This paper investigates the influence of different page features on the ranking of search engine results. We use Google (via its API) as our testbed and analyze the result rankings for several queries of different categories using statistical methods. We reformulate the problem of learning the underlying, hidden scores as a binary classification problem. To this problem we then apply both linear and non-linear methods. In all cases, we split the data into a training set and a test set to obtain a meaningful, unbiased estimator for the quality of our predictor. Although our results clearly show that the scoring function cannot be approximated well using only the observed features, we do obtain many interesting insights along the way and discuss ways of obtaining a better estimate and main limitations in trying to do so.
CitationBifet, A.C., Castillo, C., Chirita, P.A., Weber, I. "An analysis of factors used in search engine ranking". 2005.
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