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2 Order of Search Results

The question remains open, in which order the retrieved sites appear. In other words: where is your presence listed in the results when a keyword of importance for you is called? Ultimately each webmaster or owner of a web presence who wants to position his site in the web, is looking for the answer - and nobody knows in the end. There are certain criteria, but it is clear that the details of the algorithm are kept secret by any search engine. This is to prevent tampering or unfair strategies because a front place in the search engines equals profit for the owner of a site.

Google has published the original calculation methodology, but the document is now already more than 10 years old. The so-called ranking algorithm has been continually modified and further developed. The objective remains; presenting as accurately as possible the retrieved pages in an order that fits to the search criteria of the surfer. Here is the original document from Google: (http://infolab.stanford.edu/~backrub/google.html9).

To get a feeling how a site is evaluated, let us share the issue into two sub-groups. One of them deals with the site itself and leads to "on page" criteria. That was, by the way, the valuation method of the very old search engines. They were looking for which words occurred in the different sections of the site - for example: in the title, the description, the headings, the normal text, etc. Depending on the placement of the keywords, the occurrences were weighted. This is still a part of todays evaluation because logically, a search term can only be positively assessed when it appears on the page. As a result, every keyword gets a so-called IR-score (IR = Information Retrieval).

The second group evaluates the "off-page" criteria. In short, it is analyzed by how often and by whom a page gets hyperlinks from other sites, and therefore is recommended, and how visitors were led from other pages to the examined site. The search engine delegates the evaluation back to the Internet community. The hyperlink structure of the World Wide Web is to determine the reputation of an evaluated page. Indirectly the other webmasters are showing how important they value your presence. This "off-page" criteria has been named by Google, “PageRank”.

Both sub-groups, IR-score and PageRank, are combined to form the relevance value for the page or the document.

Of course, there are still disadvantages of this method. For example, the quality of the referenced (linked) pages can be manipulated. Nevertheless, the quality of search results is increasing from year to year. Nowadays you can be reasonably sure that pages, providing useful information for the surfer actually will appear at the very front in the results of search engines.

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