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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2007

Mary L. Robinson and Judith Wusteman

To describe a small‐scale quantitative evaluation of the scholarly information search engine, Google Scholar.

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1402

Abstract

Purpose

To describe a small‐scale quantitative evaluation of the scholarly information search engine, Google Scholar.

Design/methodology/approach

Google Scholar's ability to retrieve scholarly information was compared to that of three popular search engines: Ask.com, Google and Yahoo! Test queries were presented to all four search engines and the following measures were used to compare them: precision; Vaughan's Quality of Result Ranking; relative recall; and Vaughan's Ability to Retrieve Top Ranked Pages.

Findings

Significant differences were found in the ability to retrieve top ranked pages between Ask.com and Google and between Ask.com and Google Scholar for scientific queries. No other significant differences were found between the search engines. This may be due to the relatively small sample size of eight queries. Results suggest that, for scientific queries, Google Scholar has the highest precision, relative recall and Ability to Retrieve Top Ranked Pages. However, it achieved the lowest score for these three measures for non‐scientific queries. The best overall score for all four measures was achieved by Google. Vaughan's Quality of Result Ranking found a significant correlation between Google and scientific queries.

Research limitations/implications

As with any search engine evaluation, the results pertain only to performance at the time of the study and must be considered in light of any subsequent changes in the search engine's configuration or functioning. Also, the relatively small sample size limits the scope of the study's findings.

Practical implications

These results suggest that, although Google Scholar may prove useful to those in scientific disciplines, further development is necessary if it is to be useful to the scholarly community in general.

Originality/value

This is a preliminary study in applying the accepted performance measures of precision and recall to Google Scholar. It provides information specialists and users with an objective evaluation of Google Scholar's abilities across both scientific and non‐scientific disciplines and paves the way for a larger study.

Details

Program, vol. 41 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2020

Mahdi Zeynali Tazehkandi and Mohsen Nowkarizi

The purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness of Google (as an international search engine) as well as of Parsijoo, Rismoon, and Yooz (as Persian search engines).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness of Google (as an international search engine) as well as of Parsijoo, Rismoon, and Yooz (as Persian search engines).

Design/methodology/approach

In this research, Google search engine as an international search engine, and three local ones, Parsijoo, Rismoon, and Yooz, were selected for evaluation. Likewise, 32 subject headings were selected from the Persian Subject Headings List, and then simulated work tasks were assigned based on them. A total of 192 students from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad were asked to search for the information needed for simulated work tasks in the selected search engines, and then to copy the relevant website URLs in the search form.

Findings

The findings indicated that Google, Parsijoo, Rismoon, and Yooz had a significant difference in the precision, recall, and normalized discounted cumulative gain. There was also a significant difference in the effectiveness (average of precision, recall, and NDCG) of these four search engines in the retrieval of the Persian resources.

Practical implications

Users using an efficient search engine will attain more relevant documents, and Google search engine was more efficient in retrieving the Persian resources. It is recommended to use Google as it has a more efficient search.

Originality/value

In this research, for the first time, Google has been compared with local Persian search engines considering the new approach (simulated work tasks).

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 39 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 21 April 2020

Sumeer Gul, Sabha Ali and Aabid Hussain

The purpose of this study is to assess the retrieval performance of three search engines, i.e. Google, Yahoo and Bing for navigational queries using two important…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to assess the retrieval performance of three search engines, i.e. Google, Yahoo and Bing for navigational queries using two important retrieval measures, i.e. precision and relative recall in the field of life science and biomedicine.

Design/methodology/approach

Top three search engines namely Google, Yahoo and Bing were selected on the basis of their ranking as per Alexa, an analytical tool that provides ranking of global websites. Furthermore, the scope of study was confined to those search engines having interface in English. Clarivate Analytics' Web of Science was used for the extraction of navigational queries in the field of life science and biomedicine. Navigational queries (classified as one-word, two-word and three-word queries) were extracted from the keywords of the papers representing the top 100 contributing authors in the select field. Keywords were also checked for the duplication. Two important evaluation parameters, i.e. precision and relative recall were used to calculate the performance of search engines on the navigational queries.

Findings

The mean precision for Google scores high (2.30) followed by Yahoo (2.29) and Bing (1.68), while mean relative recall also scores high for Google (0.36) followed by Yahoo (0.33) and Bing (0.31) respectively.

Research limitations/implications

The study is of great help to the researchers and academia in determining the retrieval efficiency of Google, Yahoo and Bing in terms of navigational query execution in the field of life science and biomedicine. The study can help users to focus on various search processes and the query structuring and its execution across the select search engines for achieving desired result list in a professional search environment. The study can also act as a ready reference source for exploring navigational queries and how these queries can be managed in the context of information retrieval process. It will also help to showcase the retrieval efficiency of various search engines on the basis of subject diversity (life science and biomedicine) highlighting the same in terms of query intention.

