3": "#content section h4",
      "lvl4": "#content section h5",
      "lvl5": "#content section h6",
      "text": "#content header p,#content section p,#content section ol"
    "selectors_exclude": [
    // additional options



Name of the Algolia index where all the data will be pushed. If the PREFIX environment variable is defined, it will be prefixed with it.



You can pass either a string or an array of urls. The crawler will go to each page in order, following every link it finds on the page. It will only stop if the domain is outside of the allowed_domains or if the link is blacklisted in stop_urls. Strings will be considered as regex.

Note that it currently does not follow 301 redirects.



This object contains all the CSS selectors that will be used to create the record hierarchy. It contains 6 levels (lvl0, lvl1, lvl2, lvl3, lvl4, lvl5) and text. You should fill at least the three first levels for better relevance.

A default config would be to target the page title or h1 as lvl0, the h2 as lvl1 and h3 as lvl2. text is usually any p of text.

Global selectors

It's possible to make a selector global which mean that all records for the page will have this value. This is useful when you have a title that in right sidebar because the sidebar is after the content on dom.

"selectors": {
  "lvl0": {
    "selector": "#content header h1",
    "global": true

Xpath selector

By default selector are considered css selectors but you can specify that a selector is an xpath one. This is useful when you want to do more complex selection like selecting the parent of a node.

"selectors": {
  "lvl0": {
    "selector": "//li[@class=\"chapter active done\"]/../../a",
    "type": "xpath"

Default value

You have the possibility to add a default value. If the given selector doesn't match anything in a page then for each record the default value will be set

"selectors": {
  "lvl0": {
    "selector": "#content article h1",
    "default_value": "Documentation"

Strip Chars

You can override the default strip_chars per level

"selectors": {
  "lvl0": {
    "selector": "#content article h1",
    "strip_chars": " .,;:"


You can pass an array of strings. This is the whitelist of domains the crawler will scan. If a link targets a page that is not in the whitelist, the crawler will not follow it.

Default is the domain of the first element in the start_urls


This is the blacklist of urls on which the crawler should stop. If a link in a crawled webpage targets one the elements in the stop_urls list, the crawler will not follow the link.

Note that you can use regexps as well as plain urls.

Note: It is sometimes needed to add http://www.example.com/index.html pages to the stop_urls list if you set http://www.example.com as a start_urls, to avoid duplicated content.


By default, the selectors search is applied page-wide. If there are some parts of the page that you do not want to include (like a header, sidebar or footer), you can add them to the selectors_exclude key.


This object is any custom Algolia settings you would like to pass to the index settings.


Lets you define the minimum level at which you want records to be indexed. For example, with a min_indexed_level: 1, you will only index records that have at least a lvl1 field.

This is especially useful when the documentation is split into several pages, but all pages duplicates the main title (see [this issue][1]).


The HTML code that we crawl is sometimes generated using Javascript. In those cases, the js_render option must be set to true. It will enable our internal proxy (Selenium) to render pages before crawling them.

This parameter is optional and is set to false by default.


The js_wait parameter lets you change the default waiting time to render the webpage with the Selenium proxy.

This parameter is optional and is set to 0s by default.


The use_anchors is need to be set to True for javascript doc when the hash is used to route the query. Internally this will disable the canonicalize feature that is removing the hash from the url.

This parameter is optional and is set to False by default.


A list of character to remove from the text that is indexed.

Default is ": " .,;:§¶"


Default if false


Default if false


Default if false


The number of object that should be indexed. Only used by the checker.

Default is 0.

Possible issues

Duplicated content

It could happen that the crawled website returned duplicated data. Most of the time, this is because the crawled pages got the same urls with two different schemes.

If we have URLs like http://website.com/page and http://website.com/page/ (notice the second one ending with /), the scrapper will consider them as different. This can be fixed by adding a regex to the stop_urls in the config.json:

"stop_urls": [

In this attribute, you can also list the pages you want to skip:

"stop_urls": [


The scraper will also consider pages with anchors as different pages. Make sure you remove any hashsign from the urls you put in the stop & start URLs:


"stop_urls": [


"stop_urls": [

Or :

"stop_urls": [