Re: [htdig] same page, different ranking?

Subject: Re: [htdig] same page, different ranking?
From: David Adams (
Date: Fri Jul 28 2000 - 06:03:22 PDT

Quoting Mike Lewis <>:

> Hi,
> I've installed Htdig to test it for use on our site (we currently run
> Netscape Enterprise server and I don't like the built-in search).
> I have a problem. If I search for the word 'john' (boss' name) at
> the top two pages found are boss' home page -
> but one gets 4 'stars' while the other gets only 1. The same result for a
> considerable number of other searches ('marc', 'paul', 'simon').
> I've had a look through the list archive but can't find an answer. Can
> anyone suggest why this might be happening?
> Thanks,
> Mike
> --
> Systems Administrator, Knowledge Media Institute (KMi)
> The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA UK
> Work: +44 (0) 1908 652832 Mobile: +44 (0) 7990 536490

The one page with two URL's, yes?

Then the answer must be in the "description_factor". To quote the manual:

"Plain old "descriptions" are the text of a link pointing to a document. This
factor gives weight to the words of these descriptions of the document. Not
surprisingly, these can be pretty accurate summaries of a document's content."

The word "john" probably occurs in links to, but not in links to

To test this theory add to your configuration file:

description_factor: 0

and rebuild your index from scratch.

You might wish to consider whether to keep

description_factor: 0

permanently. It's what we do.

Also I would suggest you attempt to sort out the mess of having one page with
two URLs, though perhaps that is easier said than done.

David Adams
Computing Services
Southampton University

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