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Finding the Most Useful Sites – Web Site Develops New Ranking Algorithm

WEBWIRE develops new algorithm to rank the most useful and authoritative sites on the topic.

Search engines are failing miserably to find the most useful, authoritative sources of information for their users, according to, one of the leading credit card comparison sites online. The site recently announced the completion of a research study that measured the usefulness of web sites on the topic of credit cards. The site was looking to provide users with a single authoritative list of web pages ( ) containing the most useful and trustworthy information available on the subject of credit cards. “We try to provide our users with as much unbiased credit card information as possible,” said Robert Alan, Research Director for, “but we discovered that finding truly unbiased, highly useful, authoritative information on the topic of credit cards was surprisingly very difficult with search engines.”

According to Alan, most of the highest ranking web sites within search engine results pages are commercially oriented sites promoting or selling credit card products or credit related services. These search engine results are certainly acceptable for individuals who are shopping for credit cards or credit related services, but not for people who are merely researching the topic of credit cards or trying to gain access to objective sources of information. But in highly commercialized categories, such as credit cards and mortgages, for example, the dominance of commercially oriented web sites at the top of search engine results pages is fairly typical. “We were looking for a singular source for all of the most useful, authoritative sites in our category, but we simply couldn’t find one in the search results.”

Alan claimed that search engines have relied heavily on the concept of link popularity in order to rank the quality of a web page. Typically, a page that is linked to by many other pages is generally considered more popular or more important than other competing web pages, resulting in higher search engine rankings for that page. While search engine algorithms have been evolving and improving the quality of their results in recent years, their heavy reliance on link popularity in ranking pages remains largely intact. Search engines also have a ranking preference for older web pages that have been online for a number of years. “The search engines like web pages that are older that have lots of links,” says Alan “so even if the page is highly useful and authoritative on the topic, if the web page is new and doesn’t have many links pointing back to it, you’ll never find it in the search results.” Alan’s research team uncovered a wide range of highly useful, authoritative pages on relatively new web pages that had relatively few links. “We wanted to find a way to properly account for all of this incredible content that we discovered that would be so meaningful for our users that was buried so deep within search results pages and was almost impossible to find.”

As a result of their research ( ), Alan’s team came up with a unique solution in their efforts to find the deepest, most authoritative content on the topic. “We wound up building our own ranking algorithm,” continued Alan, “that ranked sites based primarily upon the usefulness or merit of a page’s content across 3 dimensions -- depth, authority, and objectivity.” The algorithm incorporated a number of well documented variables that are already utilized in some manner by all of the major search engines. But with Alan’s new ranking methodology, all pages are ranked primarily based upon the merit and the usefulness of the content.

Alan admits that their ranking methodology, like any other, is not full proof. But the formula produced a list of some of the most useful, credible and highly authoritative resources on the subject of credit cards available anywhere, according to Alan. “We’re confident that the results speak for themselves and we would gladly hold up the results of the study to any other done on the topic.”
For more information, tips and advice on reliable sources for credit card information, visit the company’s web site at


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