Continuing the Research

What are the web's top searches?

What are the web’s top searches?

Once my month with Bing was finished, I decided I wanted to do something more.  But what?

I had the wonderful idea to re-create the analysis of precicion and recall of Bing and Google that was featured in the Usmani et al. article, A Comparative Study of Google and Bing.  I reviewed this article in a previous post, but after thiking about it even more, I realized that I was unsatisfied with their method.

To be specific, I think the search terms they analyzed were poorly choosen.  Here’s a reminder of what they used to compare Bing and Google:

Simple one word searches

  • Program
  • Economics
  • History
  • Multimedia
  • Computer

Simple multi-word searches

  • Semantic web
  • Search engines
  • Operating system
  • Office automation
  • Managerial statistics

Complex multi-word searches

  • Internet and its uses
  • Evaluation of computer world
  • System analysis and design
  • Policies and planning of Indian government
  • Evaluation of Indian history

To me, these are not real-world searches.  The authors of the article are all professors in India, and they published in a computer science journal.  So, perhaps the search terms seemed more relevant to them.  However, I am interested in the internet searchers of the USA, and specifically those that I encounter every day on the job.

Bing claims to be better than Google for the top interenet searches, so why not test those out?  That’s exactly what I did.  I gathered lists of the top searches for 2012 for Bing and Google; I looked at the UCR Library’s top search terms on our website; I took inspiration from popular culture; I thought carefully about what is important to college students and library users.  Here is what I came up with:

Simple one word searches

  • MLA
  • JSTOR
  • Textbooks
  • Archery
  • Singing
  • China

Simple multi-word searches

  • APA style guide
  • Primary source
  • Study tips
  • Hunger Games
  • American Idol
  • Travel deals

Complex multi-word searches

  • How to cite your sources
  • How to find scholarly journal articles
  • Money and scholarships for college
  • Summer reading books
  • How to sing well
  • Hong Kong tourist info

As you can see, I chose to search six terms in each category  instead of five.  I wanted to have an equal number of search terms that were derived from the top search lists on Bing and Google, and the top searches on the UCR Library website.

More to come on this research project!

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Categories: Project Details

3 replies

  1. Really an interesting idea, I will keep watching for more.

Trackbacks

  1. More Research: Relative Recall « My Month with Bing
  2. Search Terms: Mine vs. Theirs « My Month with Bing

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