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Article
Publication date: 7 July 2011

Dirk Lewandowski

The purpose of this paper is to test major web search engines on their performance on navigational queries, i.e. searches for homepages.

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4227

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test major web search engines on their performance on navigational queries, i.e. searches for homepages.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 100 user queries are posed to six search engines (Google, Yahoo!, MSN, Ask, Seekport, and Exalead). Users described the desired pages, and the results position of these was recorded. Measured success and mean reciprocal rank are calculated.

Findings

The performance of the major search engines Google, Yahoo!, and MSN was found to be the best, with around 90 per cent of queries answered correctly. Ask and Exalead performed worse but received good scores as well.

Research limitations/implications

All queries were in German, and the German‐language interfaces of the search engines were used. Therefore, the results are only valid for German queries.

Practical implications

When designing a search engine to compete with the major search engines, care should be taken on the performance on navigational queries. Users can be influenced easily in their quality ratings of search engines based on this performance.

Originality/value

This study systematically compares the major search engines on navigational queries and compares the findings with studies on the retrieval effectiveness of the engines on informational queries.

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

Seda Ozmutlu, Huseyin C. Ozmutlu and Amanda Spink

Recent studies show that many Web users only submit short queries and conduct short search sessions. This paper examines aspects of users’ attempting longer more complex…

Abstract

Recent studies show that many Web users only submit short queries and conduct short search sessions. This paper examines aspects of users’ attempting longer more complex queries. Web search services such as Ask Jeeves – publicly accessible question and answer (Q&A) search engines – encourage queries in question or request format. In light of this trend, this study examines whether general Web queries are shifting towards a more question/request format. Previous studies show that some users were submitting question or request format queries to general non‐Q&A Web search engines. This paper re‐examines this issue by analysing large‐scale Web query data from two different (US and European) Web query data sets, including 1.2 million Excite queries (www.excite.com) and 1.2 million AlltheWeb.com (http://AlltheWeb.com) queries from 2001.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2021

Soyeon Park and Kihun Cho

This study aims to investigate and compare mobile and desktop user search behaviours of the 1300K site, a Korean shopping search engine, by using transaction log analysis.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate and compare mobile and desktop user search behaviours of the 1300K site, a Korean shopping search engine, by using transaction log analysis.

Design/methodology/approach

Transaction logs of 1300K site were collected over a three months’ period, from 1 January to 31 March 2018. The data set of this study consists of 1,149,690 desktop queries, 2,346,938 mobile queries, 2,481,747 desktop browsing activities and 2,550,309 mobile browsing activities. This study quantitatively analyses transaction log of 1300K site.

Findings

The results of this study show that mobile usage is higher than desktop usage: there are more mobile sessions than desktop sessions and the number of mobile queries is more than double of desktop queries. Overall, mobile query search behaviours are more simple, targeted and focused than desktop query search behaviours. Also, mobile browsing behaviours are more simple and passive than desktop browsing behaviours. However, mobile click behaviours are more active than desktop click behaviours.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study appears to be the first of its type in Korea that compared search behaviours of a large number of users on desktop computers and mobile phones. To identify various characteristics of user search behaviours, this study analyses users’ directory browsing behaviour and click behaviour as well as query search behaviour. The results of this study can be implemented to address the effective improvement and development of search services and interfaces for different devices.

Details

The Electronic Library , vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Ahmet Uyar and Farouk Musa Aliyu

The purpose of this paper is to better understand three main aspects of semantic web search engines of Google Knowledge Graph and Bing Satori. The authors investigated…

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1808

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to better understand three main aspects of semantic web search engines of Google Knowledge Graph and Bing Satori. The authors investigated: coverage of entity types, the extent of their support for list search services and the capabilities of their natural language query interfaces.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors manually submitted selected queries to these two semantic web search engines and evaluated the returned results. To test the coverage of entity types, the authors selected the entity types from Freebase database. To test the capabilities of natural language query interfaces, the authors used a manually developed query data set about US geography.

Findings

The results indicate that both semantic search engines cover only the very common entity types. In addition, the list search service is provided for a small percentage of entity types. Moreover, both search engines support queries with very limited complexity and with limited set of recognised terms.

Research limitations/implications

Both companies are continually working to improve their semantic web search engines. Therefore, the findings show their capabilities at the time of conducting this research.

Practical implications

The results show that in the near future the authors can expect both semantic search engines to expand their entity databases and improve their natural language interfaces.

Originality/value

As far as the authors know, this is the first study evaluating any aspect of newly developing semantic web search engines. It shows the current capabilities and limitations of these semantic web search engines. It provides directions to researchers by pointing out the main problems for semantic web search engines.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Seda Ozmutlu

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether question and keyword‐format queries are more successfully processed by search engines encouraging answers to searching

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1379

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether question and keyword‐format queries are more successfully processed by search engines encouraging answers to searching and keyword‐format querying, respectively. This study aims to investigate whether web user characteristics and choice of search engine affects the relevancy scores and precision of the results.

Design/methodology/approach

The results of two search engines, Google and AskJeeves, were compared for question and keyword‐format queries. It was observed that AskJeeves was slightly more successful in processing question‐format queries, but this finding was not statistically supported. However, Google provided results on keyword‐format queries and the entire set of queries, which were statistically superior to those of AskJeeves.

Findings

Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that the age of web user is not as affective on the relevancy score and precision of results as other factors. Interactions of the main factors were also affective on the relevancy scores and precision, meaning that the different combinations of various factors cause a synergy in terms of relevancy scores and precision.