Originality/value

Though many studies have been conducted highlighting the retrieval efficiency of search engines the current work is the first of its kind to study the retrieval effectiveness of Google, Yahoo and Bing on navigational queries in the field of life science and biomedicine. The study will help in understanding various methods and approaches to be adopted by the users for the navigational query execution across a professional search environment, i.e. “life science and biomedicine”

Details

Data Technologies and Applications, vol. 54 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9288

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Article
Publication date: 12 April 2013

Jin Zhang, Wei Fei and Taowen Le

The purpose of this paper to investigate the effectiveness of selected search features in the major English and Chinese search engines and compare the search engines

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper to investigate the effectiveness of selected search features in the major English and Chinese search engines and compare the search engines’ retrieval effectiveness.

Design/approach/methodology

The search engines Google, Google China, and Baidu were selected for this study. Common search features such as title search, basic search, exact phrase search, PDF search, and URL search, were identified and used. Search results from using the five features in the search engines were collected and compared. One‐way ANOVA and regression analysis were used to compare the retrieval effectiveness of the search engines.

Findings

It was found that Google achieved the best retrieval performance with all five search features among the three search engines. Moreover Google achieved the best webpage ranking performance.

Practical implications

The findings of this study improve the understanding of English and Chinese search engines and the differences between them in terms of search features, and can be used to assist users in choosing appropriate and effective search strategies when they search for information on the internet.

Originality/value

The original contributions of this paper are that the Chinese and English search engines in both languages are compared for retrieval effectiveness. Five search features were evaluated, compared, and analysed in the two different language environments by using the discounted cumulative gain method.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2018

Yiming Zhao, Jin Zhang, Xue Xia and Taowen Le

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate Google question-answering (QA) quality.

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1871

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate Google question-answering (QA) quality.

Design/methodology/approach

Given the large variety and complexity of Google answer boxes in search result pages, existing evaluation criteria for both search engines and QA systems seemed unsuitable. This study developed an evaluation criteria system for the evaluation of Google QA quality by coding and analyzing search results of questions from a representative question set. The study then evaluated Google’s overall QA quality as well as QA quality across four target types and across six question types, using the newly developed criteria system. ANOVA and Tukey tests were used to compare QA quality among different target types and question types.

Findings

It was found that Google provided significantly higher-quality answers to person-related questions than to thing-related, event-related and organization-related questions. Google also provided significantly higher-quality answers to where- questions than to who-, what- and how-questions. The more specific a question is, the higher the QA quality would be.

Research limitations/implications

Suggestions for both search engine users and designers are presented to help enhance user experience and QA quality.

Originality/value

Particularly suitable for search engine QA quality analysis, the newly developed evaluation criteria system expanded and enriched assessment metrics of both search engines and QA systems.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 22 November 2011

A. Hossein Farajpahlou and Faeze Tabatabai

The aim of this paper is to examine the indexing quality and ranking of XML content objects containing Dublin Core and MARC 21 metadata elements in dynamic online…

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1338

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to examine the indexing quality and ranking of XML content objects containing Dublin Core and MARC 21 metadata elements in dynamic online information environments by general search engines such as Google and Yahoo!

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 100 XML content objects were divided into two groups: those with DCXML elements and those with MARCXML elements. Both groups were published on the web site www.marcdcmi.ir in late July 2009 and were online until June 2010. The web site was introduced to Google and Yahoo! search engines. The indexing quality of metadata elements embedded in the content objects in a dynamic online information environment and their indexing and ranking capabilities were compared and examined.

Findings

Google search engine was able to retrieve fully all the content objects through their Dublin Core and MARC 21 metadata elements; Yahoo! search engine, however, did not respond at all. Results of the study showed that all Dublin Core and MARC 21 metadata elements were indexed by Google search engine. No difference was observed between indexing quality and ranking of DCXML metadata elements with that of MARCXML. The results of the study revealed that neither the XML‐based Dublin Core Metadata Initiative nor MARC 21 demonstrate any preference regarding access in dynamic online information environments through Google search engine.

Practical implications

The findings can provide useful information for search engine designers.

