How does ranking of search results work?


Kunskapsdatabasen, Introduktion, Sökning

SiteSeeker ranks the documents for each search query
to make sure the most relevant documents are at the top of the results list.

SiteSeeker will use many different parameters, or signals, when ranking the search results. Among these are an analysis of the search terms'' occurrence in and relative to the documents, the website's link structure, the modification date of the documents and the bias settings in Admin. Here follows a description in detail.

The search terms occurrence in and relative to the documents

For each search query, the degree of importance of the document is combined with a value depending on to which degree the terms of the search query are present in and relative to the document. The value increases if the search terms are occurring

  • in the title of the document
  • in a headline
  • early in the document
  • often in the body text
  • in the URL of the document
  • among the keywords and meta description of the document
  • within other (possible externally) metadata for the document, or
  • in a link text which refers to the document

How close the terms are relative to each other in the text is also taken into account when a search query contains more than one search term. This element is crucial for the search results.

Note that synonyms to words in the above mentioned contexts are factored in. You can configure synonyms and their ranking in SiteSeeker Admin.

Analysis of the website link structure

By analysing the link structure of the indexed websites, SiteSeeker can estimate how "important" each document is. A simplified description of how the degree of importance is calculated is that the more a document is linked to, the more important it is.

Modification date of the document

The modification date influences the importance of a document. Newer documents score a higher value than older documents.

Bias settings in Admin

The importance value which is calculated from link analysis and modification date can also be adjusted by the administrator of the search engine in SiteSeeker Admin. The value can be lowered or raised for web servers, catalogues, individual documents and different document types.

Test and improve

If you do an exhaustive search with * in all indexed documents (or all documents within a certain category, in a certain language, etc.), you receive the ranking of the documents with only the last three out of the four parameters in total. When you do a "normal" search with one or several words, the first parameter will also influence the ranking.

By optimising the website for SiteSeeker, for example by highlighting navigational text, can lead to a big improvement of the ranking for certain search queries. Read more here on how you can influence the ranking.