Searching the Web: The Public and Their Queries

Amanda Spink, Dietmar Wolfram, Major B.J. Jansen, Tefko Saracevic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

686 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In studying actual Web searching by the public at large, we analyzed over one million Web queries by users of the Excite search engine. We found that most people use few search terms, few modified queries, view few Web pages, and rarely use advanced search features. A small number of search terms are used with high frequency, and a great many terms are unique; the language of Web queries is distinctive. Queries about recreation and entertainment rank highest. Findings are compared to data from two other large studies of Web queries. This study provides an insight into the public practices and choices in Web searching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-234
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Volume52
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2001

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence

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