Research limitations/implications

This was a preliminary work on the effect of user characteristics on comprehension and evaluation of search query results. Future work includes expanding this study to include more web user characteristics, more levels of the web user characteristics, and inclusion of more search engines.

Originality/value

The findings of this study provide statistical proof for the relationship between the characteristics of web users, choice of search engine and the relevancy scores and precision of search results.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2010

Ashish Kathuria, Bernard J. Jansen, Carolyn Hafernik and Amanda Spink

Web search engines are frequently used by people to locate information on the Internet. However, not all queries have an informational goal. Instead of information, some…

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1209

Abstract

Purpose

Web search engines are frequently used by people to locate information on the Internet. However, not all queries have an informational goal. Instead of information, some people may be looking for specific web sites or may wish to conduct transactions with web services. This paper aims to focus on automatically classifying the different user intents behind web queries.

Design/methodology/approach

For the research reported in this paper, 130,000 web search engine queries are categorized as informational, navigational, or transactional using a k‐means clustering approach based on a variety of query traits.

Findings

The research findings show that more than 75 percent of web queries (clustered into eight classifications) are informational in nature, with about 12 percent each for navigational and transactional. Results also show that web queries fall into eight clusters, six primarily informational, and one each of primarily transactional and navigational.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides an important contribution to web search literature because it provides information about the goals of searchers and a method for automatically classifying the intents of the user queries. Automatic classification of user intent can lead to improved web search engines by tailoring results to specific user needs.

Practical implications

The paper discusses how web search engines can use automatically classified user queries to provide more targeted and relevant results in web searching by implementing a real time classification method as presented in this research.

Originality/value

This research investigates a new application of a method for automatically classifying the intent of user queries. There has been limited research to date on automatically classifying the user intent of web queries, even though the pay‐off for web search engines can be quite beneficial.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Amanda Spink, Bernard J. Jansen and Jan Pedersen

The Web is a communication and information technology that is often used for the distribution and retrieval of personal information. Many people and organizations mount…

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1730

Abstract

The Web is a communication and information technology that is often used for the distribution and retrieval of personal information. Many people and organizations mount Web sites containing large amounts of information on individuals, particularly about celebrities. However, limited studies have examined how people search for information on other people, using personal names, via Web search engines. Explores the nature of personal name searching on Web search engines. The specific research questions addressed in the study are: “Do personal names form a major part of queries to Web search engines?”; “What are the characteristics of personal name Web searching?”; and “How effective is personal name Web searching?”. Random samples of queries from two Web search engines were analyzed. The findings show that: personal name searching is a common but not a major part of Web searching with few people seeking information on celebrities via Web search engines; few personal name queries include double quotations or additional identifying terms; and name searches on Alta Vista included more advanced search features relative to those on AlltheWeb.com. Discusses the implications of the findings for Web searching and search engines, and further research.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 60 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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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.

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1149

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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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Yusuke Gotoh and Chiori Okubo

This study aims to propose and evaluate a searching scheme for a bichromatic reverse k-nearest neighbor (BRkNN) that has objects and queries in spatial networks. In this…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to propose and evaluate a searching scheme for a bichromatic reverse k-nearest neighbor (BRkNN) that has objects and queries in spatial networks. In this proposed scheme, the author’s search for the BRkNN of the query using an influence zone for each object with a network Voronoi diagram (NVD).

Design/methodology/approach

The author’s analyze and evaluate the performance of the proposed searching scheme.

Findings

The contribution of this paper is that it confirmed that the proposed searching scheme gives shorter processing time than the conventional linear search.

Research limitations/implications

A future direction of this study will involve making a searching scheme that reduces the processing time when objects move automatically on spatial networks.

Practical implications

In BRkNN, consider two groups in a convenience store, where several convenience stores, which are constructed in Groups A and B, operate in a given region. The author’s can use RNN is RkNN when k = 1 (RNN) effectively to set a new store considering the Euclidean and road distances among stores and the location relationship between Groups A and B.

Originality/value

In the proposed searching scheme, the author’s search for the BRkNN of the query for each object with an NVD using the influence zone, which is the region where an object in the spatial network recognizes the nearest neighbor for the query.

Details

International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-7371

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2016

Wei-Chao Lin, Shih-Wen Ke and Chih-Fong Tsai

This paper aims to introduce a prototype system called SAFQuery (Simple And Flexible Query interface). In many existing Web search interfaces, simple and advanced query

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce a prototype system called SAFQuery (Simple And Flexible Query interface). In many existing Web search interfaces, simple and advanced query processes are treated separately that cannot be issued interchangeably. In addition, after several rounds of queries for specific information need(s), it is possible that users might wish to re-examine the retrieval results corresponding to some previous queries or to slightly modify some of the specific queries issued before. However, it is often hard to remember what queries have been issued. These factors make the current Web search process not very simple or flexible.

Design/methodology/approach

In SAFQuery, the simple and advanced query strategies are integrated into a single interface, which can easily formulate query specifications when needed in the same interface. Moreover, query history information is provided that displays the past query specifications, which can help with the memory load.

Findings

The authors' experiments by user evaluation show that most users had a positive experience when using SAFQuery. Specifically, it is easy to use and can simplify the Web search task.

Originality/value

The proposed prototype system provides simple and flexible Web search strategies. Particularly, it allows users to easily issue simple and advanced queries based on one single query interface, interchangeably. In addition, users can easily input previously issued queries without spending time to recall what the queries are and/or to re-type previous queries.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

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