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Received citations as a main SEO factor of Google Scholar results ranking

Cristòfol Rovira, Frederic Guerrero-Solé, Lluís Codina


The aim of this article is to analyze the web positioning factors that can influence the order, by relevance, in Google Scholar and the subsequent evaluation of the importance of received citations in this ordering process. The methodology of reverse engineering was applied, in which a comparison was made between the Google Scholar ranking and another ranking consisting of only the number of citations received by documents. This investigation was conducted employing four types of searches without the use of keywords: by publication, year, author, and “cited by”. The results were matched in the four samples with correlation coefficients between the two highest rankings, which exceeded 0.9. The present study demonstrates more clearly than in previous research how citations are the most relevant off-page feature in the ranking of search results on Google Scholar. The other features have minimal influence. This information provides a solid basis for the academic search engine optimization (ASEO) discipline. We also developed a new analysis procedure for isolating off-page features that might be of practical use in forthcoming investigations.

Palabras clave

ASEO; SEO; Reverse engineering; Citations; Google Scholar; Indicators; Rankings; Algorithms; Academic search engines.

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