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How does the LibGuides search algorithm rank results? How are items weighted?

Last Updated: Nov 14, 2012  |  396 Views
Topics: Search

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Search ranking in LibGuides is the same if you use the search box within your LibGuides site or if you are searching on the Community site. The major difference on the Community site being that you're searching across institutions vs. just in one institution.

Weighting factors for content are the following order, with most heavily weighted first:

  1. Guide Name
  2. Guide Description
  3. Page (tab) Name
  4. Page Content: including all content on the page such as link description, book description, etc...
  5. Tags, Subject Categories & Friendly URLs are all weighted at the same level

The search engine then applies additional statistical weighting factors based on what is called a BM25 ("best match") algorithm.

All tabs for each guide have the guide name and description associated with them, so the distinguishing factors for page order within the guide results are the page name and page content. Since the "home" page in a guide has no special weighting within the index compared to other pages, it will be listed based on the relevance of the page name / content to the search terms.

Answered by Talia RichardsBookmark and Share

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