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Displayed Search Results

Here are some quick answers to the most commonly asked questions about the results of a search.

Why are my search results out-of-date?
You need to re-index (respider) your site. To do this log in to the Control Center, go to the build index page page and use the index now link. When the wizard appears press the button. You will be sent an email when the new index is complete.
How is the page description determined?
When the search engine spider visits your web pages it looks for the "meta description" tag. Here's an example:
			<meta name="description" content="Frequently Asked Questions">
If the meta description tag is found the content is used as the page's description. If no description tag is found or if the description tag is a duplicate (and so is presumed to be used as a site description, not a page description), the search engine constructs a description from your headlines and the text on your page.
How are search result pages ordered (ranked)?
FreeFind counts the number of times each word is used in every one of your pages. If a word appears in a page title, headline, or meta description tag it is given additional weight by counting it extra times. The page with the highest count of your keywords is ranked highest.
Can I adjust the rank of my pages?
Yes, there are a number of ways to do this. Increasing the use of a keyword is one way. Moving a keyword to a headline also boosts how that page will rank. Additionally you can place a special search engine tag in your page. This tag should appear as follows:
			<!-- FreeFind keywords words="word1 word2 etc" count="5" -->

Where "word1 word2 etc" are the words whose weight you would like to increase, and the "count" value is the additional number of times you would like FreeFind to count these words. We recommend using as small a value for the count as possible.

(For more information on search engine HTML tags, see the HTML Tag Reference.)

How is the title of a page determined?
If a page has a standard HTML page title (as indicated by the <title> tag), then that is used. If not, the web address (URL) of the page is used.
Why are my description meta tags ignored?
This is typically due to one of two things:
  1. The "content" attribute name in your meta tag actually says "contents" (or something else that is not correct), or
  2. You have multiple identical description tags. If identical description tags are detected it is assumed that you are using them to describe your site, not each page, and so are ignored.
Why are some of my search results directories?
Usually this is due to specifying the address (URL) of a directory instead of a specific HTML file. Typically you want to specify the URL of your top-level HTML file (i.e. "home page"). The spider (indexer) will then determine all of the other HTML files linked into your site from that. If you want to just index files in a certain directory, specify the URL of an HTML file in that directory which links (either directly or indirectly) to the other HTML files that you want indexed.

It can also be caused by having a link in your site which leads to a directory instead of a page.

How can I remove the standard search panel from the search results?
You do this by adding the following HTML tag to the search panel on your site:
			<input type=hidden name=nsb>
This is documented in Hiding the Results Page Search Panel.
How can I change what is listed for each page found?
You can vary what is displayed for each page found (title/description/URL) by following the instructions in the Control Center Help.
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