Toggle menu

Search Ranking

When you perform a search, the iCM search engine aims to return you the most relevant results for the search term you enter. Items in the search collection are scored, and those that score highest appear further up the list of results.


The following rules are used to score a document (that could be an article, media item, or anything else that has been indexed by the search).

  1. If there are multiple terms in a search, the terms that are present in fewer documents are given more significance. So for example if someone enters "Borchester Swimming" (without quotes) as their search term on the Borchester Council website, matches on "Borchester" won't contribute much to the score because it will be on most pages on the site, whereas "Swimming" will be much more significant as it will only be on a few pages
  2. The number of times a search term appears in an article is significant - a page that references "swimming" 10 times will tend to be ranked higher than one that only mentions it once
  3. The length of the article is significant - if two articles mention swimming 5 times and one of them is 500 words and the other is 5000 words the shorter one will be preferred because it will be assumed to be more focused on that topic
  4. Matching more query terms is significant, so if someone searches "swimming pool" (no quotes) a document that mentions "swimming" once and "pool" once will be preferred over one that matches "swimming" twice
  5. Matching the terms as a phrase will increase score even if quotes aren't used in the search, so a search for "swimming pool" (no quotes) will rank a document that contains "swimming pool" higher than one that contains both words separately
  6. We apply boosting to certain fields to increase their effect on the scoring. In order from strongest to weakest boost they are: keywords, title, summary, body

Article Keywords

Keywords can be added to an article to increase its ranking for searches for those terms, and additionally an overall boost can be given to an article to influence its position in the ranking. See Article Search Optimisation for more information.

Result Highlighting

If your search term appears in the summary of a search result, the css class="icmhighlight" is applied to it. This is (generally) highlighted yellow by our website themes. In some cases the summary may not contain the search term (ie the match was in the body or some other field instead), in which case no highlight will be present.

Ellipses are used to indicate that the beginning or end of the summary has been truncated.

Last modified on 21 December 2021

Share this page

Facebook icon Twitter icon email icon


print icon