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Customizing Search Result List Items

Intro

Checking Links

Test Index

Test Search

Search Forms

Result Pages

Search Result Items

Maintenance & Logs

Choose the Service For You

As with the results page layout, the Search Result List Items (the pages which match the search) is familiar from your experiences with large public search engines.

Some of these services allow you to customize the elements of the items on this list, which lets you match the layout to the data you have. For example, some sites have useful URLs which give some context to the page, while others are just confusing, and should be omitted from the results

Other features may include:

  • a ranking number or graphic indicator of how well the engine thinks the page matches the search terms (this can be quite confusing).
  • a file modification date (in two-digit US date format: 09/16/99, four-digit year-first format: 1999-09-16, or some other format)
  • a file size (best in K, Kilobytes, rather than bytes)

Page Text

Most search services display some text from the matched pages, allowing searchers to learn something about the contents before they click on the link. This can come from one or more of several sources:

    • the contents of the Meta Description tag
    • matching lines: sentences which contain the search terms
    • summary text: uses a special formula designed to find the sentences which best summarize the page content
    • first useful text: avoiding navigation information by extracting text after the header tags, etc.
    • top text: text from the top of the page, including any navigation text

If you have carefully written META DESCRIPTION tag contents for each of your pages, so they'll rank well and look great in webwide search engines, you will probably want your site search to display them as well. Be sure to choose a remote search service that will show these. Otherwise, some services do a good job of extracting useful text and even highlighting the words which match the search terms.


Result List Required and Optional Features

req. = required, opt. = optional, no = not available, meta desc. is the Meta Description tag.

name URL ranking mod date file size page text match info custom results notes
Atomz opt. opt. opt. opt. opt.. meta desc. / top text; also opt. matching lines highlights match words many options  

FreeFind

req. no no no meta desc. if available, otherwise extracts first useful text no no  
Google yes no no yes hit highlighting no no Links to cached pages, similar page search
IndexMySite no rank but no score no no meta desc. if available, otherwise first 50 words of text from page no no Can change fonts, size, style and color of result items.
siteLevel opt. (no link) no opt. (4 digits, year first) opt., in K configurable: defaults to meta desc. highlights match words in extracted text can choose page text options, length, show/hide others form with checkboxes & text fields for customization.
MiniSearch no no no no meta desc. if available, otherwise blank line. no no  
MondoSearch no no opt., (choice of format) no (in secondary pages only) meta desc. if available otherwise extracts first useful text match words listed many options, within special format limits special category result format
PicoSearch opt. no no no opt. meta desc. / top text; opt. matching lines highlights match words minimal Can bring up results pages in different frame; more customizable in paid version.
NetCreations PinPoint opt. opt. opt., (2- digit US) opt., in K very short cryptic bits of text, probably attempted summary highlights match words very customizable except page text irregular page text display
SiteMiner req. req. no no extracts top text highlights match words no doesn't always show page text
Webinator req. req. no req., In K summary text "match info" link no  
name URL ranking mod date file size page text match info custom results notes

 

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