Zoom Search Engine - How to improve your search results

Zoom displays results sorted in order of a page score system. This score or ranking is calculated based on a number of factors to determine the relevancy of a page to a user's search terms. These factors include:

  • The number of times the searched term appears on that page.
  • The number of search terms that appears on the page.
  • The individual words that form part of an 'exact phrase' query.
  • The density of the words on the page.
  • Relevant ALT tag text and link text
  • The page depth. If the page is a deep page or top level page (URL length)
  • Whether the word appears in the title, meta description, meta keywords, header tags part of the page or in the file name.

The page score can be further affected by additional parameters which vary the weighting given to certain words. These parameters are explained further below.

Search Engine Ranking Algorithm diagram

How do I make some pages appear higher up in the search results?

First of all, you should consider why these pages have not been considered as relevant as the other results.

One reason may be because the term you're searching for is very common across the site, but it only appears in the title and description of the more relevant page. In which case, you should use the Word boosting method to give priority to these parts of the page.

Another reason may be because it is being overshadowed by a larger file where the word appears many times, in which case, you should consider using the Page boosting method described below to decrease the importance of that large file. Alternatively you can page boost the smaller file which is considered more important.

If you wish to force certain pages to appear at the top of the results for some keywords or search phrases, you can do this by creating Recommended Links.

Word boosting

You can increase or decrease the importance of certain words, depending on where they were found on the page. This allows you to give priority to pages (placing it higher up in the search results), if the searched word was found within the following:

  • Title of the page
  • Meta description of the page
  • Meta keywords or ZOOMWORDS tag of the page
  • Headings of the page (ie. within <H1> and <H2> tags)
  • Filename

The boosting can be specified between 10 levels, ranging from -5 Deboost to +5 Boost. For example, if the Title is set to have a word weighting of "+2 Boost", then each word that appears within the page title would be considered as if they appeared twice.

You can also specify an adjustment method for Content density. This is an automatic weighting adjustment that is made by the Indexer, based on the word density of the page. With "Standard adjustment", the weighting of words found in a large file (such as a 50+ page PDF document) will be lowered so as to prevent such files from swamping the results and always considered the most relevant. This will effectively give preference to small and medium sized documents. "Strong adjustment" provides an even greater level of scaling, and "No adjustment" would disable this feature so that all files are treated equally.

Page boosting

You can also specify the importance of all words found on a specific page by the use of a ZOOMPAGEBOOST meta tag. For example,

<meta name="ZOOMPAGEBOOST" content="5">

Putting the above tag in the most important page of your site will make it appear higher up in your search results. You can probably use less than 5 to do the same thing on a small site. Similarly, a negative value (from -1 to -5) would decrease the importance of words on that page.

Site or domain boosting (spider mode only)

Similar to page boosting, you can apply a boost to an entire domain or website by specifying a weighting for that start point.

Under "Start options" in Spider Mode, click on the "More" button. Then select the start point you wish to change the weighting for and click "Edit". On the window that appears, there will be a dropdown option to change the weighting for that particular start point. A higher value will increase the preference for pages from this site, while a lower value will decrease the preference.

Domain diversity

When enabled, Zoom will ensure the first 3 results come from different domains (e.g. www.domain1.com, www.someotherdomain.com, www.thirddom.com). This can be useful for search engines indexing more than one site and you do not want one or two sites dominating the search results because it contains the most content.

Under "Search Page" in the Zoom Indexer, click on the "Ensure domain name diversity in first 3 results" checkbox.

Recommended links

You can add specific pages and links to appear at the top of your search results for certain search words or phrases. This allows you to specify the best results for specific keywords. To setup your recommended links, open the Configuration window in the Zoom Indexer and click on the "Recommended links" tab.

Other tips

  • If you have page content that appears on every page of your site, such as a navigation menu, or page footer, consider removing this duplicate content from the indexing process.
  • Give each page unique and meaningful meta keywords and description. Don't use the same meta data text on every page.
  • Use the HTML<h1> and <h2> tags for headings and make the heading text relevant to the page content. Zoom will give more importance to headings than normal text.
  • Use .desc files as required to add additional meta information and ZOOMPAGEBOOST tags to binary file types such as PDF and DOC files.
  • Use keyword stuffing with the ZOOMWORDS tag if required to increase the number of times particaular words appear on the page. e.g.
    <meta name="ZOOMWORDS" content="stock quote, symbol quote, quotes, price, stock lookup look-up look up">


Return to the Zoom Search Engine Support page.