Use of query reformulation and relevance feedback by Excite users

Amanda Spink, Bernard J. Jansen, H. Cenk Ozmultu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

90 Citations (Scopus)


Examines the use of query reformulation, and particularly the use of relevance feedback by users of the Excite Web search engine. A total of 985 user search sessions from a data set of 18,113 user search sessions containing 51,473 queries were examined. Includes a qualitative and quantitative analysis of 191 user sessions including more than one query, to examine patterns of user query reformulation; and second, all 804 user sessions including relevance feedback were examined. Results show limited use of query reformulation and relevance feedback by Excite users - only one in five users reformulated queries. Most relevance feedback sessions were successful. Identifies the most common pattern of searching and discusses implications for Web search system design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-328
Number of pages12
JournalInternet Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000



  • Excite
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Information retrieval
  • Internet
  • Search engines
  • World Wide Web

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics

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