Real time search user behavior

Bernard J. Jansen, Gerry Campbell, Matthew Gregg

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

16 Scopus citations


Real time search is an increasingly important area of information seeking on the Web. In this research, we analyze 1,005,296 user interactions with a real time search engine over a 190 day period. We investigate aggregate usage of the search engine, such as number of users, queries, and terms. We also investigate the structure of queries and terms submitted by these users. The results are compared to Web searching on traditional search engines. Results show that 60% of the traffic comes from the engine's application program interface, indicating that real time search is heavily leveraged by other applications. Of the queries, 30% were unique (used only once in the entire dataset). The most frequent query accounted for 0.003% of the query set. Less than 8% of the terms were unique. The most frequently used terms accounted for only 0.03% of the total terms. Concerning search topics, the most used terms dealt with technology, entertainment, and politics, reflecting both the temporal nature of the queries and, perhaps, an early adopter user-based. Sexual queries were quite low, relative to traditional Web search. Searchers of real time content often repeat queries overtime, perhaps indicating long term interest in a topic. We discuss the implications for search engines and information providers as real time content increasingly enters the main stream.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2010 - The 28th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Conference Proceedings and Extended Abstracts
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2010
Event28th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2010 - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Apr 10 2010Apr 15 2010

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Other28th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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