Real life information retrieval: A study of user queries on the web

Bernard Jansen, Amanda Spink, Judy Bateman, Tefko Saracevic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

418 Citations (Scopus)


We analyzed transaction logs of a set of 51,473 queries posed by 18,113 users of Excite, a major Internet search service. We provide data on: (i) queries - the number of search terms, and the use of logic and modifiers, (ii) sessions - changes in queries during a session, number of pages viewed, and use of relevance feedback, and (iii) terms - their rank/frequency distribution and the most highly used search terms. Common mistakes are also observed. Implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-17
Number of pages13
JournalSIGIR Forum (ACM Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture

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