Originality/value

The present study was conducted for the first time in dynamic environments using XML‐based metadata elements. It can provide grounds for further studies of this kind.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 63 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 12 April 2013

Nadjla Hariri

Purpose – The main purpose of this research is to determine whether the performance of natural language (NL) search engines in retrieving exact answers to the NL queries…

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1597

Abstract

Purpose – The main purpose of this research is to determine whether the performance of natural language (NL) search engines in retrieving exact answers to the NL queries differs from that of keyword searching search engines. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 40 natural language queries were posed to Google and three NL search engines: Ask.com, Hakia and Bing. The first results pages were compared in terms of retrieving exact answer documents and whether they were at the top of the retrieved results, and the precision of exact answer and relevant documents. Findings – Ask.com retrieved exact answer document descriptions at the top of the results list in 60 percent of searches, which was better than the other search engines, but the mean value of the number of exact answer top list documents for three NL search engines (20.67) was a little less than Google's (21). There was no significant difference between the precision for Google and three NL search engines in retrieving exact answer documents for NL queries. Practical implications – The results imply that all NL and keyword searching search engines studied in this research mostly employ similar techniques using keywords of the NL queries, which is far from semantic searching and understanding what the user wants in searching with NL queries. Originality/value – The results shed light into the claims of NL search engines regarding semantic searching of NL queries.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2019

Dania Bilal and Li-Min Huang

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the readability and level of word complexity of search engine results pages (SERPs) snippets and associated web pages between Google

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1419

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the readability and level of word complexity of search engine results pages (SERPs) snippets and associated web pages between Google and Bing.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors employed the Readability Test Tool to analyze the readability and word complexity of 3,000 SERPs snippets and 3,000 associated pages in Google and Bing retrieved on 150 search queries issued by middle school children.

Findings

A significant difference was found in the readability of SERPs snippets and associated web pages between Google and Bing. A significant difference was also observed in the number of complex words in snippets between the two engines but not in associated web pages. At the engine level, the readability of Google and Bing snippets was significantly higher than associated web pages. The readability of Google SERPs snippets was at a much higher level than those of Bing. The readability of snippets in both engines mismatched with the reading comprehension of children in grades 6–8.

Research limitations/implications

The data corpus may be small. Analysis relied on quantitative measures.

Practical implications

Practitioners and other mediators should mitigate the readability issue in SERPs snippets. Researchers should consider text readability and word complexity simultaneously with other factors to obtain the nuanced understanding of young users’ web information behaviors. Additional theoretical and methodological implications are discussed.

Originality/value

This study measured the readability and the level of word complexity embedded in SERPs snippets and compared them to respective web pages in Google and Bing. Findings provide further evidence of the readability issue of SERPs snippets and the need to solve this issue through system design improvements.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 71 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2009

Brendan Luyt, Dion Goh and Chei Sian Lee

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the Filipino search engine, Yehey! against what has become the industry standard, Google.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the Filipino search engine, Yehey! against what has become the industry standard, Google.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 14 queries were submitted to Yehey! and Google. The top ten sites returned from each were examined for dates created and modified, domain name, the presence of dead or advertising links, the quality of the site as indicated by statements of responsibility and purpose as well as credentials, and overlap.

Findings

Despite its promise of providing access to Filipino cyberspace, Yehey! fell short on most of the measures used to evaluate the two search engines.

Originality/value

To date, little research has been conducted on local Asian search engines, despite the growth of internet use in the region.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Sabha Ali and Sumeer Gul

– The purpose of this paper is to highlight the retrieval effectiveness of search engines taking into consideration both precision and relative recall.

Downloads
1141

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the retrieval effectiveness of search engines taking into consideration both precision and relative recall.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on search engines that are selected on the basis of Alexa (Actionable Analytics for the web) Rank. Alexa listed top 500 sites, namely, search engines, portals, directories, social networking sites, networking tools, etc. But the scope of study is confined to only general search engines on the basis of language which was confined to English. Therefore only two general search engines are selected for the study . Alexa reports Google.com as the most visited website worldwide and Yahoo.com as the fourth most visited website globally. A total of 15 queries were selected randomly from PG students of Department of Library and Information Science during a period of eight days (from May 8 to May 15, 2014) which are classified manually into navigational, informational and transactional queries. However, queries are largely distributed on the two selected search engines to check their retrieval effectiveness as a training data set in order to define some characteristics of each type. Each query was submitted to the selected search engines which retrieved a large number of results but only the first 30 results were evaluated to limit the study in view of the fact that most of the users usually look up under the first hits of a query.

Findings

The study estimated the precision and relative recall of Google and Yahoo. Queries using concepts in the field of Library and Information Science were tested and were divided into navigational queries, informational queries and transactional queries. Results of the study showed that the mean precision of Google was high with (1.10) followed by Yahoo with (0.88). While as, mean relative recall of Google was high with (0.68) followed by Yahoo with (0.31), respectively.

Research limitations/implications

The study highlights the retrieval effectiveness of only two search engines.

Originality/value

The research work is authentic and does not contain any plagiarized work.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 40 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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