Saturday, April 12, 2008

Classfying search behavior

Researchers at Penn State have analyzed actual search data and have found a very familiar pattern: IST researchers classify Web searches:

The research was the first published work of its kind done using actual searching data, with the aim of real-time classification. Researchers analyzed more than 1.5 million queries from hundreds of thousands of search engines users. Findings showed that about 80 percent of queries are informational and about 10 percent each are for navigational and transactional purposes.

The results match pretty closely with what we see in user behavior from analyzing the metrics for content rich sites, i.e. not social sites. What will be interesting is to see how these results change over time. Will we eventually see navigation disappear entirely? I'm thinking so. Searchable wads of of content; it makes Google's Knol strategy look all the more brilliant.


Danny said...

I found it easier to click the link to comment on this post than to Google where to comment on this post :-)

Kevin Gamble said...

Someone clicking for transactional purposes... Perhaps that could be remedied with some improvements to the Blogger UI.

Peg said...

Zoom down to the local and hyperlocal, let's say to "resources for self-managed and family-based health care" (including eldercare, since families already provide 70 percent of it outside the healthcare marketplace).

What if you threw up a bunch of searchable (and open for ongoing contribution) wads of content, then used traditional broadcast media (in addition to social networks) to mount a robust social marketing campaign to alert the general public to the availability of these online resources.

Because many people seek and need such nonmarket "content," wouldn't many also work to help develop more wads and keep them all timely, useful, and clean?

I see it as needing some sort of loosely-organized steering committee to get things rolling and lay down some minimal ground rules.

Kevin Gamble said...

Peg, makes total sense to me. Having a community decide what to target for linking is just one example of something positive they can do.