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Order of keywords important



8:25 pm on Feb 6, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Could anyone tell me what the reason is that AV has different results when you change the order of your keywords?

I tried the keywords

website promotion
promotion website

and got only one page in both resultslistings.
Any ideas?


8:48 pm on Feb 6, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

"Could anyone tell me what the reason is that AV has different results when you change the order of your keywords?"

If you look at the bottom of the serps between the Av listings and the goto listings for the "word count" you'll see that AV's using two different methods of searching. For "website promotion" their using exact matching in addition to the regular search. And with "promotion website" their just using the regular search.

"and got only one page in both resultslistings"

I didn't encounter this.....might have been a fluke....


11:39 am on Feb 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yes, interesting -
anyhow I donīt understand these results.

Four searches, and all with different results:
promotion website [altavista.com]
website promotion [altavista.com]
"website promotion" [altavista.com]
+website +promotion [altavista.com]

Might be that the technology used by AV is to difficult for me to understand - might be that AV will have four different results to present their good index.


11:59 am on Feb 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member woz is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

OK, here we go... one of my favourite subjects...

from the Alta Vista search tip [doc.altavista.com] page, or as they call it, their search cheat page, you basically have four different types of search here:-

1 - promotion website - finds either promotion or website

2 - website promotion - finds either website or promotion

3 - "website promotion" - finds the complete phrase website promotion, ie., those two words next to each other in that order.

4 - +website +promotion - finds pages that must contain website AND must contain promotion.

Numbers 1 and 2 would on the surface appear the same, but as Seth points out, there must be some syntax extraction going on that recognises number 2, 'website promotion', as a logical phrase and then gives it preference in the search.

One could question why 'promotion website' is not recognised as a logical phrase and that is because it isn't. 'Website promotion' is a phrasal verb, whereas 'promotion website' is simply an adjectival modified noun.

This used to stump me for a while until I started reading up on the search syntaxes available. You can really hone you search down with a little thought.

I rarely do a search these days without thinking first and then generally using a phrase that should be present on the types of pages I am looking for.

Lets say you are looking for a plant glossary.

* - Just typing those two words in would bring you a plethora of results probably not suited - 13,910

* - "plant glossary" would certainly narrow it down - 861

* - but "glossary of plant terms" would really give you a fine tuned result - 27!

* - Then again, "glossary of botanical plant names" would probably give you THE result, probably located in a university. Well, the result was Zero, but you get the idea.

Actually '+"plant name glossary" +botanical' gave the best result of 3 pages found, with number 2 being a university! (Ahhh, vindicated)

Try some experiments with searches and you will be amazed at how quickly you can get results without having to wade through the sloss.



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