Searching the Web: The Public and Their Queries

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

697 Scopus citations

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

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

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