There is however an interesting tool hidden inside SharePoint which outlines the rankdetails calculation which I found in Explain rank in SharePoint 2013 search. SharePoint 2013 contains a built-in application page called /_layouts/15/explainrank.aspx which accepts two mandatory parameters:
- q – which contains the query
- d – which specifies the path of the item for which you want to see the rankdetail
For a deep dive explanation of all the fine details of search ranking you should definitely take a look at customizing ranking models to improve search relevance in SharePoint 2013. On a very high level relevance is determined by two different types of parameters:
- Dynamic ranking: ranking parameters linked to the search term which is being used
- Static ranking: ranking parameters which are being applied independent of the search query which is being used. When you look at the standard ranking algorithm being used when doing a content search – the following static parameters are taken into account:
- Clickdistance : number of clicks between an authoritative page and items in the index.
- QueryLogClicks, QueryLogSkips and LastClicks : use click through behavior to see if results are considered relevant by users
- EventRate : activity tracking of usage events (clicks or view) – items with high usage activity get a higher activity rank score than less popular items. This is activity on items in SharePoint outside of the search pages.
- URLDepth : documents which have a longer URL are considered to be less relevant
- InternalFileType – SharePoint 2013 prioritizes some files differently based on the file type – this is the current ranking (PPT,DOC,HTML,ListItem,Image,Message, XLS,TXT,XML). The most signifcant difference with 2010 is the fact that PowerPoint get a relatively higher weight in 2013 and Excel lower.
- Language – some languages seem to be favoured – I’m still looking into the details of this
- Understanding item ranking in SharePoint 2013 search
- Customizing ranking models to improve search relevance in SharePoint 2013
- Explain rank in SharePoint 2013 search
- Changing the ranking of search results in SharePoint 2013
- Overview of analytics processing in SharePoint 2013
- How SharePoint 2013 ranking models work
- SharePoint 2013 Search ranking and relevancy Part 1: Let’s compare to FS14