A user oriented model to improve internet searching success.
Poster in CPUT Research Day. 28 November. Cape Town, South Africa.
Weideman, M. 2008. A user oriented model to improve internet searching success. Poster in CPUT Research Day. 28 November. Cape Town, South Africa. Online: http://web-visibility.co.za/website-visibility-digital-library-seo/
It is claimed that up to 80% of Internet users depend on search engines to find relevant information on the Internet. However, research has proven that Internet searching success in general can be as low as 20 - 30%. A number of factors were found which contribute to Internet searching success. These include the number of results obtained, the number of keywords used and the skills of the searcher.
The higher the number of results, the more unlikely it is that a user will find a relevant result. Research has shown that as many as 99% of searchers do not read any answers past the third result page. The number of keywords used affects results in two ways. Too few keywords often produce too many answers, while too many keywords could produce no answers at all. Searcher skills have been researched extensively, and the general findings include that advanced search operators are seldom used. The use of Boolean operators, for example, is very low.
The top 50 terms used during a given month on a large search engine has shown some alarming trends. Most searches were specified using one or two terms only. Furthermore, many terms were so general in nature that no relevant answer can be expected. Other queries appeared to be for rather mundane topics.
A simple model was suggested to produce a relatively high percentage of searching success. The number of keywords used should be pitched on a sliding scale, where the complexity of the query determines its length.
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