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Warwick Search ranking factors

Several factors affect ranking in relation to a particular search query. A document that contains more of the query's terms has a higher score than another document with fewer matching query terms.

For every term in a query:

  • Documents with more occurrences of a given term have higher scores than those with fewer occurrences.
  • Rarer terms (in all documents) contribute more to the total score than common terms. For example, in the query Warwick compiler, the term Warwick has less effect on a result than compiler.

Also, where you place a term in a SiteBuilder page affects results:

  • Content on the right-hand side counts half as much as centre content.
  • Terms in the page heading score much higher.
  • Terms formatted as heading 2 through 6 score higher.
  • Site roots score much higher. For example, a page located at warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/med/ scores higher than warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/med/example/, even if example/ has the same content.

For more technical information about how document scoring works, see the Lucene documentation.

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