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The effects of search engines and query operators on top ranked results

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2 Author(s)
Jansen, B.J. ; Sch. of Inf. Sci. & Technol., Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA, USA ; Eastman, C.M.

We examine whether the use of query operators changes the documents retrieved by three popular Web search engines. One hundred queries containing query operators were selected from the transaction log of a major Web search service. The query operators were then removed from these one hundred advanced queries. Both the original and modified queries were submitted to three major Web search engines. A total of 600 queries were submitted, and 5748 of the documents retrieved were examined. Changes in the ranking of the top documents retrieved were examined. The significant results of our research are that the effectiveness of query operators is dependent on the specific search engine utilized, and that generally there is approximately 60% similarity between retrieved results across all search engines. Implications on the effectiveness of current searching techniques, for future search engine design, and of future research are discussed.

Published in:

Information Technology: Coding and Computing [Computers and Communications], 2003. Proceedings. ITCC 2003. International Conference on

Date of Conference:

28-30 April 2003