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Ranking in ODP search results - what determines it?
and does it influence other Search engine results?

10+ Year Member

Msg#: 2592 posted 12:04 am on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)


I am mystified how some sites rank higher than mine in google for my keyword "old widgets".

I have noticed that many of these sites rank highly when you search for "old widgets" in ODP. There seems to be a high correlation between google search result ranking and ODPs.

What determines the ranking of sites in the ODPs search results? Does it influence other search engines?




10+ Year Member

Msg#: 2592 posted 5:00 am on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Do you mean "ODP search on dmoz.org" or "ODP ssearch on directory.google.com"?

If you are talking about dmoz.org: I don't think the ranking influences anything. There is some rather unknown algorithm behind the search. Since it's not even completely known to the current staff members, it's highly unlikely to influence anything outside ODP. It does not influence how data is stored in the downloadable RDF file, anyway. So datta users won't be notified of the "ranking"

Iff you are talking about the google directory: Well, its sorted by PR, and PR is still known to influence rankings on Google. And maybe on other SE as well.


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 2592 posted 2:31 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

The ODP search results can't influence any search engine. They are completely self-contained.

The ODP search operates only on the data in the ODP itself: the ODP title and description and the URL. In other words it is not a proper search engine with a spider. It is purely a site search.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 2592 posted 2:54 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

ODP search is driven by an open-source text indexing program someone picked up and modified to work with the ODP RDF. Its search results order is deterministic but indeterminate. (That is, it seems to be always the same order, but there's no predicting what it is.)

It is a misnomer to call it "rank"; it takes into account whether or not all the words occur in ODP description, title, or URL -- a binary function -- and nothing else you can control. (Which is probably a good thing: otherwise, people would be submitting frivolous or malicious "URL update" requests to try to control it.)

Simple? Yes. Unsophisticated by the site-search standards of, um, seven years ago? Yes. Useful? To editors, definitely; to surfers, perhaps sometimes. Not as good as Google directory search? Um, well, OK, if you say so.


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 2592 posted 7:29 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the replies. I was talking about the order of the search results on the DMOZ sites, and from what you guys are saying it is pretty much doesn't matter.

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