The retrieval effectiveness of search engines on navigational queries

  • Dirk Lewandowski
  • Aslib Proceedings, July 2011, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/00012531111148949

The retrieval effectiveness of search engines on navigational queries

What is it about?

The purpose is to test major Web search engines on their performance on navigational queries, i.e. searches for homepages. 100 real 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 is recorded. Measured success N and mean reciprocal rank are calculated. Performance of the major search engines Google, Yahoo, and MSN is best, with around 90 percent of queries answered correctly. Ask and Exalead perform worse but receive good scores as well. 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. 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.

Why is it important?

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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http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00012531111148949

The following have contributed to this page: Dirk Lewandowski