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Re: SWISH ranking vs. AltaVista

From: Bill Moseley <moseley(at)>
Date: Sat Apr 28 2001 - 23:46:05 GMT
At 12:01 PM 04/28/01 -0700, Bill Meier wrote:
>I went to my "reference" search engine, AltaVista, and tried the same 
>search of Insulator Show and got
>Our site's insulator show calendar was the first and second item listed!!!!
>How many hundred million URL's does AltaVista have?

Two points.  You are searching your site, so I'd expect that searching for
"insulators" might turn up a lot of hits for "insulators".  Altavista has a
lot smaller portion of "insulator" pages, so I'd expect it to come up
higher.  Index one page on, say, MP3 technology on your site, and I'll bet
it will come up higher at your site than in Altavista where there's tens of
thousands of sites about MP3s.

Second, phrase searches (which means word positions) are new to swish.  So
word proximity hasn't been taken into account (as far as I know) -- yet.
Altavista probably does take that into account.  My guess it that kind of
scoring is non-trivial with complicated queries that might include a
combination of metaname, and/or phrase searches, and grouped AND, NOT, and
OR searches.

All that being said, if you have the time, take a look at the code and come
up with some good algorithms.  Open source projects can always use some
good help, and there's not doubt at all that the ranking can't be vastly
improved with swish.

Or, since altavista is open source and free, you could always use that ;)

Bill Moseley
Received on Sat Apr 28 23:47:11 2001