Save Search Notification

I am in the middle of creating a save search system on my website and I have the save search side of things working, but the problem is that I now need to run the saved searches every few hours or every day or something and alert users if a new post matching that query has been created. I have no idea how to code that side of things though. In terms of running a query automatically and periodically, do I do it by ajax or by cron? Which is more effective and less heavy on the server? Also I am looking for coding examples rather than explanations as to how it’s meant to work. I understand what way it needs to work but I just need practical examples in the form of code as to where to begin that I can edit to match my needs, any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

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