How to define searching sessions on web search engines

Bernard Jansen, Amanda Spink, Vinish Kathuria

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this research, we investigate three techniques for defining user sessions on Web search engines. We analyze 2,465,145 interactions from 534,507 Web searchers. We compare three methods for defining sessions using: 1) Internet Protocol address and cookie; 2) Internet Protocol address, cookie, and a temporal limit on intra-session interactions; and 3) Internet Protocol address, cookie, and query reformulation patterns. Research results shows that defining sessions by query reformulation provides the best measure of session identification, with a nearly 95% accuracy. This method also results in an 82% increase in the number of sessions compared to Internet Protocol address and cookie alone. Regardless of the method, mean session length was fewer than three queries and the mean session duration was less than 30 minutes. Implications are that unique sessions may be a better indicator than the common industry metric of unique visitors for measuring search traffic. Results of this research may lead to tools to better support Web searching.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Pages92-109
Number of pages18
Volume4811 LNAI
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event8th International Workshop on Knowledge Discovery on the Web, WebKDD 2006 - Philadelphia, PA
Duration: 20 Aug 200620 Aug 2006

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume4811 LNAI
ISSN (Print)03029743
ISSN (Electronic)16113349

Other

Other8th International Workshop on Knowledge Discovery on the Web, WebKDD 2006
CityPhiladelphia, PA
Period20/8/0620/8/06

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Keywords

  • Markov states
  • Query reformulation
  • Web queries
  • Web sessions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Theoretical Computer Science

Cite this

Jansen, B., Spink, A., & Kathuria, V. (2007). How to define searching sessions on web search engines. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (Vol. 4811 LNAI, pp. 92-109). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics); Vol. 4811 LNAI).