May 22, 2022

Full Text Book Chapter (Preprint): “Credibility in Web Search Engines”

The following full-text chapter (preprint) is scheduled to appear in Online Credibility and Digital Ethos: Evaluating Computer-Mediated Communication. Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2012.


Credibility in Web Search Engines


Dirk Lewandowski
Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany


via arXiv


Web search engines apply a variety of ranking signals to achieve user satisfaction, i.e., results pages that provide the best-possible results to the user. While these ranking signals implicitly consider credibility (e.g., by measuring popularity), explicit measures of credibility are not applied. In this chapter, credibility in Web search engines is discussed in a broad context: credibility as a measure for including documents in a search engine’s index, credibility as a ranking signal, credibility in the context of universal search results, and the possibility of using credibility as an explicit measure for ranking purposes. It is found that while search engines-at least to a certain extent-show credible results to their users, there is no fully integrated credibility framework for Web search engines.

Direct to Full Text (15 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.