Search Engines, Portals (08-710)

In this course, students learn how web-based search engines work, and use that knowledge to very significantly increase the search-results ranking of one of ebConsultants retail client's web sites. The client's existing website is problematic because it does not appear anywhere near the top of the ranked listing in search engine results. Students are asked to experiment with the web site, learn how search engines rank pages, and use their new knowledge to make concrete operational recommendations for designing and wording the site’s catalog pages to maximize search-engine visibility. In the process, students learn to use search optimization techniques and modify a baseline site to yield optimum search visibility. The techniques learned include the vector-space model for encoding web pages, query-to-page similarity metrics used by search engines, other typical factors in the ranking algorithms, and how to use this knowledge effectively to change the HTML structure and content of an eBusiness web site to maximize probability of ranking highly for typical query sets.